Obj. ID: 36717
Sacred and Ritual Objects Tik (Torah case) from Yochanan ben Zakai synagogue in the Old city, Jerusalem, 1914
The following description was prepared by William Gross: This locally produced Torah tik in a style quite similar to that used in Syria comprises a wood body covered with a velvet material on which is applied a number of cut, decorated, and sometimes inscribed silver elements. The most unusual feature is the two large hamsas that appear on the front of the tik on both sides of the opening. There are also two silver elements in the shape of cypress trees, one of which carries an inscription identifying this tik as belonging to the Yochanan ben Zakai synagogue in Jewish Quarter of the old city in Jerusalem. The decorated sheets behind glass on the inside of the tik record two dedication dates of two sisters, one in 1914 and one in 1932. In 1914 one sister dedicated the tik in memory of the second sister. The second dedication, dated to 1932, is in memory of this sister who originally dedicated the tik in 1914. The image of the cypress tree is characteristic of Jerusalem iconography and the hamsa was extremely popular in the Jewish Quarter, as writings from the 19th century indicate.
The hamsa (five, as in five fingers) is an amulet shaped like a hand. The hamsa is arguably the most popular form of amulet against the Evil Eye and is used in a large number of countries. Probably originating in Moslem Spain of the 12th or 13th century, it crossed the sea to Morocco and spread across North Africa to the Middle and Far East.
On the cypress tree on the outside: Zohara bat Ya'akov Malool Synagogue Raban Yochanan ben Zakai
On the right inside panel: This Tik and the Torah scroll within was dedicated by the woman Zohara Levia bat Jamila Malool for the exaltation of her sister Aishah bat Jamilah Malool, may her soul be bound in the bond of life.
On the left inside panel: This Tik and the Torah scroll within is also for the exaltation of the soul of the generous person who is remembered here on the right side Ms. Zohara bat Jamila Malool who passed away after hard and bitter suffering, ??? after her sister who is remembered here, on the 4th day of Elul in the year 5692 , may her soul be bound up in the bond of life.