We say "I will espouse You to me forever" when we put on tefillin. We have the romantic contrast between our tefillin, which express our love for Hashem, and Hashem's tefillin, which praises His people.

Could one say that tefillin is likened to a wedding ring? I have heard "outside" that tefillin are indeed akin to this, but are there sources inside that have discussed this? What do they say?


1 Answer 1


I only have a modern approach for this, but Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt"l repeated this idea several times.

See here and this video here (see 12.10mins in)


However, upon digging a little further see the Shelah HaKodosh who speaks at length in Aseres HaDibrot, Chullin, Ner Mitzva:

וזה לשון ראשית חכמה, הרי מבואר במאמר הזה מעלת המניח תפילין שהוא דומה ליוצרו, ומבואר במאמר קצת כונת התפילין, ויתבאר עוד בעזרת ה'. ואגב מבואר, שהרצועה שאנו כורכין באצבע היא טבעת הקידושין שהזכר נתן לה, ומכאן היה אומר מורי ע"ה שאין ראוי לכרוך הרצועה על האצבע עד שיניח תפילין של ראש שהוא סוד הזכר, שאם עדיין לא בא הזכר קידושין מהיכן, וכן מנהג רוב ישראל ואין ראוי לשנות המנהג. וכן היה אומר מורי ע"ה, שכריכה זו שבאצבע צריך שתהיה מעומד, שהזכר שמקדש האשה מקדש אותה מעומד, שהקידושין הם מעלמא דדכורא ודרכו מעומד.

This is the expression of the Reishis Chochmo, and this maamar explains the merit of putting on a tefillin that resembles its Creator. And in this maamar it explains a bit the intention of the tefillin, and we will explain further with G-d's help. And parenthetically it can be explained that the strap that we wind round the finger is like the ring of kiddushin that a male gives her (i.e. his bride). And this is why my teacher of blessed memory would say that it is not appropriate to wrap the strap around the finger until he puts on the tefillin on his head which is the secret of the male, that if the male has not yet come, from where does the kiddushin come from, and accordingly, this is the custom of the majority of Israel and it is not fitting to change the custom. And similarly, my teacher of blessed memory, used to say, that this binding of the finger needs to be done whilst standing, just as the man who marries the woman needs to be standing, that the kiddushin stems from world of the male, and its way is through standing...


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