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Parochet on a mobile ark at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

A parochet (Hebrew: פרוכת; Ashkenazi pronunciation: paroches) meaning "curtain" or "screen",[1] is the curtain that covers the Torah ark (Aron Kodesh) containing the Torah scrolls (Sifrei Torah) 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 Hebrew Bible to describe the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies (Kodesh Hakodashim) from the main hall (hekhal in Hebrew)[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