Monday, October 8, 2012

Bells on the Torah

Today is Simchat Torah, the rejoicing with the Torah scrolls, carrying them around the synagogue with dancing and singing.
 The annual Torah reading cycle is completed and begun anew.
 The end of the fifth book of Moses is read, the scroll is rewound, and the first part of Genesis is chanted.

The closest I have gotten to a Torah scroll this year is in museums. 
The Israel Museum has these beautiful finials (the ornaments placed on top of the wooden handles of the scroll).
Please click a few times on the photo to see the little bells up close.

Here  above you can read the whole story, courtesy of the museum.

Particularly interesting is this part:
The majesty, glamor, and renown  of the great Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam--the Esnoga--reflected the aura of wealth that enveloped the distinguished members of the community.
The same is true of the Portuguese community's splendid Torah ornaments, which were manufactured by eminent Dutch*  silversmiths.  . . .
Adorned with many bells, the tower-shaped finials were clearly inspired by the steeples of Dutch churches.
At times one can even identify the exact tower that served as a model.

*i.e. Christian artisans, so I take it

For more on the subject please follow my labels: Torah,  Simchat Torah.


Cloudia said...


oh I SO remember the joyous holiday as a child, the finials, the velvet cover, the silver yod. . . .the paper flags and apples!

That's where I learned that words are sweet.

Aloha from Waikiki,
Have a sweet week
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Hels said...

I love ritual arts, and I am passionate about silver, so I did a lot of my research on religious silver art :) This is beautiful!

Indrani said...

Happy rejoicing!

VP said...

I need to refresh some of my knowledge about this matter and your posts are a very good way to do it!

Sara said...

Those are beautiful. I wonder if they sound as good as they look.

Pietro said...

They are fascinating indeed.