Aryeh and Nava Abramovitz, good friends of Rabbi Joel and members of Kehilat Ma'ayanot (Rabbi Joel's Jerusalem community), visited Kol Nefesh over the weekend of 13-14 February. Aryeh taught us the system of chironomy (Torah-reading hand signals) that he uses to great effect at Ma'ayanot.
This link takes you to a series of video images of the signing for each note
This is a summary of the principles of Chironomy
Chironomy: a system of hand signals for reading from the Torah Design principles:
· One handed signalling: signal comprised of a hand shape and movement.
· Unobtrusive movements: should not attract undue attention from the rest of those present; nor be distracting to the reader.
· Signals must be distinct from one-another and easily and quickly identified from peripheral vision.
Guidelines for the Signaler (Somech) and Reader:
· Signaling is a memory aid; the Reader must be prepared.
· Somech needs to be ‘tuned-in’ to the Reader, signaling only when and what is needed.
o e.g. no need to signal unnecessary information; e.g. pashta after mahpach.
· Timing timing timing! Signaling needs to be well timed, analogous to how far in advance you look to the next taam when reading from Humash.
· An agreed upon signal from the Reader for ‘give a Sign’ or ‘repeat Sign’ would be useful.