- The "Parshiot" – the inside written portions of the tefillin – Parchment from the hide of a kosher animal. Four portions of Torah are written on the parchment. On the tefillin of the hand they are written on one long parchment and the tefillin of the head are divided up into four parts. The Jewish Laws pertaining to the writing of these portions are great and numerous and they require much continuous learning and plenty of experience. Certainly not every graphic artist is qualified for this holy objective – only those who have received Rabbinical authorization that testifies to their expertise in the subject in their knowledge of the Jewish laws and the technical aspects. These written portions are inserted into the tefillin boxes, rolled up and wrapped in calf's hair.
- The tefillin boxes – These are the external boxes into which the written portions are placed. There are various types of boxes. The simpler ones are made of a soft parchment, like the inside parchment and are reinforced by various hardened materials. They are called "Boxes from hide of a small kosher animal", "Simple boxes" or "Simple, stringently kosher boxes". Truthfully, they are simple and not stringently kosher because there are dozens of details in Jewish Law that must be followed in order to produce tefillin boxes that are strictly kosher and this a/m type of tefillin box does not meet all the standards of Jewish Law. Therefore, one rarely finds tefillin of this kind with Rabbinical supervision. In addition, these tefillin can be termed "disposable" because they become ruined very quickly. They cannot be repaired because of the thin hide which is very weak. And worst of all – when they become disqualified, only an expert can identify the flaw and G-d forbid, a person may don disqualified tefillin for many years and make a blessing in vain on them. (This data is the result of our experience over many years.)
The stringently kosher type is with tefillin boxes made from a large kosher animal. (A hide from the head of an ox is strong and durable, an especially strong hide, to the point that if one wants to use a leftover piece of hide in the production stages, an electric saw or a disk must be used – compared to the simple boxes that can be cut with a scissors.) They are made from one hide with no gluing, meeting the highest standards of strict kasruth. Moreover, they have the advantage that if the boxes are hit and the squares are spoiled, they can always be repaired, due to the thick, massive hide.
Stringencies of tefillin boxes from the hide of a large animal (the head of an ox) compared to boxes from hide of a small animal:
1. One hide 2. Natural inner spaces not pasted together
3. Sewing threads from one box to the other
4. A groove for the stitches connecting the lower cover to the higher one ("Titura")
that protects the square of the stitches
5. Teeth without ? 6. Square fits the boxes exactly
7. Square fits the Titura exactly 8. Hide is dried between stages of production
- Tefillin straps: With these, one ties the tefillin on the hand and places them on the head. The straps must also be processed for the sake of holy tefillin. Likewise their dying to black must be done for the sake of the holy mitzvah. It is to be noted that the blackening of the straps is more important than the blackening of the boxes. Not every random strap in the market is qualified for this holy objective. There have been cases where the straps were made from leftover pieces of leather from the production of shoes and this caused many to sin. Therefore, it is important to know that every item connected to tefillin must have kashruth supervision authorizing that it was made for the sake of holy tefillin.
See the pictures below illustrating the difference between simple tefillin and tefillin from the hide of a large animal.
תמונה מס' 19