NY’s Metropolitan Art Museum calls Tefillin (Phylacteries) Muslim ‘Amulet’

It can only be hoped that the  “experts” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are better at identifying artifacts and artwork than they are at identifying Judaica. One piece from a set of Jewish phylacteries was displayed on their website as a 6th-Century amulet from Egypt.

Tefillin, or phylacteries, is a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. 

Therefore impress these My words upon your very heart: bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead, Deuteronomy 11:18

Tefillin are worn every day by Jewish men except for the Sabbath and holidays. 

The set displayed on the website was acquired by the museum in 1962 and is inexplicably on display in the Islamic Art department. This is doubly ironic since one of the purposes of the tefillin is to serve as a visible reminder of God taking the Children of Israel out of Egypt. 

The museum is currently closed due to the pandemic. 

Israel in the News