Maternal Torah

Maternal Torah • Ben Uri Gallery

This treasure is a sculpture by Jewish artist, Jacqueline Nicholls. It comes from the Ben Uri Gallery. Entitled ‘Maternal Torah’, the work is made of sinamay, a lightweight fabric often used for making hats.

Jacqueline Nicholls says:

From the sefer torah we have the proportions, the oval top with the two holes, the fringing. From the woman’s corset there are the very feminine shapely curves, the ribbon binding at the back, and the fringing…

Torah is often described in traditional learning circles as a feminine object. The torah is held, kissed, even married to (on Simchat Torah).

The corset seems to be a perfect metaphor for Torah, and halacha (Jewish Law) – it gives shape, support and constraint.

The phrase ‘Torat Imecha’ is from the book of Mishlei (Proverbs) – ‘listen children to your father’s instructions, but do not forget your mother’s torah (torat imecha).’

Visit the artist’s website here:


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