Silver Torah Crown


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What can we see?

We can see a large silver Torah crown with a small bird perched on top. We can also see small bells hanging from the crown.

Look closely, what can you see?

What do we know?

This object is a silver Torah crown, which fits over the wooden rollers attached to the Torah scroll. Why do you think the crown is so beautifully decorated?

Look closely at the middle of the crown and you can see silver bells. These bells ring to announce when the Torah is being taken out or put back in the Holy Ark.

The crown is very ornately decorated, and you can see many different scenes from the Torah. In the centre, there is an image of Jacob sleeping. He is dreaming of a ladder reaching to the sky with angels ascending and descending.

Can you see the writing at the bottom of the crown? This writing is in Hebrew, the traditional language of prayer and study.

Look closely at the very top of the crown. Can you see the bird? This could be a dove carrying an olive branch, which is part of the story of Noah and the Ark.

What do we wonder?

We might wonder how heavy this crown would be? We might also wonder which synagogue this Torah crown belonged to?

What do you wonder?

Object File

Object Number: JM 135

Name: Silver Torah Crown

Materials: Silver

Date: 1813

Artist/Maker (if known): Unknown, produced in Galicia, Poland (today partially in the Ukraine)

Size (cm): 44.4cm

The Story:

Jacob was the third patriarch of the Jewish people, son of Isaac and Rebecca, and grandson of Abraham, whose story is told in the book of Genesis. God established a covenant with Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham. The blessings continued through Jacob’s father, Isaac, then to Jacob and his descendants. However, Jacob’s brother Esau should have received the blessing rather than Jacob because Esau was the oldest.  Esau was very upset that Jacob had received the blessing from his father, and vowed to kill Jacob. Jacob fled to live with his uncle Laban, and whilst travelling had a vision of a ladder reaching into the sky, with angels ascending and descending.

Despite having received the blessing, Jacob struggled with God his entire life, as many of us do. As he matured in faith, Jacob depended on God more and more. The turning point for Jacob came after a dramatic, all-night wrestling match with God. In the end, God touched Jacob’s hip to show that he was a broken man, but also a new man. For the rest of his life Jacob walked with a limp, demonstrating his dependence on God. Jacob finally learned to give up control to God.  From that day forward, Jacob was called ‘Israel,’ which means ‘Wrestles with God.’  The Jewish people are often referred to as the ‘children of Israel’, signifying their descent from Jacob.  Jacob’s sons became the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob’s story teaches us how people can have both strengths and weaknesses, but still be blessed by God.

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