I remember learning once that each of the fingers served a different purpose. I don't recall if this was in Talmud or Shulchan Aruch. What do our sources say is the purpose behind each of the different fingers?

  • : maybe the picture here?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 2:51
  • 1
    Kesubos 5b
    – robev
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 3:16
  • 2
    Well, the thumb is to more easily hold things, the index finger is to point to things... I mean, what is it that you’re looking for?
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


Zeret: The pinky finger. In Shemos 39:9 it is used as a measurement, which when doubled, serves as the length and width of the Kohen Gadol’s breastplate.

Kemitza: The ring finger. In the grabbing flour part of a kemitza offering, this was the finger it would start from, spanning to the ama and etzba fingers.

Ama: The middle finger. From the end of this finger to the elbow is the ama measurement for building and vessels.

Etzba: The pointer finger. Used to sprinkle blood of sacrifices on the alter.

Godel: The thumb finger. Used to purify a metzora with blood and oil.

(sourced) Picture from wiki

  • Add the source discussing the fingers from the Talmud(Shabbat or Pesachim?) and it would be an even better answer. Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 8:36

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