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Parochet on a mobile ark at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

A parochet (Hebrew: פרוכת) (also paroches; meaning "curtain" or "screen" [1]) is the curtain that covers the Aron Kodesh (Torah Ark) containing the Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls) in a synagogue.

The parochet symbolizes the curtain that covered the Ark of the Covenant, based on Exodus 40:21. "He brought the ark into the Tabernacle and placed the screening dividing curtain so that it formed a protective covering before the Ark...".[2]

In most synagogues, the parochet which is used all year round is replaced during the High Holy Days with a white one.

The term parochet is used in the Bible to describe the curtain that separated the Kodesh Hakodashim (Holy of Holies) from the main hall called "Hekhal" [3] of the Temple in Jerusalem. Its use in synagogues is a reference to the centrality of the Temple to Jewish worship.

The U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art in Jerusalem houses the oldest surviving parochet, dating to 1572.[4]



  1. ^ Sonne Isaiah (1962) 'Synagogue' in The Interpreter's dictionary of the Bible vol 4, New York: Abingdon Press pp 476-491
  2. ^ The Ark
  3. ^ Stinespring W. F. (1962) 'Temple, Jerusalem' in 'The interpreters Dictionary of the Bible' vol 4 p 536
  4. ^ Jewish Italian Heritage Lives On in Jerusalem