Your are dedicating a new Sefer Torah in memory of a loved one and you are now ready for the next step: finding a Torah mantle to adorn and treasure the priceless Torah scroll.
Where to begin?
The High Holidays are approaching soon and it is time to give our Torah Scrolls an uplift by replacing them with new, crisp white Torah covers to remind us of the Holy Days of Awe.
What is the process?
The following check-list would certainly make your exciting Torah-Project experience a breeze!
1. Choose a style:
The modern finish, or the open back finish, has the opening in the back of the cover with the seam running down halfway leaving the bottom half of the cover open to allow easy dressing of the Torah. An open back Torah cover is typically finished clean, without fringes as pictured above.
The traditional finish, or the closed back finish, has the closed-back look with the seams running down the sides, leaving 2 side slits on the bottom. A closed back style is commonly finished with a border and fringes to give that traditional look (see image below).
2. Select a design:
There are so many designs out there, from traditional to contemporary and High Holiday motifs and themes!
As for the traditional styles, these Torah mantels include the 10 Commandments flanked with two lions or pillars and a crown on top, as pictured on the left below. Also, the canopy, menorahs and gate designs are popular as well like shown on the right.
The modern and contemporary Torah covers are richly ornamented with artistic art, depicting motifs of ritual references such as Eitz Chaim (Tree of Life), Shema Yisrael, or an image of Jerusalem skillfully hand crafted, often featuring verses from the Torah hand made or machine embroidered. See some modern designs below.
A strong feeling of warmth and fear engulf us as we watch the changing of the Torah Covers to the immaculate white mantles reflective of the Holy Days. The most commonly seen motifs are the shofar, open book, scale and the 4 species of Sukkot, often starring popular High Holiday Hebrew verses of the Torah. Some popular High Holiday designs are illustrated below.
3. Choose your background Color:
Here comes the fun part! Selecting a color for your Torah mantle is both exciting and fun. The most popular colors are the blues and maroons that are commonly used for both traditional and modern designs. The other colors which includes brown, rust, gold, green and grey are also quite popular. Then, of course, there's the pure white and off white/cream colors that are exclusively used for the High Holidays.
You may also want to match the colors to the existing synagogue interior and decorations. The Torah mantles would typically coordinate with the parochet (Torah ark curtain) and bimah / shtender covers for uniform synagogue decor.
4. Take the Measurements:
Have the measurements of your Torah Cover handy. For an easy step-by-step measuring instructions, click here for an Easy Guide on How to Measure a Torah Cover [Torah Mantle].
5. Personalize it:
Dedicating a Torah mantle or other Torah ornaments is a meaningful way to eternalize the memory of a loved one. A dedication or inscription is typically embroidered in gold or silver on the front or back of the Torah mantle. For the front of the cover, the typical size of a dedication is up to 3-4 lines of text with a maximum of 20-24 characters per row. The dedication would be embroidered on the back if there are more text required.
You may, of course, choose to have the embroidered dedication hidden in the inside (lining) of the cover or not to have an inscription at all so to have the design stand out and make a statement!
Now that you're already familiarized with the process, go ahead and initiate your Torah cover project today! It's that easy.
Were these tips helpful? We would love to hear from you!