The Guiding Hand: The Barr Foundation Collection of Torah Pointers
On view through February 19, 2023, in Temple Israel of Hollywood’s Main Lobby
For hundreds of years, the Jewish people used simple tapered wooden sticks covered in fabric to point the way through the Torah’s text without damaging the fragile handwritten parchment surface. Over the centuries, the pointer, known as a yad (Hebrew for hand), has developed into a distinctive art form with the most consistent element of antique yads being the inclusion of an anatomically correct hand at its tip. In recent years, while many are made in a variety of metals and sometimes adorned with gold and jewels, the use of unusual materials like paper, glass, buttons, and iron can be found in contemporary creations.
Clay Barr has assembled this collection of Torah pointers representing the full range of elaborate historical forms and creative new and commissioned yads by contemporary artists in memory of her late husband, Jay D. A. Barr.
This exhibition is made possible in part with generous support from the Barr Foundation and Rosenthal Arts Center Fund.