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A yad Torah pointer is a device that is used ritually during the reading of the Torah to point to the text. The word yad translates "hand," and the yad is often crafted with the image of a hand or pointing finger on it. The purpose of the device is to allow the reader to follow along in the Hebrew text without actually touching the sacred scrolls on which it appears. This protects the parchment from oil, smudges, or damages that might come through physical contact. Yads come in a variety of materials, and can be wood or metal, but often silver or silver plated is preferred.