Machon D’var T’fila: Tefillin with Rabbi Ariella Rosen #tefillinspiration
Rabbi Ariella Rosen (bio below) presented an inspiring D’var T’fila for the Machon chanichim (campers) this morning. She spoke personally about how wearing tefillin is meaningful for her. She believes people carry themselves differently while wearing tefillin, because of the power of the words contained therein. Just as wearing a T-shirt or jewelry with special words might help you feel differently and cause others to view you differently, likewise with tefillin. While Rabbi Rosen personally did not have a lot of female role models for wearing tefillin when she was growing up, she adopted the practice over time. Especially during her experience at Palmer as a madricha (counselor) and Rosh Amitzim in 2009, she realized how important it was for her to be a role model for women wearing tefillin.
She finds it empowering, and describes a “superhero” feeling with tallit (cape!) and tefillin every morning. Especially meaningful is having God’s name on one’s hand, and having the lingering imprint of the leather after removing the tefillin. The practice gives her strength, and she describes it as temporary Jewish body art. Rabbi Rosen does believe there is a hiyuv (obligation) for all Jewish adults to wear tefillin, but acknowledges this is a complex matter and focuses on educating and exciting chanichim — boys and girls — about this practice.
After t’fila this morning, she invited anyone who wished to use the additional sets to practice laying tefillin; some chanichot who were experienced also assisted. At the conclusion, some of the chanichot asked to hold on to the tefillin for future use! #tefillinspiration
Rabbi Ariella Rosen
Rabbi Ariella Rosen was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in May of 2015. She simultaneously earned a MA in midrash, fueling her passion for creative exploration of text and tradition. While a student, she served as the rabbinic intern at the Orangetown Jewish Center, and worked as an educator at a number of NYC synagogues as well as for the Foundation for Jewish Camp. She served as the student representative on JTS’ Committee on Gender and Sexuality, and was a participant in the Rabbis Without Borders fellowship, which brings together rabbinical students from across the denominational spectrum for study, dialogue, and innovation.
During her year of rabbinic study in Israel, Rabbi Rosen expanded on her learning outside the classroom through the Shalom Hartman Institute, and as a mentor-coach for Ultimate Peace, building bridges between Jewish and Arab youth through the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. She also served as a peer group facilitator for Encounter, supporting Jewish participants in processing their time spent in Palestinian communities. Her passion for meaningful Israel conversations led her to continue her learning with a training through Resetting the Table, which seeks to empower young adult Jews to form personal relationships with Israel.
She completed her undergraduate studies at List College, the joint program between Columbia University and JTS, where she studied psychology and midrash. In addition to her involvement with Columbia/Barnard Hillel, she played for the Columbia Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, traveling to tournaments all over the east coast.
Rabbi Rosen grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, and spent nearly 15 summers at her other home, Camp Ramah in New England. At Ramah, she worked for many summers in the Tikvah program, which seeks to provide a meaningful camp experience for campers of all abilities. While Rabbi Rosen has held various other leadership roles at Camp Ramah, the Tikvah Program remains dear to her heart, and Jewish special needs education is one of her passions and priorities.
Rabbi Rosen has come to believe strongly in a collective responsibility to elevate voices that are not easily heard. She is a proud supporter of the local food movement and seeks to behave as a responsible citizen of the world. She feels blessed to have been so warmly welcomed into the Adath Israel family.