Torah Pointer (Yad)
Date unknown, probably late 19th–early 20th century
Silver and silver filigree
11 x 1.5 (diameter) inches
A Torah pointer is called a yad, from the Hebrew word for hand. Traditional yads
like this one have a miniature hand at the end with the index finger
pointing outward. Torah readers use the tiny finger to point to the part
of the densely written text they are reading so that they do not lose
their place. Yads serve another practical purpose as well. They
protect the parchment from the damaging effects of continual handling.
Most importantly, a yad is used because it is considered disrespectful to touch the Torah.