Work of Art: Torah Crown (Keter)
Moshe Zabari
born 1935, in United States 1961-1988
Torah Crown (Keter)
Silver: hollow-formed; pearls
17 1/2 x 15 1/8 in. (44.5 x 38.4 cm)
Gift of Dr. Naomi M. Kanof in memory of Max Tendler

In Jewish synagogues a scroll of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, is often decorated and honored with a crown. This modern example by an Israeli artist working in the United States fits on top of the two staves used to roll the scroll. The artist explained that the form was inspired by the space age explorations of the 1950s and ’60s. In place of the traditional bells, he used starlike pearls that dangled when the Torah was moved. The crown is part of a set that includes a shield to hang on the Torah. According to the artist, the shield’s form “is based on the Hebrew letter ש (shin), for God’s name, thus emphasizing the fact that God controls the universe."

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