Positive Mitzvah Thirteen

Binding Tefillin (on the hand)

Devarim 6:8 Bind them as a sign upon your arm and let them be ornaments between your eyes.

Besides the tefillin on the head the Torah commands men to put tefillin on their arms. The square leather box is placed upon the arm, facing the heart. This shows that our feelings should be connected to Hashem, just as the tefillin are tied onto us.

This Mitzvah is repeated four times [in Scripture]. (Shemot 13:1, 16; Devarim 6:8, 11:18) "And all the people of the earth shall see that the Name of Hashem is called upon you" (Devarim 28:10).

Rabbi Eliezer the Great says:

This verse refers to the Tefillin of the Head (Hul. 98a). The observance of this Mitzvah, according tot he Sages, thus constitutes a proclamation before "the people of the earth" that His Name is called upon Yisrael.

The two Mitzvot, of Tefillin on arm and forehead, are not obligatory upon women, for in explanation of their obligatory character Hashem has said, Baruch Hu, "That the law of Hashem be in your mouth," (Shemot 13:9) and women are not under obligation to study Torah.

Three Mitzvot in the Torah are designed by the term ot (a sign) between Hashem and Yisrael His people: Circumcision, the Shabbat, and the Tefillin (Bereishit 17:11; Shemot 31:13, 9).

Tefillin are not worn on the Shabbat or on holy days, those days constitute such 'a sign' in themselves.