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Yad

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Yad

A typical yad design

A yad (Hebrew: יד , "hand") is a pointer to guide the reading in public of the text of the Sefer Torah. It is one of the kele ḳodesh ("holy vessels") ornamenting the Torah.

Its purpose is to keep the reader from touching the scroll with his fingers while reading, as it is considered a sacred item. There are various styles and sizes of yad, the usual size being about 12 inches long. It is made in the fashion of a tapering rod, the narrow end in the shape of a closed hand with the index-finger extended. Commonly it is made of silver, ornamented sometimes with a gold hand but hard wood is also used, preferably olive wood from the Holy Land. Often the yad is inscribed with an appropriate Biblical verse, such as "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" (Psalm 19:7). There is often a ring attached to the top of the yad, with a chain to hang it to the eẓ ḥayyim (rollers) of the scroll after it has been rolled up.

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