Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Torah pointers
Derbent, Dagestan
Silver, engraved and inlaid with semiprecious stones
Inscribed in Hebrew with the names of the donors and the year
L: 28; W: 4 cm (each pointer)
Accession number: B03.1415 ; 149/293
The Torah pointers used by the Caucasian community of Mountain Jews were made and donated in pairs, or joined together when the dedication inscription related to the same event. During the Torah reading, they were held apart in a “V” shape in order to divide the text into short passages. This unique local tradition began in the early 19th century and was maintained up to the middle of the 20th century.

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir