Tefillin: When it's Good for the Heart Three Ways
A research project confirms something we already know
0 Comments | Thursday, January 26, 2023
Bar Mitzvah Project
I read an interesting article a few days ago, about the expansion of a study that came out from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Published in the PLOS ONE journal, it suggested that men who wear tefillin during davening may receive cardiovascular health benefits. Dr. Jack Rubinstein, the associate professor who led the study says "We found people who wear tefillin...recorded a measurable positive effect on their blood flow. This has been associated with better outcomes in heart disease." In other words, wearing tefillin seems to be good for the heart.
What an interesting and meaningful concept. Once I thought about it, it made me think about another way tefillin can be good for the heart.
When requests for help with Bar Mitzvahs come into the American Friends of Yad Eliezer/B'ezri office, the stories behind them are pretty difficult. There are boys who come from divorced or broken homes
where one parent is working day and night, trying to raise kids on barely any income. There are families where one of the siblings is very sick and all finances in the home must go to medical care. Still there are other homes where the Bar Mitzvah boy himself is going through a terrible crisis and his parents are scrambling, trying to keep everything in their lives from falling apart. In all these cases (and there are so many, many more) when the time comes for a boy to have his Bar Mitzvah, the family is simply overwhelmed and there is no money to get him tefillin. He'll be lucky if there will be any
kind of celebration-even the most minimal.
Thanks to B'ezri he will get tefillin!
So can you imagine what it must be like for a boy in a situation like these, who, through tzedaka via our Bar Mitzvah Twinning program
, suddenly gets notified that despite all the chaos and stress in his life, all the issues he must deal with everyday, when it's likely that new tefillin aren't in the cards-that actually, he will
be getting a pair of his very own? He won't have to get them from a gemach? He'll be able to wrap them confidently every weekday morning, just like all the other boys his age?
Imagine how it must make him feel, in his
heart. Excited. Happy. Proud. And...normal.
And his parents' hearts? Also excited. Also Happy and proud. But especially...relieved.
From the thank you letters we receive we don't even have to imagine any of this, we know it's true.
"I had a serious breakdown yesterday, regretting I ever told my son we'd find him tefillin...and try to have some kind of celebration like other boys in his class. I don't know how people do it. Then I opened your email today, letting me know help is available and I just burst out crying. I'm still shaky....what a relief, and what a flood of emotions this brought me. I'm so grateful..I can't even put this into words."
And knowing that reactions like this are commonplace should put a pretty special feeling in the hearts of our donors.
The researchers are right. Though it's not surprising to us, tefillin really is
good for the heart.
About 100 families are assisted with Tefillin and Bar Mitzvah expenses through AFYE/B'ezri's Bar Mitzvah Twinning program every year.
Read another thank you note from a recipient, twin your son's Bar Mitzvah with a Bar Mitzvah in Israel and see how it benefits your heart!