Rimmonim, designed and made by Gerald Benney

Rimmonim, designed and made by Gerald Benney

Rimmonim
Designed and made by Gerald Benney (born 1930)
London, England
1996
Silver, partly gilded
Lent by Edgar Astaire

Rimmonim are placed above the mantle that covers the sacred Torah scroll. Their bells ring when the Torah set is processed in ceremony. The word rimmonim means 'pomegranates' in Hebrew and the shape of this pair in particular is reminiscent of the fruit. These rimmonim were made by renowned goldsmith Gerald Benney as part of a miniature Torah set.

Judaica has always reflected the artistic styles of its time. In the late 19th century it was available through large companies such as Joseph & Horace Savory and cherished pieces were brought into England by the Jews who had fled the pogroms in Eastern Europe. Later, the two world wars and the Holocaust meant that little Jewish silver was produced. It was not until Jewish communities had become more established that synagogues began to commission new work. Many of the designers, including Gerald Benney, are non-Jewish but their work has enabled traditional Jewish religious customs and practices to be fulfilled in a modern style.