Rimonim (literally: pomegranates) are decorative finials for the Sepher Torah, the five books of Moses written by hand on a long roll of parchment. The Torah is rolled up around two ornate wooden shafts that are attached to either end of the scroll. The rimonim are placed on each of those shafts when the Torah is taken out of the Ehal (Torah Shrine) during festivals. During the restoration works, a pair of discarded rimonim was found in the southern courtyard during excavations. The rimonim comprise a copper base and a heavily carved wooden top in a foliate design, covered with viridian green tempera paint and gold leaf. Only one of the pair was discovered largely intact. Exact duplicates of these rimonim were made by a local craftsman, complete with viridian green and gold leaf decoration and bells. They are now used during services and at other times placed on metal supports on both sides of the Torah Shrine, together with another pair of silver rimonim for the second Sepher Torah.

Photos 1, 2: © Manousos Daskalogiannis

Pair of Rimonim

Pair of Rimonim, excavated in southern courtyard of Etz Hayyim

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