Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Yad is not a Yard in Boston

With Rosh Hashanah approaching at the end of the month, and the expansion of our art glass Judaica line, I thought it would be appropriate at this time to explain some of the most interesting works of art depicting the pieces used in the rituals of the Jewish religion. One such item is the yad. Most yads found in homes and synagogues are made of metal. But leave it to an inspired artist, particularly a glass artist, and you will discover what we here at Crescent Moon have; simply the most beautiful works of art by a few Jewish artists. Wikipedia is my resource of choice to look up definitions or to sort out information. The wiki below provides the best explanation for a yad.

A yad (Hebrew: יד‎), literally, "hand," is a Jewish ritual pointer, used to point to the text during the Torah reading from the parchment Torah scrolls. It is intended to prevent anyone from touching the parchment, which is considered sacred; additionally, the fragile parchment can be damaged by the oils of the skin. While not required when chanting from the Torah, it is used frequently. A yad can be made of any number of materials, though silveris most common. The yad is often shaped like a long rod, with a small hand and an index finger pointing from it.

Now that you know what a real yad is…you’ll never confuse it with a yard pronounced by a Bostonian! The picture above is a cobalt yad flame-worked by Andrew Pollack, a Crescent Moon artist from New Orleans, Louisiana. Crescent Moon has four other Judaica artists with Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukah art glass items. More on the artists and art as we go along.