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    Tefillin in the market place – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. I found a set of tefillin on sale in a second hand store. Should I have bought them?

    A. You mightn’t believe it, but I had a similar experience. Years ago I was in a street market in St. John’s Wood, a London suburb, and saw a set of tefillin for sale.

    The stall holder had no idea what they were, but sold them to me for ten shillings (50 pence), not that I lacked tefillin but I didn’t want to leave these ones at the mercy of fate.

    I put them in the shule g’nizah – the outworn religious items that were sent for burial from time to time.

    Had I checked and found them kosher, I would have used them or given them to someone who needed tefillin.

    I might then have dreamt about where they had been and whether they had an interesting history.

    I only hope they did not come from a Bar-Mitzvah boy who decided he would not lay his tefillin but deliberately mislay them…

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