Origami Tefilin

In my work at the Foundation for Jewish Camp I have the fortune of meeting people who are doing amazing work with Jewish youth across North America. With tefilin on my mind I wanted to share an idea inspired by Noah Greenberg. Noah is the man behind the Kesher Tefillin Project. He has figured out a way to make kosher tefilin inexpensive. More importantly Noah has used this process to get young people to connect to this Mitzvah.

Recently I was thinking about the technical genius of Noah’s design. We make tefilin out of one piece of leather. Until recently, with the invention of the hydraulic press, tefilin were made by wetting and molding a large piece of leather into the complicated shape. Noah uses a cut out of a piece of parchment to fold it into a kosher pair of tefilin.

In many ways he created an origami tefilin. So obviously when I saw this TED presentation  on origami by Robert Lang I just needed to connect the dots.

First of all, I got them in touch with each other to see if they might come up with an even more interesting pair of origami tefilin. But, the real dots to connect are how Robert Lang has discovered a skeleton key to unlock the wisdom the origami masters from the past. Ancient traditions have what to teach us if they open themselves up to science. The science of Robert Lang point to a brilliant unified theory of  this world. I was awe-struck to realize that Noah Greenberg and his tefilin can teach the same lesson.

Yasher Koach to Noah and Robert. They are both master artists endowed with  great minds.

1 Response to “Origami Tefilin”


  1. 1 adamarenson January 24, 2010 at 2:37 am

    This is very interesting stuff; if it’s durable (and even if it’s not, as it gives folks a chance to learn the inner mechanics) this would be a great tefillin-making activity, from kits, for teens…


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