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Obj. ID: 3462
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Torah case, Tunisia, 1896

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Radovan, Zev, 1997

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

The case is divided into two vertical halves at the centre of its front facet, while the back facet is separated and attached to each half by hinges. The body comprises thirteen framed facets and is encircled at its upper and lower edges by two pairs of stepped strips, creating two friezes. The upper frieze is decorated with a band made of gold painted gesso, depicting a pattern of flowers. Fourteen knobs for hanging the Torah wrapper are set on the upper frieze.

 

The open-work coronet comprises thirteen units, which continue the body's facets. Each unit is formed as a lyre, enclosed within an arch formed of two scrolls.

The inner face of the Torah case is of plain wood. Each half bears a double shelf and a rectangular opening at the bottom, for inserting the hands while raising the Torah. Additional double shelf is set at the top, and is blocked by a bar with four holes.

A silver dedicatory plaque is attached to the back of the coronet. It is shaped as a medallion, topped by an open hand (hamsa), while its bottom is formed as a fish tail. The inscription is engraved in Hebrew square linear letters and reads:

"זאת/ התורה הקד(ושה)/ של הר'/ מרדכי (ב)ן משה/ נכתב על עור אייל ואיילה/ שמות העצם נכתבו/ בתע(נית) וטבילה/ למנוחת בתו מרת גזאלה/ נשלם כג' לחו(דש) סיון שנת תרנ"ו/ תשלים שנת פקודתה/ בצרור החיים תהיה צרורה/ נשמתה ע"י אחי"ך."

"This Holy Torah scroll, which belongs to Rabbi Mordechai son of Moses, was written on a parchment made of deer and gazelle's skin (see: Remarks: no. 1). The nouns were written while fasting and after a ritual immersion. (It was dedicated) for the repose of his daughter Mrs. Ğazala, and completed on the 23rd of Sivan, the year 656 (4.6.1896), her memorial day, may her soul be bound in the bond of life, next to your brother(?)."

Holes for inserting the Torah scroll staves appear at the bottom and top.

13 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Object Detail
Date
1896 (inscription)
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Period Detail
Collection
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Wood, gesso, paint, silver
Structure: sawed, carved
Decoration: carved, painted stucco
Bonding: nailed, hinged
Inscription: engraved
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height: 710 mm (general), 570 mm (body), 140 mm (coronet)
Width: 325 mm
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Iconographical Subject
Condition
• The coronet and part of the gesso decorations are broken. • The clasps are missing.
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
Coordinates: 0.000000, 0.000000
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

1. The dedication indicates that the Torah was written on a special parchment made of gazelle skin, in order to relate to the daughter's name Ğazala, to whom it was dedicated.  

Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Yaniv, Bracha. The Torah Case: Its History and Design (Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press and the Ben Zvi Institute, 1997). In Hebrew
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
Ariella Amar | 07.97
Author of description
Ariella Amar | 04.02
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
Ariella Amar | 08.02
Language Editor
Dvora Sax | 07.11
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.