Category Archives: T’phillin

The Spiritual Significance of the Body

The body is the vehicle for the soul… It houses the awareness of the soul.  Without the body the awareness/the soul would remain ephemeral, it would remain as merely a dis-embodied “spirit” trapped in the “spirit world”.  The body is what allows the soul, spirit, and G!d to be manifest on Earth in materiality.  It is in fact the entire purpose of creation… And as humans (and especially as Jews) it is our role/job to help actualize this manifestation, to be co-creators at this point in the process of creation.

We do this by grounding our spiritual awareness’ in our bodies, and this is the point of wrapping t’phillin, of doing an yoga asana practice, of blessing food before and after eating it, of washing our hands in the morning (n’telat yadaim), of wearing tzitzit and so on.  The main point: Unite the soul with the body.

When the two seemingly opposite poles of heaven and earth, soul and body come together there is an indescribable enlightenment and bliss which occurs and this is the purpose of creation.

Binding Myself to G!d: The Practice of T’phillin

Binding Myself to G!d:

The practice of putting on t’phillin (phylacteries) can be a powerful way to ‘bind the body to G!d’, to physically attach the body – which at times might seem gross, or un-spiritual – to G!d, to the soul.  The body, in truth, is already holy and spiritual, but our work is to take command of this holy vehicle and put it into the service of G!d and the soul.  The body on its own is ruled by animal instincts; through conscious effort we place the body in control of the soul, in Divine service, service to others, to the world, to something outside of its own personal wants and needs.  Putting in t’phillin with this intention may physically help someone achieve this transformation.