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yad

in Judaism, a ritual object, usually made of silver but sometimes of wood or other materials, that consists of a shaft affixed to a miniature representation of a hand with its index finger pointing. The yad is used optionally in liturgical services to indicate the place that is being read on a Torah (biblical) scroll, thus eliminating the necessity of touching the sacred manuscript with the hand. Many yadayim are prized as works of art.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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