Bagdad: ca 1870. Manuscript. 38.5" in height. Hand painted with calligraphy and clad in silver at the top. The wooden case is decorated with floral motifs below the pounded silver at the top (keter torah "crown") and its base. A dated inscription in Hebrew is painted onto the front accompanied by two well rendered images on the front and back. The front image depicts the Tomb of Rachel and the rear image shows the Kotel (Western Wall). The inscription also includes the name of the community and its Rabbi. The case is adorned with Ashkenazi (Polish-Warsaw) Rimonim (Finials) and breastplate, all in silver.
The inscription reads:
"This holy Sefer Torah, is dedicated in honor of our teacher, Exilarch of Babylonia (head of the Jews in the Babylonian Diaspora), Sinai and mover of mountains*. Under whose tutelage we have delighted and settled [Rabbi Yosef Chaim, 'may his rock and redeemer protect him']. Here in this Beit Knesset "Tzalat Al Zeirei", Bagdad, Lag Ba'Omer (33rd day of the counting of the Omer), 1879."
* "Sinai and Mover of Mountains" is a Talmudic expression, referring to a scholar of breadth and depth.
Interior with watercolor inscription in blue, starting with "This is the Torah of Moses... This Torah case is dedicated in memory of the holy soul." On the facing side the inscription bears the names of those who donated the Torah, dated 1879, flanked by floral illustrations. The Torah scroll is a handwritten 19th century Sephardic Hebrew manuscript on Gvil (fine deerskin parchment), and has not been thoroughly examined. Item #42292
*Yosef Chaim or Yoseph Hayyim (1835 – 1909) (Hebrew: יוסף חיים מבגדאד) was a leading Iraqi Rabbi, authority on halakha (Jewish law), and master Kabbalist. He is best known as author of the work on halakha, "Ben Ish Hai" (Son of Man (who) Lives), a collection of the laws of everyday life interspersed with mystical insights and customs addressed to the masses and arranged according to the weekly Torah portion.