Ish al diglo b’osos l’beis avosam yachanu B’nei Yisroel mi’neged saviv l’ohel moed yachanu (2:2)
Rav Avrohom of Zunsheim, a Rishon and author of Tikkun Tefillin, points out a number of fascinating parallels between the Tefillin shel Rosh and the encampments of the Jews in the desert. The tefillin is sewn up on the bottom with 12 stitches, 3 on each of the 4 sides. This corresponds to the configuration of the 12 tribes, which also camped in groups of 3 tribes, all positioned around the central camp of the Divine Presence and camp of the Levites. In the center of the tefillin are the parshios, which represent the Luchos, and the cube in which they rest corresponds to the Aron in which the Luchos were kept. Finally , the kapores – the lid of the Aron – had two Keruvim on top of it, positioned with their wings spread above. This image of a cherub with its wings spread is similar to the Hebrew letter “shin,” and so the two letter “shin”s which are located on the outside of the box of the tefillin symbolize the Keruvim resting on top of the Aron and spreading their wings!

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