Page:Annotated Edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book.djvu/47

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The Tallith and Tephillin. xxvii it," Numbers ibid., was held to imply that the fringe was reserved for worship during daylight). The thread of blue, referred to in Numbers xv. 38, was either intertwined with the white or was used in order to attach the tassel to the corner. Owing to the difficulty of identifying or procuring the exact blue dye required, the Talmud (on Menaḥoth iv. I) already asserts that the authorities dispensed with its use. The fringes are now exclusively white. Fringed garments with blue threads appear on some ancient Egyptian monuments, and such tassels were probably regarded as amulets. But the Hebrew Law has purified the meaning into "a beautiful religious significance" (Kennedy). The tallith is not worn by women, because of the general rule that women, whose duties are more absorbing in the home, are free from those ceremonies which have to be performed at a specified time. This general rule applies to several other ceremonies. I am here enwrapping myself in this fringed robe (הִנְנִי מִתְעַמֵּף). This is a meditation or devotion (cav- vanah, see note on P.B. p. 5 above) of late origin ; it is derived from the prayer-book of R. Isaiah Hurwitz (1570- ). The benediction that follows (לְהִתְעַמֵּף בַּצִּצִת) is, however, much older (Talmud, Berachoth 60 b). Page 15. How precious is thy lovingkindness (מַה־יָקָר חַסְדְּךָ) Four verses from Psalm xxxvi. 8-II. The introduction of these beautiful verses, as of And I will betroth thee unto me for ever with reference to the phylacteries, is a fine instance of the power of Judaism to spiritualise ceremonial. The Phylacteries or tephillin (תְּפִלִּין). The Hebrew name is possibly derived from the root תָּפַל, meaning to attach, or more probably from פָּכַל, the root whence comes the word for prayer (תְּפִלָּה). The wearing of phylacteries was derived from four Pentateuchal texts (Deut. vi. 4-9 שְמַע ; Deut. xi. 13-21 ׀ְהָיָה אִם שָמֹעַ; Exodus xiii. קַדֶש־לִי כָל־בְּכ׀ֹר; and Exodus xiii. II-16 ׀ְהָיָה כִּי־יְבִיאְִךָ all of