One of the first commandments the Jewish Nation received upon leaving Egypt was themitzvah of tefillin.

“And it shall be a sign upon your arm, and an ornament between your eyes, for with a strong hand Hashem removed us from Egypt.”(Exodus 13:16)

One explanation of why we wear tefillin is because it contains various sections of the Shema and other parts of the Torah that remind us of the Exodus from Egypt. The placement of the tefillin on the head and the arm (opposite the heart) symbolically represents the fact that man must serve Gd through his actions, feelings and thoughts. The tefillin are holy artifacts that constantly remind man, through their symbolism, that he must make a special effort to subjugate his heart and his mind to Torah law. Of course, this is only one explanation. There are infinitely more deep secrets and teachings on the spiritual gifts of tefillin.

Recently, scientists made a startling discovery which sheds a glimmer of light on the awesome powers of tefillin.

The Human Aura

Many people have claimed to be able to see the human aura – a shimmering glow that surrounds each individual, with colors and hues that change depending on the person and his or her moods. However, since none of these people could prove their visions, science has traditionally scoffed at their claims. This attitude of disdain was also met by the first scientific researchers who studied the phenomenon of the human aura: Nicola Tesla of the United States and Roberto Landell de Moura of Brazil. Tesla demonstrated in 1888 that a human body exposed to an electromagnetic field at high frequency and tension generates a shining aura. And in 1904, de Moura invented a “bio-electrographic machine” that captured images of auras hovering around people. These discoveries were given scant attention by the scientific community.

Attitudes began changing in the mid-20th century, when, in 1939, Simeon and Valentina Kirlian discovered that the application of a high-frequency electric current during photography resulted in the image of a light aura around the individuals being photographed. Following this discovery, the couple developed the Kirlian Camera, a device that captures the ultra-violet light in its images.

This discovery created a stir among scientists around the world. Biophysicists and biochemists in the Biophysics Laboratory of National University at Alma-Ata in Kazakhstan, where Kirlian worked, used an electron microscope to conduct numerous experiments on the energy fields recorded by Kirlian’s images. This energy field became known as the “biological plasma body.” (Plasma is an ionized gas in which atomic particles are separated from all of the electrons in their environment.) A Soviet scientist, Professor V. M. Inyushin, summarizing the results of this research, noted, “The biological energy common to all living organisms is known as bioplasma.”

Dr. Thelma Moss (1918-1997), a psychologist at the University of California, expressed these ideas in simpler terms. According to Dr. Moss, the aura is “spiritual energy released from the body.” An American researcher, Dr. Kendall Johnson, has said: “This gives us the possibility to look into the non-physical side of life.”

Recently, researchers have arrived at an even deeper understanding of this phenomenon. German scientist Peter Mandel has developed a therapeutic practice based on the human aura called “Esogetic Healing.” Mandel has proved that the human body contains within it and around it a field of energy which is invisible to the naked eye, but can be photographed with special cameras. For many years, Mandel traced the changes in the colors of auras, analyzing the relationship between the forms of auras and various energy imbalances in parts of the body. Mandel found a clear connection between disturbances in the aura and various diseases. Moreover, it appears that diseases reveal their presence through changes in the aura before their symptoms are noticeable in the body, in the form of dark stains or marks in the aura’s field.

Today, the “Aura Video Station,” which was invented by Johannes Fisslinger in the early 1990’s, or the similar “Aura Camera” devised by Guy Coggins, is used to view auras. These devices utilize advanced biofeedback as well as a computer, a video recorder or camera, and special, highly sensitive sensors. A subject places his or her hand on the sensor, which registers factors such as the electromagnetic energy released by each finger, temperature, humidity, and more. The sensor transmits the information to a computer that translates the data into frequencies, leading to the specific colors appearing on the screen. The screen shows images of auras in colors that change from person to person.

Today, a commonly used system which interprets the meaning and influence of colors upon the psyche is based upon the work of a Swiss psychologist, Max Luscher.

The Aura Video Station lists colors in ascending order, from the more material to the more spiritual: red, yellow green, blue and white. There are intermediate colors: between red and yellow there are light red, orange, and orange-yellow; between yellow and blue there are yellow-green, green, and light blue; between blue and white there are purple and light purple. A deep red aura indicates a materialistic person low on the spiritual scale.
Higher-level colors indicate higher levels of spirituality.

It is interesting to note that in Sha’ar Ha-Gvanim (“The Gate of Colors”) chapter of the famous Kabbalistic tract, Pardes Rimonim (“Orchard of Pomegranates”) by Rabbi Moses Cordovero, a color is associated with eachsefirah (“emanation”) of the Kabbalistic system. These colors are listed in ascending order, the lowest being red, followed by yellow, leading to the highest levels of sapphire blue, and white. The full list of colors is as follows: red, yellow, light pink, pink, “natural” orange, golden orange, gray, green, sapphire blue, and white.

Dr. Naveh’s Tefillin Experiment

Once, during a speech I presented to an academic audience at the Paradise Hotel in Be’er Sheva, Israel, I commented on the Kabbalistic meaning of the commandment of tefillin. I described the familiar black, square boxes containing four Biblical passages,
hand-written with a special ink upon parchment made from a ritually pure animal, as well as the black straps used to bind it onto the body. According to Kabbalistic masters, when this unique article is tightened around the bicep of the left arm, pointing towards the heart, and on the “entrance” to the head – “the place where the head of an infant is soft,” in the words of the Talmud (Eruvin 95b and elsewhere) – a unique spiritual energy is channeled into the human soul. Specifically, this energy is channeled to the parts of the soul that rest in the heart, which are responsible for emotions, and to the brain, the seat of thought, understanding, and memory. In both cases, the person wearing tefillin is spiritually uplifted, and the quality and level of his thoughts and emotions improved. In addition, this energy creates a spiritual shield around the person who wears tefillin. These are only some of the wondrous benefits that a person donning tefillin gains each day, in fulfilling the will of his Creator.

Upon hearing this lecture, Dr. Arik Naveh – one of the senior physicists in Israel and an important lecturer in his field – decided to test its
claims scientifically. He gathered
11 scholars – all secular Jews – and asked them to participate in an experiment in photographing auras. He first photographed individuals without tefillin, and then with tefillin.

The results were incredible. For all of the participating subjects – without a single exception – the tefillin drastically changed the color of their auras, adding an unusually high spiritual level – that of the color purple, which is surpassed only by the color white, the rarest of all colors in the
aura spectrum.

These experiments led to a consensus among researchers of the aura that tefillin can raise a person’s spiritual level, and protect one’s body from negative external energies.

Dr. Naveh has since expanded his research and tested many other subjects. In each case, the results affirm the conclusion that tefillin increase the strength and level of the aura, as testified to by the photos shown in this article.

Our Spiritual Guidebooks

Furthermore, according to the Kabbalah, all forms of physical disease or injury result from a lack of, or defect in, the spiritual dimension. On the other hand, when the spiritual dimension is repaired – such as through prayers recited on behalf of the patient, sincere repentance, good deeds, or even suffering, which cleanses the soul – the body is healed, as well. This corresponds to the observation cited earlier that diseases can first be discerned in the human aura, before they manifest themselves physically in the body. In other words, it is clear that with all of the impressive technology at science’s disposal, it is still insufficient to investigate and comprehend the true power and nature of the spiritual world.

How can a person know what is considered a meaningful, positive spiritual act, and what is considered the opposite? The Creator of the universe answered this question when He gave us the Torah, which is a spiritual guidebook containing all secrets of the creation. For instance, He taught us how to construct an apparatus for channeling spiritual illumination, called tefillin. He also instructed us as to where to place tefillin on the body, so that energy flows properly within us. We are taught on which days of the week the flow of this energy operates differently than others, and how to conduct ourselves when we wear tefillin in order to maximize their spiritual benefit. Similarly, He instructed us how to purify the body with the waters of a mikveh. Conversely, He has informed us how to avoid spiritual damage called karet – being spiritually “cut off” from Gd. This applies to all of the Torah’s commandments – though they all provide material benefits, their main purpose is spiritual.

If a person submits to Gd’s will and accepts the Torah’s commandments even though he may not fully understand them, he receives reward for his deeds not only after death, but during his lifetime, as well. As researchers of the human aura have discovered, not only the donning of tefillin, but also the performance of other commandments, such as the act of Torah study, netilat yadayim,  and immersion in a mikveh, also results in measurable, positive increases in one’s spiritual illumination. For example, it has been documented that a person’s aura changes when he recites Tehillim, whether or not he comprehends what he’s reading. This does not occur when reading a secular book or a newspaper.

These proofs are impressive enough in themselves, yet they are only the tip of the iceberg. As stated earlier, all this is only a minuscule portion of the infinitely deep secrets and teachings on the spiritual gifts of tefillin. We have not even mentioned the reasons for the various texts enclosed within the tefillin, for the four-fold division of the head tefillin, which differs from the single compartment of the hand tefillin, and how these correspond to the four quadrants of the brain. The topic is endless, a testament to the unlimited depth and profundity of the Torah’s wisdom.

Rabbi Zamir Cohen’s is the founder of the Hidabroot organization and has written several books on the topics of Jewish thought and law, including his National Best-seller, ‘The Coming Revolution’.