A “Torah binder” is a Jewish ceremonial textile used to keep a Torah scroll closed tightly when it is not being used for synagogue reading. In some Jewish communities in Germany and Eastern Europe, Torah binders were made from the linen or cotton cloth used to cover new-born males during the Circumcision ceremony (brit milah). The [...]
A devoted but busy mother (my own mother told me this story, trying to make a point) insisted on taking a nap every afternoon. When her children would beat on the door and whine for her to come out, she would answer in Yiddish: קי� דער איך מאך דיר א מאמע– children, I am making you a mother!
In this beautifully embroidered cloth, a central panel contains the Kiddush blessing over wine recited at meals during the festivals Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, with special Sabbath blessing inserts in contrasting color and letter size. Beneath is a quote from Ethics of the Fathers: “…three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at God’s table…” Such pieces have been identified as part of a bride’s trousseau or as wedding gifts, so the bride may have embroidered the cloth herself, or perhaps it was made for the new couple.