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Obj. ID: 19268
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Torah case, Tunisia

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 1986

The prismatic Torah case consists of a body and a coronet.

The case opens in the centre on the front facet, forming two halves joined in the back by a steady facet.

The body comprises twelve facets and is encircled, at its upper and lower edges, by two wooden stepped strips, creating two friezes.

A dedication silver plaque is attached to the front left side. It is written in Hebrew square linear letters, and reads:

"רחל סיס/ בת רבי/ יעקב כטורזה."

"Rachel Sis, the daughter of R. Jacob Katorza" (see: History).

Each facet is of plain wood. 

The coronet is composed of twelve units, which continue the body's facets (figs. 1, 2). Each unit is made of a plain fleur-de-lis.

The inner face of the Torah case is of plain wood (fig. 1). Each half has a double shelf at its bottom and top. The bottom is blocked by a board with a rectangular hole for elevating the Torah and several round holes; the top is similarly blocked, but without the holes.  

Two holes for inserting the Torah staves appear at the bottom and top.

4 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
The Rachel Sis case (see: History) | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Tunisia
| Tunisia, Sus? Gafsa?
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown | Tunisia, Sus? Gafsa?
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
silver
Material Stucture
sawed, carved
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
nailed, hinged, glued
Material Inscription
engraved
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
810 mm (body), 135 mm (coronet)
Length
Width
387 mm (body)
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Condition
Intact
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Rachel Sis was the daughter of R. Jacob Katorza from Sus in Southern Tunisia. Following a revelation of a woman-saint known as Al-Gtar, she established in the 1920s a pilgrimage site near Gafsa to venerate the saint (for the story about the saint, see: Reader's desk, Ai-Gtar Synagogue; see also: Shabtay, BiZkhut, 1999, p. 13-14; Pérez-Cohen, L'écho, 2007, pp. 197-230). In the 1950s this site was relocated to Ramla by Polet Bokobza, the adopted daughter of Rachel Sis. During the years and due to the revelation she experienced, people attributed Sis some of the miraculous abilities of the saint. When the Al-Gtar Synagogue was established in Ramla, Rachel's Torah case was transferred to the synagogue and was endowed with sacred and miraculous qualities. A dispute between the founder and the family who keeps the synagogue led to the transfer of the pilgrimage site to another site, and the sacred Torah scroll with its case was not found. However, our documentation indicates that it was transferred to a third location.
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Mimi Lavie; Ariella Amar | 03.86; 06.11
Author of description
Ariella Amar | 06.11
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
Ariella Amar | 06.11
Language Editor
Dvora Sax | 11.11
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.