Tefilin Bag

Along with the Tallit, orthodox Jewish men and liberal Jewish women put on a “prayer strap” (Tefillin) during their morning prayers. These are traditionally kept in bags made specifically for that purpose.

Titel: Tefilin Bag (Bag for the Storage of Prayer Straps)
Date: 19thcentury
Material: linen, unbleached linen
Dimensions: 16 x 13 cm (6.3’’ x 5.1’’)
Creator: unknown
Sponsor: unknown

The Genizah contains about 50 such Tefillin bags. They are mostly sewn from recycled cloth. Most bags are made from linen- or cotton pieces which were formerly part of garments. Occasionally, the bags are made from padded silk. None of them have any embroidered names or initials, so there is no way of identifying their former owners.

The bag shown here is made from linen with interwoven stripes and an inner lining made from unbleached linen. It can be closed by pulling the yarn straps.

Further Reading:
Wiesner, Linda. “Der Textilfund”. Zeugnisse Jüdischen Lebens In Niederzissen. Genisa-Funde In Der Ehemaligen Synagoge, Falk Wiesemann, Kultur- Und Heimatverein Niederzissen, Niederzissen, 2012.