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Pointy Jewish Reading Stick?

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by Eddi, Sep 15, 2021 at 9:57 AM.

  1. Eddi

    Eddi "Eddi" is my username but please call me "Ed"

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    I have a memory of there being such as thing as a little stick with a little metal pointing hand at the end

    I believe such things are used in Judaism? To keep track of the writing in a holy text, during either a public reading or in private study?

    That the reader would move the thing across the text they were reading, to make it easier to follow?

    I have no idea why I associate them with Judaism!

    I have three questions:

    1) Do such things actually exist?
    2) Are they used in Judaism?
    3) What are they called?

    I have a similar system, whenever I do a reading at church I follow the text with the bottom-end of a pen, but I like the idea of there being a purpose-built tool for doing this
     
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  2. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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  3. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Yes, it's called a 'Yad' the Hebrew word for 'hand'. It's used in all denominations as far as I know. The idea is that touching the scroll will eventually put wear and tear on the written text.
     
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  4. Eddi

    Eddi "Eddi" is my username but please call me "Ed"

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    I knew it!

    I knew that they actually existed and that I hadn't made them up, I feel vindicated! :D

    Many thanks!
     
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  5. Eddi

    Eddi "Eddi" is my username but please call me "Ed"

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    I thought it was because touching a holy text with one's flesh is forbidden
     
  6. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    How would they write it? Lol.
     
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  7. Eddi

    Eddi "Eddi" is my username but please call me "Ed"

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    By having undergone some kind of ceremonial purification ritual?
     
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  8. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    You're right. I'm reading more about that now.
     
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  9. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    @Rival and @Eddi,

    What's interesting about this issue of touching the scroll with bare hands, is that the rationale is counter intuitive.

    If I understand, it's not that the scroll itself is too holy to be touched; it's the opposite. The individual's hands were considered more holy/pure. The most common reason given is that the Torah scrolls were stored next to the grain-tithes. Grain-tithes attract vermin. Contact with vermin can transfer a specific level of impurity to the parchment. In order to be cautious about coming in contact with this type of impurity; touching the parchment is prohibited.

    However, there seems to be debate whether or not this issue of impurity is relevant today; so, the most common answer given for not touching the parchment is in order to avoid damaging the actual text, the ink on the parchment.
     
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  10. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    I should think it would have been retained even just as a ritual.
     
  11. Eddi

    Eddi "Eddi" is my username but please call me "Ed"

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    That's fascinating, thanks for sharing!
     
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  12. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Do you mean as a tradition/custom?
     
  13. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    Indeed.
     
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  14. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    More and more I'm starting to appreciate the importance of these things.
     
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  15. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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  16. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    Any Judaica website, eBay, Amazon etc.
     
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  17. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Google search results filtered for shopping: Link
     
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