Listed as an "amulet" with Egyptian origins, a set of tefillin at the Met Museum is sparking debate online. by the Forward

The Met Museum updates tefillin description

Image by metmuseum.org

(JTA) — Days after a small corner of the internet erupted with criticism of how the Metropolitan Museum of Art labeled a Jewish ritual object in its collection, the New York museum has quietly revised the description.

Where its website had previously called tefillin, the leather boxes and straps used in prayer by observant Jews, an “amulet,” it now refers to them by the word “phylactery.”

Twitter users had challenged the amulet label after an automated account that shares pictures of items in the museum’s holding posted one of the tefillin, which is part of the Islamic art collection. Some called the museum’s labeling anti-Semitic because it did not reflect the Jewish nature of the item.

The new label does not indicate that the item, which is not on display publicly, is used by Jews. The museum obtained the item in 1962 and says it likely originated in sixth-century Egypt.

The post So long, ‘amulet.’ Hello, ‘phylactery.’ The Met Museum has updated that tefillin description. appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The Met Museum updates tefillin description

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

The Met Museum updates tefillin description

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close