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Obj. ID: 37267
Sacred and Ritual Objects
  Torah pointer, Ancona, circa 1820

© Gross Family Collection, Photographer: Bar Hama, Ardon, -

The following description was prepared by William Gross:

The pointer used by the Torah reader to keep the place is known in European communities as the *yad, "hand," or the etẓba, "finger," and in Sephardi and Eastern communities as the moreh, "pointer," or kulmus, "quill," the former because of its function and the latter because of its shape. Halakhic sources also use the terms moreh or kulmus. The pointer was originally a narrow rod, tapered at the pointing end, usually with a hole at the other end through which a ring or chain could be passed to hang the pointer on the Torah scroll. An additional reason for using the pointer was to prevent the oily finger from touching the parchment and inked letter, something that would eventually cause severe deterioration.

The original form of the pointer was preserved in Eastern communities, the differences from one community to another being mainly in length and ornamentation. In certain communities, a hand with a pointing finger was added, and accordingly, the pointer came to be known as a yad, "hand," or eẓba, "finger." Pointers are made for the most part of silver or silver-plated brass, but in a few European communities, they used to be made of wood. In such cases, the pointers were carved in the local folk-art style.

This very elegant Torah pointer is more reminiscent of those made in Italy in the 18th century than the 19th, but this artist from Ancona worked in the first decades of the 19th. The elegant sculptured upper part leads to a flat portion that carries the inscription and ends in a graceful gilded hand. The inscription is a later inscription by almost 50 years. This happened when a new donor, to acknowledge his gift to the congregation, wished his name to be put on a previously owned piece of the community. It also happened when an object was damaged and the person who paid for the repair wished to be acknowledged by an inscription.

 Inscription: For the honor of the Lord and His Torah: belonging to the valued Yitzhak Menachem of Fermi, may the Lord sustain him and grant him favor / given in the month of Elul in the year 5668 [1868] of the Creation of the World

8 image(s)

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Name/Title
Torah pointer | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
circa 1820
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Location
Unknown |
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Material/Technique
Silver, Partly Gilt, Cast, Engraved
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Length: 34.5 cm, Diam: 1.3 cm Weight: 119 g
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
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
Master: VR (Donaver-Dabbene dell 魸, pg. 329)
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconsdivuction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.