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The Jewish Law

Jewish belief is based on the five books of Moses which – together with the prophets and a selection of texts – constitute the Tora. A substantial part of the religious service on Shabbath and on Holidays consists in the reading aloud of a section of the Tora according to traditional melodies (indicated by accents). The Tora scrolls are handwritten on parchment, or within the oriental tradition on leather, following precisely the traditional instructions.

JMS 82 Tora pointer

As the Tora may not be touched by naked hand, the reader uses a Tora pointer (Jad=Hand).
The origin of the Tora pointer (1/2) is Lengnau (CH), but it was probably manufactured in Galicia by a skilled silversmith. Note the crown on its top with a lion holding the tablets of the Law.

JMS 1589 Tora mantle

At the end of the Tora reading the handwritten parchment, fixed on two holders, is closed. It is wrapped in a Tora binder and covered by an embroidered mantle (cover) and two «Rimonim» (in the shape of pomegranates) or a crown (Keter). Finally it is decorated with a silver breastplate (Tass) before being carried back to the «Holy Ark».
The Tora mantle (3) was dedicated on the occasion of the inauguration of the present synagogue in Basel in 1868.

1 | Tora pointer
2 | Tora pointer, detail
3 | Tora mantle