In response to the sharp comments in a letter called “Tefillingate?” (February 28):

Two weeks ago Temple Emanu-El of Closter sixth graders were pictured in these pages, proudly wearing hand-decorated tefillin. These colorful tefillin, which are not kosher, were introduced l’shem hinuch – for the sake of education. This annual hands-on project culminates an engaging curriculum of the history and mitzvah of tefillin. We introduce this project to students before their b’nai mitzvah celebration, with the hope of making real tefillin more accessible, familiar, and meaningful.

Wearing tefillin is a mitzvah we encourage from men and women in our community.

Training wheels assist many in learning how to ride a bicycle; we believe the same idea is true with the sacred mitzvah of tefillin.