That great source of Jewish knowledge Wikipedia describes a yad (literally “hand”) as “a Jewish ritual pointer, popularly known as a Torah pointer, used by the reader to follow the text during the Torah reading from the parchment Torah scrolls. Yads can be made from silver, wood or any material. Mine, however, is something Moses could never have imagined.
Since the Hebrew of the Torah has no vowels or punctuation, the yad allows the reader to track from line to line more easily. In addition, the yad prevents the reader from touching the parchment while reading. This is important since the parchment is often rather fragile (some of our Torah scrolls are hundreds of years old), and oil from fingers can damage the ink over time. The yad prevents all of this and has, over time, become a mainstay ritual item during worship.
As previously noted, there is no set requirement with regard to the materials used to make a yad or its design. Still, since the word means “hand”, yads often look like their namesake, albeit made from silver, wood, brass etc.
A few weeks ago, I asked my friend Michael to see if his father-in-law Steve would make me a rather unusual yad. You see, Michael’s father-in-law has a Makerbot 3D Printer and has created all kinds of cool stuff. I asked if he might use it to make me one. He did… and here is a yad fit for the 21st century.
Some yads are carved from wood. Others are cast from metal. Mine was… printed.
Want to check out Steve Medwin’s other products? Click here to see what else he has “printed”.