The Guiding Hand: The BARR Foundation Collection of Torah Pointers
Functional & Fabulous: The History and Artistry of the YAD

Enjoy an illustrated lecture with Skirball curatorial consultant Abby Schwartz about the history of the Torah pointer in Jewish practice and the artistry of this tiny instrument across the world and over thousands of years. The program includes a visit to the exhibition.

Reservations required.

Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
Location: In-person & Online | Mayerson Hall, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH

Be dazzled by over 100 antique and contemporary Torah pointers, known by the Hebrew word yad for hand. The yad is used to keep one’s place in the Torah scroll, the central text of the Jewish faith, which is densely hand-written in Hebrew. Created by artists from different ages and cultures and made of diverse materials including wood, precious metals, jewels, ceramics, paper, and more, these yads chronicle the timeless, universal aesthetic guide in reading the Torah. The collection was formed by Virginia resident Clay H. Barr, who began collecting Torah pointers nearly three decades ago in memory of her late husband, Jay D.A. Barr. In addition to acquiring pointers that represent the historic forms of the object, she continues to commission creative new yads from contemporary artists such as Tobi Kahn, Wendell Castle, and Albert Paley. Transcending religious iconography, this exhibition appeals to all who appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of fine art.

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