Israeli soldiers lay tefillin. (Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90) Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90)
Israeli soldiers lay tefillin


The Torah’s commandments are designed to strengthen your connection to God, but they may also improve your physical health as well.

By United with Israel Staff

While observing the laws of the Torah has undeniable spiritual benefits, doctors recently discovered performing certain commandments may actually have tremendous physical benefits as well.

Specifically, Dr. Jack Rubinstein, MD of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine determined that donning a Jewish ritual object called phylacteries, or “tefillin” as they are known in Hebrew, could help prevent heart attacks.

Phylacteries are a set of small leather boxes containing scriptural passages, including “Shema Yisrael,” the basic pronouncement of faith in G-d, which Jews recite multiple times each day. Traditionally, phylacteries are worn during the morning prayers (“Shacharit”), except on the Sabbath and holidays.

One phylactery is secured to the nondominant bicep, facing the heart, using a leather strap that is wrapped down the arm and around the head. The other one is placed on the head above the hairline, centered between the eyes, with the leather straps hanging down the torso.

As Dr. Rubinstein explained in a recent report, the “hand” tefillin is fastened “in a fairly tight manner,” which due to the sitting and standing that occurs during morning prayers “result[s] in occasional retightening of the strap around your arm.”

According to the JNS report, the “binding of the arm” and occasional “discomfort” may “serve as a form of preconditioning, offering a substantial degree of protection against the damage that can be caused by a sudden loss of blood flow (acute ischemia) or after the blood supply is restored to a tissue or organ after an ischemic event (reperfusion)” such as a heart attack.

In Dr. Rubinstein’s study, researchers measured heart rates before, during and after wearing tefillin. They found that wearing tefillin “caused changes to the heart rate associated with lowering of the metabolism as measured via heart rate variability.”

According to Dr. Rubinstein, the results represent “a path through which anyone can precondition themselves to decrease the amount of damage that they suffer from a heart attack by wearing a very simple device.”

He added, “Decreasing the amount of heart attack damage by even just two-fold is something that will change outcomes for millions of people.”

Send 'Warm Winter' Care Packages to Israeli Soldiers - They are Cold!

We are honored to thank the young men and women of the IDF who risk their lives every day to defend the citizens of Israel.

Join us in sending winter care packages and personal notes of support to Israeli soldiers who are out in the cold all day.

Warm up a soldier's heart with essential winter wear including fleece jackets. Keep an entire unit warm by ordering 10 packages... The soldiers truly appreciate your love and concern!