This is a gift for a Bat Mitzvah girl becoming a woman today: a wooden arm and hand to point your way among the forested words of Torah.
In normal times you might give a nice pen, some money, or even an elegant pointer to nudge a young person that they might learn and keep the faith.
But now we enter this place with more urgency, less polish. This pointer is not painted nor does it end with silver fittings but abruptly at the elbow. The arm up to the base is mostly covered, white long- sleeved in all weathers, the cuffs split open now by paramedics' scissors.
Where the index finger— shorthand for the hand's defining work— would normally extend, you have instead a fragment, left cauterized in place; the other four reach out, still, underlining the next vital phrase.
And though it is uncomfortable to hold or claim as your own, you may one day need to take up this arm and hold your place in the book, in your land, no matter what.