Kente Tallit and Tefillin

Object number

M. Lomotey

Object Information

Ghanaian Jews: Michael Lomotey wearing Kente tallit and Tefillin at the Kotel, Israel 2015

Here we see a photograph of Michael as he stands by the Kotel in preparation for prayer. He holds a prayer book in his hand. Behind him, a diversity of Jews stand, also wearing the appropriate items for prayer.

Michael wears the tefillin on his head and arm. The teffilin are the black leather boxes – within the boxes you will find a piece of parchment with scripture. The wearing of the tefillin is a commandment, based on the scripture, Deutronomy 6:8. ‘You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes.”

The tefillin is always worn on the left arm (or right arm, for left-handed people). The straps is wrapped around the arm seven times and stretches down to the finger. The tefillin for the head is worn in the centre of your forehead

He also wears a blue Kente tallit.  Kente is a vibrant, colourful fabric that originates from the Akan Tribe of Ghana.

There are many other Jewish communities across the African continent from the Ethiopian Beta Israel Jews to the Igbo Jews of Nigeria.

Hear from the donor

What does Judaism mean to you?

I once read Judaism is an attitude to reality, I concur with this summation.

All of my life is centred on this aspect of my identity which is inextricably linked to all the other parts of how I identify; the scientist, the Black man in a white world, the parent, the brother, son, spouse, climate activist, Jew.

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