The Tefillin are made of hard leather, shaped into a black box. The box houses four parchments inscribed with portions of the Torah and has straps dangling from the ends. The parchment is prepared from the hide of a kosher animal and is written in a very specific manner by an expert scribe.
The laws of Tefillin construction are intricate in detail and we cherish each and every one of these details. The many details, for example the requirement of an all black color, were handed to Moses directly from G-d at Sinai, and in turn to us. As such, an expert scribe or reliable Judaica retailer should be your choice for such a purchase. (Option to purchase Tefillin here, will soon be available).
There are two “boxes,” one that is wound around the arm, and another which is tied around the head. The two “boxes” are called “the hand Tefillin” and “the head Tefillin.”
Although both boxes contain the same four portions of the Torah, their styles vary. The hand Tefillin is a one-room hotel housing one long scroll with the Torah portions inscribed on it, whereas the head Tefillin is made up of four sections, each housing a separate scroll inscribed with the four respective portions.
These portions speak of central Jewish themes, the “Shema” and the fundamentals of belief in G-d, the Exodus from Egypt, and the commandment to don Tefillin, among other ideas.
The bodily location where the Torah tells us to tie these sanctified satchels is of much significance. The left upper arm upon which the hand Tefillin is wound stands adjacent to the heart, our emotional headquarters (left handed people put their Tefillin on their right arm). The locale for the head Tefillin is the seat of our intellectual capacities. Binding the divine sign around these instrumental organs drives home a powerful lesson: “G-d, I am totally dedicating to you. My emotions and intellect!”