World Wide Wrap binds Jewish men to their heritage

By Marc Machbitz and Rusty Dworkin
RICHARDSON — For football-loving men across America, Super Bowl Sunday is practically a national holiday, and for Jewish men in North Dallas on Feb. 1, it was ever more important. The date coincided, as it is planned to do, with the World Wide Wrap.
The Men’s Clubs of Congregationd Beth Torah, Anshai Torah and Shearith Israel sponsored this year’s event. Approximately 80 people gathered at Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson, known for its egalitarian approach to Jewish ritual, to pray together and to wrap tefillin on their arms and heads. This is part of an ancient Jewish ritual in which Jews are required to bind signs on their arms and heads during weekday and Sunday morning prayers. The tefillin contain key passages from the Torah reminding Jews of their obligation to remember the Exodus from Egypt, to teach the Bible to their children and to wear tefillin.
Rabbi Adam Raskin of Beth Torah, Rabbi David Glickman of Shearith Israel and Rabbi Stefan Weinberg of Anshai Torah led the services and also welcomed the crowd that had gathered. Rabbi Raskin told the group that tefillin, in their present form, have been in continuous use by the Jewish people since at least the sixth century. The little black boxes and accompanying leather straps are made from the hide of a kosher animal and contain the passages mentioned above, hand-scribed in black ink. Rabbi Weinberg added that the wrap, the ninth consecutive celebration of this important event, is very effective at bringing Jews together in North Texas.
Marc Machbitz of Beth Torah Men’s club, who organized the event with help from the other men’s clubs, offered some comments to the group on the meaning of tefillin and how they have contributed to the longevity of the Jewish people. After a delicious pancake breakfast and a prayer of thanks, the event ended with a fundraising appeal for the Medical Center in Ashdod, Israel. A modest amount of money was collected for this worthy cause, whose emergency room is nearing completion.

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