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- 1 Taking out the Sefer Torah
- 2 Hagbah
- 3 Gelilah
- 4 Touching the Klaf of a Sefer Torah
- 5 Reading the Torah (Getting an Aliyah)
- 6 Hosafot (Additional Aliyot)
- 7 Procedure When Going up to the Torah
- 8 Behavior During the Torah Reading
- 9 Laws for the Baal Koreh (the Reader)
- 10 Mi Sheberech
- 11 Haftarah (Haftorah)
- 12 Links
- 13 Sources
Taking out the Sefer Torah
Peticha (Opening the Ark)
- The honor of opening the Aron and passing the Sefer Torah to the Shaliach Tzibur or the one who is going to carry it is a great honor and not automatically acquired by the Shaliach Tzibbur.
- When opening the Aron if there's a curtain it is acceptable to move the curtain either from left to right or right to left.
- There is a minhag to give the Peticha to someone who's wife is in their ninth month of pregnancy.
- There is a minhag to give the Peticha to a man who is getting married that upcoming week or recently got married.
Hotza'ah (Removing the Sefer Torah)
- The minhag is to recite Barich Shemey while removing the Sefer Torah from the Aron.
- The minhag is to kiss the Sefer Torah when it is carried out of the aron but one shouldn't touch the Siddur to the Sefer Torah and kiss that since it is appears as though you're using the Siddur as an extension of your hand in a disrespectful way.
- If the wrong sefer torah was taken out of the Aron and it needs to be rolled, it should be rolled and not returned to the Aron. congregation accidentally took. Some poskim hold that it is better to return the sefer torah and take the one which is already rolled to the right spot.
- There is a mitzvah when taking out a sefer Torah for kriyat hatorah to open it up and show it to the whole congregation. Ashkenazim do this after kriyat hatorah and Sephardim do it beforehand.
- In some Sephardic communities they carry the sefer Torah from the Aron to the Bimah while it is open so that everyone can see it better. Other Sephardic communities have the minhag of having it closed while it is taken out. There is no hagbah on the sefer haftorah and it shouldn't be opened when brought to the bimah.
- During the Hagbah the Sefer Torah should be opened so that three columns are seen. However, it depends on the strength of the one doing Hagbah (Magbiyah); if he's stronger he can open it more than three columns and if he's weaker less than three columns. Sephardim only open the Sefer Torah as much as it opens which is generally around one column and that fulfills the obligation.
- Someone weak or has shaky hands shouldn't do Hagbah. He should turn down the honor. Also, the gabbay shouldn't give Hagbah to such a person.
- The honor of Hagbah is very great and the reward for it is tantamount to the reward for all of those who got aliyot combined. Therefore, the honor should be given to the greatest Talmid Chacham present. If someone buys the honor he has first rights.
- It is permitted to touch the Atzei Chayim of the Sefer Torah. Some are strict not to and if one is stringent in this matter to hold the atzei chayim with a tallit or cloth they should do so in a inconspicuous manner so others don't notice.
- Some Sephardim have the minhag to carry the Sefer Torah back to the aron closed and some have the minhag to carry it back open.
- Some people turn to the right and then to the left so that everyone can see the letters of the Sefer Torah, while others turn around in a circle going to the right.
- Ashkenazim have the Magbiyah raise the Sefer Torah so that the words are facing towards him and he raises it high so that it is seen above his head behind him. Sephardim do it such that the words are facing the people looking at the Sefer Torah.
- Even though in theory it is possible for one person to do both Hagbah and Gelilah as was the custom in the days of the Gemara, today the minhag is to have two people do Hagbah and Gelilah.
- The honor of Gelilah is very great but nonetheless it is generally given to children to get them to practice mitzvot.
- The honor of passing to the one who does Gelilah the gartel (belt around the Sefer Torah) and mantel (cloth on the Sefer Torah) is a separate honor from Gelilah. If someone were to buy Gelilah they don't automatically acquire the honor of passing the gartel and mantel.
- During Gelilah the words of the Sefer Torah is facing towards the Magbiyah and not the one doing Gelilah.
- The gartel is wrapped around the Sefer Torah so that the knot, buckle, or velcro latch that opens and closes is attached in front of the words of the Sefer Torah. This way the next time the Sefer Torah is opened it can opened up with the words facing upward and the latch unfastened without having to flip over the Sefer Torah onto its back disrespectfully.
Touching the Klaf of a Sefer Torah
- It is forbidden to touch the klaf of a Sefer Torah barehanded. Even merely touching it briefly is forbidden. A sofer who needs to touch the klaf in order to fix it may do so. However, some say that one only needs to be careful to not touch the parchment of a Sefer Torah while it is being read from or between readings.
- It is forbidden to touch the klaf even after washing one's hands.
- According to many rishonim it is forbidden to touch the klaf of a book of Navi or Ketuvim that was written with ink on a klaf. However, it is the minhag is to be lenient if one first washed one's hands. For example, for megillat ester, the minhag is to touch the klaf after having washed one's hands.
- A person should be very careful while doing Gelilah not to touch the klaf directly. If the klaf needs to be straightened it should be done with the use of a tallit or cloth.
- It is permitted to touch barehanded other Seforim that aren't written on a Klaf with ink, but if one's hands are dirty one shouldn't touch the Sefer until one cleans one's hands.
Reading the Torah (Getting an Aliyah)
Who Can get an Aliya
- Women may not get aliyot.
- Some poskim permit sending up a child who is old enough to understand who he is blessing for an aliya. The child can even count among the seven. Other poskim write that you should not send up a child except for Maftir
- There is much discussion about sending up a blind a person to the torah for an aliya. The minhag is most sephardic communities is to allow it.
- One should not give an aliyah to someone who publically violates Shabbat.
Order of the Aliyot
- There's is a mitzvah to give the Cohen the first Aliyah and the honor of doing Zimmun. Similarly, it is forbidden to use a Cohen for a personal task, however, if the Cohen foregoes on his honor, it is permitted.
- If there's no Levi and there is a Kohen in Shul, the Kohen who got the first Aliyah should also get the second Aliyah.
- The following is the order of those who should get an Aliyah:
- A groom on the day of his wedding,
- a groom who is getting married for the first time, the Shabbat before his wedding,
- a bar mitzvah boy on the Shabbat after his bar mitzvah
- a sandak who holds the baby for the Milah
- a sandak who carries baby in for the Milah
- husband of a woman who gave birth to a girl if the mother comes to shul
- husband of a woman who gave birth to a boy if the mother comes to shul
- groom on the Shabbat after his wedding if the wedding was on Wednesday or later in the week, assuming that either the groom or bride was getting married for the first time
- a person with Yahrzeit for a parent on that day
- a father of a boy who is going to have a Milah that day
- a person with a Yahrzeit in the coming week
- a mohel who performed a Milah that day
- a sandak on the Shabbat before the Milah
- a father of a boy on the Shabbat before the Milah
- a mohel of a baby on the Shabbat before the Milah
- If there is a double parsha, the gabbai should ensure that the parshiyot are connected with the fourth Aliyah.
- If a Yisrael takes the first aliyah when a Cohen is in the shul some poskim hold that it doesn't count towards the count of Aliyot necessary, while others hold it does count.
Father and Son Getting Consecutive Aliyot
- A father and son or two brothers should not get an aliyah one after another because of Ayin Hara.
- Some say the same is true of a grandfather and grandson but in a case of need it is permitted.
- It is permitted for a father and son to get two aliyot in two sifrei torah, such as Chatan Torah and Chatan Beresheet.
- If the minhag is not to call up the person by name it isn't any ayin hara.
- Ideally a father and son or two brothers shouldn't take hagbah and gelilah together but after the fact if they were already called up it is permitted. If the minhag isn't to call up the one who did hagbah or gelilah by name and not to do a mi shaberech for them by name it is permitted even initially.
Hosafot (Additional Aliyot)
- The custom among Sefaradim is to add many aliyot on Shabbat and Holidays, however Ashkenazim only add aliyot on Simchat Torah.
- Some have the minhag not to add any aliyot when there’s a double parsha.
- On Mondays and Thursdays there are no additional aliyot.  However if there are two grooms or two fathers who will be performing a brit milah the custom among Ashkinazim is to add a fourth aliya. 
- One shouldn't repeat pesukim one just read for one aliyah for another aliyah, rather one should read new pesukim or add on new pesukim.
- Even those who are lenient to allow repeating pesukim for an aliyah can't consider it to be one of the seven aliyot of Shabbat.
Procedure When Going up to the Torah
- Before getting an aliya a person should recite the bracha of אשר בחר בנו מכל העמים ונתן לנו את תורתו ברוך אתה ה' נותן התורה.
- After getting an aliya a person should recite the bracha אשר נתן לנו תורת אמת וחיי העולם נטע בתוכינו ברוך אתה ה' נותן התורה.
- A person should make sure to recite the brachot aloud so that at least ten people can hear them and answer amen.
- If a person made a mistake and said the bracha of Asher Natan Lanu before the Aliyah then he can correct it by saying the bracha of Asher Bachar Banu after the Aliyah.
Reading Along with the Baal Koreh
- The one who goes up to the torah should read along with the baal koreh quietly.
- It is permitted for the one getting the aliyah to be the baal koreh himself and you don't have to worry that someone will feel embarrassed that he doesn't know how to lein and he needs the baal koreh since at some points even those who know how to lein will ask the baal koreh to read.
The Proper Way to Hold the Sefer Torah
- When one is called to the Torah for an Aliya, he should hold onto the Sefer Torah while reciting the Beracha. See note for proper procedure.
- It is forbidden to hold onto to the parchment of the sefer torah without an intervening cloth, whether one is involved with rolling the sefer torah during kriyat hatorah or any other time.
Behavior During the Torah Reading
Listening to the Kriyat HaTorah
- Even if the baal koreh pronounces the words in another dialect than one usually uses, such as an Ashekanzi listening to a Sephardi baal koreh, one fulfills one's obligation. The only times for which one should be strict to hear the Kriyat Hatorah from someone who uses the same pronunciation as oneself is Parshat Zachor and Parshat Parah.
Standing for Kriyat HaTorah
- It’s permissible to sit during Kriyat HaTorah and such is the minhag. Some are strict to stand during Kriyat HaTorah (so as to hear it as if one is receiving it from Har Sinai when Bnei Yisrael were standing). Nonetheless, one who has difficulty standing and therefore cannot focus on the leining should sit.
- During Barchu and Baruch HaMiverech LeOlam VeEd one should stand. However, many don’t stand and the minhag has what to rely on.
- One may not stand in a shul where the local rabbi sits because of acting arrogantly (Yuhara).
- One should face the Sefer Torah during kriyat hatorah and not have one's back to the Torah.
Standing for Aseret Hadibrot
- Some have the custom to stand for the Aseret Hadibrot. This is the prevalent Ashkenazic custom. However, the Sephardic Minhag is not to stand for Aseret HaDibdrot.
- On the other hand, the Moroccan custom is to stand. Others recommend giving the aliya to the rabbi so that everyone will stand anyway.
- If one typically stands for the reading of the Torah throughout the rest of the year, there is certainly no issue standing during the reading of the aseret hadibrot.
- Some hold that in a shul where many are standing one should nonetheless remain seated so as to teach others the proper practice. Nonetheless, others argue that one should join the practice of others around him and stand even if it is typically his custom to sit. Some suggest that, in this scenario, he should stand from the beginning of the parsha or at least from the beginning of the aliya so as not to give off the impression that the psukim of the Aseret Hadibrot are more important than the rest of the Torah.
Talking During Kriyat HaTorah
- From the time the Sefer Torah is opened to make the Brachot HaTorah it’s forbidden to speak at all even words of Torah. Giving a halachic ruling is forbidden unless it’s in order to prevent someone from doing a prohibition and it’s impossible to signal to him.
- Someone who speaks during Kriyat HaTorah is culpable for serious transgressions including disgracing Torah by ignoring listening to Torah, making a Chilul Hashem, potentially Lashon Hara, Rechilut or other forbidden speech, speaking mundane words in a shul and the punishments include having one’s Tefillah discarded and a trangession that’s too great to bear.
- Even between Aliya’s it’s forbidden to talk but it’s permissible to learn Shenayim Mikra VeEchad Targum and some permit learn other things, yet others emphasize not to learn with someone else between Aliya’s because it may continue into Kriyat HaTorah.
- It is forbidden to talk during the haftara as well.
Learning Torah During Kriyat HaTorah
- It is forbidden to learn during kriyat hatorah. The only permissible way to learn is if one already heard Kriyat HaTorah (or one will hear another minyan), there are ten others who are listening to Kriyat HaTorah, one is sitting on the side and facing away from the congregation, indicating that he already heard Kriyat HaTorah, one already was learning before the Sefer Torah was open, and one is learning quietly.
- Some say it’s proper to read along with the Baal Koreh word by word in order to listen better and have intent, while others say that one should be quiet and listen intently.
Laws for the Baal Koreh (the Reader)
- Although usually one may not respond Amen louder than the blessing to which one is responding, the person reading the torah may say Amen in a loud voice. This is acceptable because we want to alert the congregation that the reading is beginning.
- On Shabbat, if the one who read the Torah missed a word or pasuk, one needs to repeat that pasuk. Even if the Sefer Torah was already returned to the aron, one should take out the torah and read from the beginning of that pasuk and two other pesukim as well.
- According to Sephardim if the Baal Koreh makes a mistake even if it doesn't change the mean the congregation should correct him and he should fix it. After the fact if they already finished the aliyah they shouldn't go back to the mistaken pasuk.
- According to Ashkenazim if the Baal Koreh makes a mistake only if it changes the meaning should they correct him.
- Just like the Baal Koreh has to be careful not to make mistakes, so too the one taking the Aliyah needs to as well.
- When reciting the name of the person in a mi sheberech the minhag is to recite the person name and his mother's name such as ploni ben plonit. If the mother's name isn't known you can use the father's name for a mi sheberech.
- In a hashkava for a deceased person Ashkenazim mention the name of a person's father and the Sephardic custom is to mention the mother's name.
- One may not speak when the maftir is reading the Haftorah.
- One does not answer amen after the words Neemarim BeEmet but only after VeTzedek.
- The best thing to use for Haftorah is a handwritten complete sefer of Navi.
- Some poskim hold that it is better to use a handwritten Haftorah sefer instead of a printed complete Tanach. Some hold it is better to use a printed Tanach than a handwritten Haftorah sefer.
- If the haftorah is being read from a complete handwritten sefer only the maftir should read it and everyone should listen. However, if they are using a printed sefer or a handwritten incomplete sefer such as a Haftorah sefer, the maftir should read the Haftorah aloud and the rest of the congregation should read along quietly. If one is still in the middle of the Haftorah and the Maftir finished the Haftorah, one should pause and listen to the Brachot. Some say that the minhag is that everyone just listens quietly irrelevant of what it is being read from.
- If it is a double parsha, the Haftorah comes from the second parsha.
- At the end of the closing Brachot of the Haftarah, a Sephardi Chazzan should answer Amen to his own Bracha.
- Inyonei Krias Hatorah by Rav Herschel Schachter
- Rama 147:2 citing the Mordechai. Mishna Brurah 147;15 comments that although someone does Peticha he just passes the Sefer Torah to the Shaliach Tzibbur and he carries it to the Bimah.
- Perisha 128:23 writes that the concept of always moving from left to right only applies to when you have to turn but not if you're just moving in a straight line right to left. (The concept of lighting Chanuka candles doesn't seem to fit this model.)
- Kaf Hachaim cited by Dirshu 147
- Dirshu 147
- Mishna Brurah 134:13
- Rav Chaim Kanievsky (quoted by Ohel Yakov Kavod Ukedushat Sefarim p. 1)
- Igrot Moshe OC 2:37 writes that if they took out the wrong sefer torah it is a dispute between earlier poskim whether it is considered a disrespect to the first sefer torah and a concern that people will think it is invalid. The Gemara Yoma 70a says that it is forbidden to use two sifrei torah for one aliyah since people will think that the first one is invalid. However, that concern doesn't exist when switching sifrei torah between aliyot. Potentially before they started to read altogether that's like between aliyot and there's no concern of it appearing invalid. On the other hand, since they didn't read from that sefer altogether it appears to be invalid. Rav Moshe concludes that one who follows either option has what to rely upon. Yet if the congregation doesn't mind they should roll it as opposed to returning it. Rav Ovadia Yosef OC 8:15:4 and Halacha Brurah 144:5 agree.
- Mayim Chayim Mashash 2:19 writes that although it is a machloket haposkim if it is better to return the sefer torah or to roll it in public since rolling it in public isn't respectful to the congregation's time and also will lead people to speak friveously.
- Masechet Sofrim 14:14
- Shulchan Aruch and Rama 134:2
- Vayisbor Yosef 5:9 cites the Halachot Ketanot 2:255 and Rav Shmuel Meyuchas (Tefillah 12:5) as saying that minhag Yerushalayim was to carry the sefer torah to the Bimah with it open so that more people could see it. Vayisbor Yosef quotes many sources regarding this minhag and establishes that this was the minhag in Israel and Syria but not in Egypt. Ben Ish Chai (Shana Sheniya, Toldot no. 16) writes that the minhag Baghdad was to carry it open and then do another hagbah when the Sefer Torah got to the Bimah. Yabia Omer OC 7:16 writes that this was the minhag of Yerushalayim.
- Yabia Omer OC 7:16 explains that the reason for hagbah so that everyone can see the letters of the sefer torah doesn't apply to the haftorah. However, if there is a community with a minhag to carry out the sefer haftorah open if they won't listen to stop their minhag they can continue.
- The Mishna Brurah 134:8 quotes the Magen Avraham who says that the sefer torah should be opened so that 3 columns can be seen. The Magen Avraham suggests that 3 is specific. Mishna Brurah concludes that it all depends on the strength of the Magbiyah. If he's strong he can do more than 3 columns and if he's weaker less than 3. Bikarei Shemo 14:14 p. 241 suggests that reason 3 columns should be open is because doing so is an expression of kavod hatorah to see it wide open.
- Halacha Brurah end of 134:19 writes that Sephardim open the Sefer Torah only so much as the case can open. It isn't a concern that it isn't opened to 3 columns and it is similar to the Mishna Brurah 134:8 who says a weak person doesn't need to open the sefer to 3 columns.
- Mishna Brurah 147:7
- Gemara Megillah 32a, Tur and Shulchan Aruch O.C. 147:1. Even though the Shulchan Aruch writes that the honor should be given to the greatest of those who got an aliyah today, the Mishna Brurah 147:6 writes that the minhag today is to give the Hagbah to the greatest in the shul.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 147:1, Mishna Brurah 147:8
- The Bach 147:1 writes that it is indeed forbidden to directly hold the atzei chayim, wooden poles, of the Sefer Torah. Rather one should hold them using a cloth or a tallit. The Mishna Brurah 147:2 writes that the halacha is that it is permitted to touch the atzei chayim and someone who is stringent should only do so in an inconspicuous fashion so others won't realize out of a concern of Yuhara. Chazon Ish (cited by Dirshu 147:4) holds that it is permitted to hold the poles and one doesn't need to be strict.
- Ben Ish Chai (Shana Sheniya, Toldot no. 16)
- Yabia Omer OC 7:16, Yaskil Avdi 8:24:5:3
- Masechet Sofrim 14:14 rights that one should show the open sefer torah to the right and to the left. Shulchan Aruch 134:2 codifies that. Mishna Halachot 11:103 writes that the minhag is just to turn to the right and left and there is no need to turn completely around.
- Beer Sheva (Shevuot 15b s.v. umzeh) explains that the hagbah should be down turning around going counterclockwise. Shevet Halevi 9:26 writes that it is best to turn all the way around with the sefer torah and cites the Mishna Brurah as a support. Orchot Rabbenu (v. 3 p. 216) writes that the Chazon Ish would turn around completely first turning to the right and going counterclockwise. For example, if the shul is towards the east he faces the east, south, west, north, and east again. Then he would turn to the right again. See Mishna Brurah 134:9.
- Rama 147:4, Mishna Brurah 147:16
- Bach 134 writes that the Maharam held that Hagbah should be with the Sefer Torah facing the people. Maamar Mordechai 134:1 disagrees. Halacha Brurah 134:20 writes that the Sephardic minhag is to turn the words of the Sefer Torah to the congregation. Baruch Hashem siman 20 agrees because he proves from Eruvin 97b that the greatest way to honor a Sefer is to have it open for the public to read and turning it to the Magbiyah is less respectful. A similar idea is found in Minchat Yechiel 2:85 who writes that it is always an honor to the Torah to have it facing the people. That is the way it is placed in the Aron, the way it should be carried to the Bimah, and the way it sits on the Bimah. That's symbolized with the concept of "Yaar Hashem Panav Eylecha," that Hashem's countenance should face you.
- Rashi Megillah 32a
- Bet Yosef 147:4 citing the Maharik, Mishna Brurah 147:17
- Mishna Brurah 147:7
- Mordechai end of Megillah cited by Bet Yosef 147:2, Shulchan Aruch O.C. 147:2
- Mahari Ibn Chaviv in Bet Yosef 147:4, Rama 147:4, Mishna Brurah 18. Mahari Ibn Chaviv explains that once the Magbiyah didn't it the Sefer Torah shouldn't be turned around for the benefit of the golel since it isn't respectful to have the Sefer Torah turned for the convenience of a person.
- Tosfot Megillah 32a citing Rabbenu Chananel, Rosh cited by Bet Ysef 147:4, Tur, and Shulchan Aruch 147:4, Mishna Brurah 147:18
- Gemara Megillah 32a, Tur and Shulchan Aruch O.C. 147:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 23:4, Mishna Brurah 147:1
- Mishna Brurah 147:1
- Ben Ish Chai S"S Toledot 18
- The Mordechai cited by Bet Yosef 147:1 permits touching a sefer torah after having washed one's hands. The Rama 147:1 rules that it is forbidden to touch a sefer torah even after washing one's hands. Mishna Brurah 147:4 agrees.
- Bet Yosef 147:1 citing the Agudah, Rama 147:1 is strict. However, Birkei Yosef 147:1 citing Shev Yakov 11 is lenient.
- Rama 147:1 and Mishna Brurah 147:3
- Gemara Megillah 32a states that someone who touches the klaf of a Sefer Torah with their bare hands will be buried bare. The gemara is troubled by that and instead concludes that he will be buried without the mitzvah that he was involved with at that time. Tur and Shulchan Aruch O.C. 147:1 codify this halacha. Mishna Brurah 147:2 gives as an example that if the klaf isn't straight and needs to be fixed it can be done with the use of a tallit or cloth.
- Mishna Brurah 147:3
- Gemara Megillah 23a. Bet Yosef 53 writes that a congregation can be mochel on their kavod with respect to having a child be shaliach tzibur. Bach argues. Rav Yitzchak Yosef (Motzei Shabbat Ki Tisa 5779 min 21) explained that even though according to the precise halacha women can get aliyot but because of the fifth volume of Shulchan Aruch they can't.
- Yechave Daat 4:23
- Mishna Brura 282:12, Mikor Chaim 3: pg. 110, Rav Osher Weiss
- see May a Blind Person Get an Aliya by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
- see Tzitz Eliezer 11:10
- Igrot Moshe 4:91:8
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 144:8
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 144:9
- Shulchan Aruch 135:8
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 78:11. For more detailed lists see Magen Avraham 282:18 and Biur Halacha 136 s.v. Beshabbat.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 78:3
- Pri Chadash 135:6 holds that the aliyah of the yisrael in the place of the Cohen doesn't count for an aliyah and his proof is Gittin 59b. However, the Nodeh BeYehuda OC 2:14 argues that it counts and the gemara only meant that it is a common misconception. Mishna Brurah 135:20 and Halacha Brurah 135 accept the Nodeh Beyehuda.
- Shulchan Aruch OC 141:6 based on Kolbo
- Mishna Brurah 141:19
- Mishna Brurah 141:20 writes that it is permitted to give a father and son two aliyot back to back in two sifrei torah with the maftir in another sefer torah. Dirshu on Mishna Brurah 141:19 citing numerous poskim who are lenient in the case of Chatan Torah and Chatan Beresheet.
- Rama 141:6, Mishna Brurah 141:21
- Shulchan Arukh Orach Chayim 282:1,2
- Nefesh Harav p. 139 cites Rav Moshe Solovietchik that one shouldn't add any hosafot when there's a double parsha to avoid the dispute of how they should be added.
- Shulchan Arukh Orach Chayim 135:1
- Rama Orach Chayim 135:1
- Rama 282:2 writes that it is forbidden to repeat pesukim for one aliyah that one just read for another aliyah. Mishna Brurah 282:10 and Aruch HaShulchan 282:8 confirm this position as well. Although Shulchan Aruch 282:2 permits, the Kaf HaChaim 282:19 writes that one shouldn't do so, though a community which has such a practice has what to rely upon. See Shu"t Heichal Yitzchak (Orach Chaim Siman 6), Yabia Omer (vol. 6 Orach Chaim Siman 26:4, vol. 9 Orach Chaim Siman 27), and Chazon Ovadia (Shabbat vol. 2 page 222). See Nehar Mitzrayim (Orach Chaim Hilchot Tefilah) for a humorous anecdote about how the Egyptian community used to go overboard with extra aliyot on a Simcha and then make the Chazzan do Mussaf beKol Ram because of the lateness of the hour. The first time Chacham Refael Aharon ben Shimon experienced this as rav of a Kehillah, he went over to the Baal Simcha who was attempting to persuade the Shaliach Tzibbur to do Mussaf beKol Ram and told him that "You gave everyone else an Aliyah. Now Hashem wants one, too." After that, there was no more Mussaf beKol Ram in his shul.
- Shulchan Aruch 137:6, Mishna Brurah 282:9, Aruch HaShulchan 282:8
- Shulchan Aruch OC 139:8
- Shulchan Aruch OC 139:10. Ramban Niddah 51b s.v. ha explains that even though generally there's no bracha for completing a mitzvah which you have a mitzvah to continue since there's no bracha for a sin but for completing kriyat hatorah which is a takana of the rabbis there is a bracha after completing the mitzvah.
- Shulchan Aruch O.C. 139:6 writes that the brachot need to be aloud and if they aren't some say that they need to be repeated. Biur Halacha s.v. vehabrachot concludes that although it is reasonable that they need to be heard by ten people so that it is considered a bracha in a congregation, after the fact even if ten people didn't hear the bracha they don't need to be repeated.
- Mishna Brurah 139:15 citing the Magen Avraham
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 141:2, Yechave Daat 4:11 based on Rosh Megilla 3:1 and 10
- Igrot Moshe OC 4:91:7
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 139:11. Rabbi Yosef Chaim (Ben Ish Chai Parashat Toledot Halacha 18) elaborates on the details of how precisely one should hold the Torah. He writes that when one is called to the Torah, he should first look at the text and see the first verse that will be read. He should then cover the writing with a cloth, and the text should remain covered until after the Beracha. While reciting the Beracha, one should hold onto the Torah scroll, his right hand should hold onto the right scroll, and his left hand should hold the left scroll. One should hold the Torah itself, and not the casing. As it is improper to directly touch the parchment, one should hold the Torah with a cloth, such as his Tallit. After completing the Beracha, one should remove his left hand from the Torah but continue holding the Torah with his right hand. He should continue holding onto the Torah with his right hand throughout the reading of the Torah. The Ben Ish Hai notes that this procedure is based upon the teachings of the Arizal, as written in Sha’ar Ha’kavanot.
- Megillah 32a says that a person who holds the parchment of a sefer torah without a covering of his hands he doesn't receive reward for the mitzvah he did while holding onto the sefer torah. Chazon Ovadyah (Shabbat vol 2, p. 266) writes that its forbidden to hold onto the parchment during kriyat hatorah or at any other time.
- Yalkut Yosef 282:15
- Shulchan Aruch OC 146:4
- Rama 146:4 cites that this was the practice of the Maharam. M.B 176:19 quotes the Bach who explains that even the Maharam agrees that, strictly speaking, standing is not required.
- M.B 146:19
- M.B 146:18 writes that according to everyone, one must stand at this point because this is a davar she’bekedusha
- Mishna Brurah 146:18-20, Piskei Teshuvot 146:6. See Ba'er Heitiv 146:5 who quotes Magen Avraham that one should stand for brachot hatorah and the Shaar HaTziyun 146:20 who disagrees. One would have thought it would be required to stand for the entire Torah reading just as we stand for any davar sh’be’kedusha (i.e. Kaddish, Barechu, and other parts of the service that require a minyan). However, Beit Hillel explain that since the Torah says regarding Kriat Shema “uvi’lechtecha va’derech” (Devarim 6:7), one may recite the Shema in any position (in Berachot 10a). By extension, Rav Soloveitchik thought that the same could be applied to any recital of psukim from the Torah and even during the berachot before the kriat ha’torah that one may listen in any position (Rav Schachter on yutorah.org “Inyonei Krias Hatorah” min. 56). This is recorded in Nefesh Harav p. 124. However, see Teshuvot Vehanhagot 1:141 who quotes the Brikser Rav who comes to an opposite conclusion that one must stand. Piskei Tshuvot 146:6 quotes from Rav Chayim Vital who testifies about the Arizal that he would always sit during the leining and the Barechu preceding the leining.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter in a shiur on yutorah.org "Inyonei Krias HaTorah" (min 55) based on Baba Kama 86b where it says that any talmid who observes a midat chasidut which his rebbi doesn’t observe in the presence of his rebbi deserves to be excommunicated. See also Yalkut Yosef 145:12
- Rambam (Talmud Torah 10:10), Shulchan Aruch YD 282:1. Rav Schachter (Hilchot Kriyat HaTorah II:10) writes that some hold that if one doesn't face the kriyat hatorah one doesn't fulfill one's obligation.
- The Rambam (Sh"t Harambam Siman 46) writes that we should prevent others from following the custom to stand because there is a concern that allowing people to stand will lead to a lack of Emunah in the sense that people might come to believe that the Aseret Hadibrot are more significant than the other psukim in the Torah. The Chida writes that since we read the Torah every Shabbat, we demonstrate that the entire Torah is true and we thus need not fear that people might begin to think that the Aseret Dibrot are more significant than other pesukim in the Torah. Additionally, Rav Hershel Schachter (The Aseres Hadibros) writes that the fact that we read the pesukim differently (i.e. by stopping after each dibur as if there is a sof passuk) is an indication that we are attempting to reenact Ma'amad Har Sinai, thus perhaps also for this reason it would be permitted to stand.
- Sh"t Igrot Moshe OC 4:22. Siddur Beit Yaakov, Shaarei Ephraiim, and the Chida (all quoted in Dirshu M.B 494:3) had this custom. This custom is based on the idea that we strive to remember and even emulate the manner in which the Aseret Hadibrot were given at Har Sinai. Just as at Har Sinai the entire Jewish nation stood in awe and even trembled, so too, when we read the Aseret Hadibrot in shul, many stand in an effort to re-reexperience Matan Torah. See, however, R’ Elyashiv (in his shiurim on Berachot 12a), who writes the Rambam is truly correct that one should not stand.
See Ten Minute Halacha: Standing for the reading of aseres hadibros by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz for more background
- Yalkut Yosef 145-6:12 and 14, Shu"t Yechave Daat 1:29, Rav Chaim David Halevi in Shu"t Aseh Lecha Rav 6:21, Rabbi Chaim Jachter . Chacham Ovadia Yosef (Yechave Daat 1:29 and Yalkut Yosef 145:12 writes that one should stop others from standing specifically for the Aseret Hadibrot. All the more so, if someone decides to stand in a place where there are many Talmidei Chachamim who know the halacha and sitting, one should stop him, as the person standing will otherwise be perceived as haughty. Chacham Ovadia concludes that many poskim who permit standing simply lost the teshuva of the Rambam.
- Rabbi Shalom Messas (Shemesh U'magen 1:57, 3:55:3) defends the practice to stand even for Sephardim. Rabbi Mordechai Lebhar writes that this is the prevalent custom for Moroccans. (Magen Avot, Orach Chaim 1:5)
- Ish Matzliach 5: page 200
- The issue the Rambam posed is simply not relevant if one is standing during the leining all year as no one will come to think that certain psukim are more important than others. Also, see Rav Hershel Schachter (The Aseres Hadibros)
- Rav Elyashiv (in his shiurim on Berachot 12a) writes the Rambam is truly correct that one should not stand, and, therefore, even if everyone is standing, one should remain sitting because everyone else is acting incorrectly.
- Chacham Ovadia Yosef (Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov pg. 314). Dirshu Mishna Brura 494:3 quotes Sh"t Dvar Shmuel and Avuhav 276 that in a place where everyone stands you should not stop this practice, because the intent is clear that people are trying to beautify their mitzvah performance as if they are going to greet the Shechina. Similarly, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach writes that since everyone knows that we are standing as a zecher le’ma'amad har sinai we should not stop people who stand. Since we also stand for other portions of the Torah such as Shirat Ha’yam we therefore need not be concerned.
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein writes (O.C 4:22) that although logically it would seem to make sense to forbid people to stand, since on a practical level it has never happened that heretics have convinced Jews who are not knowledgeable that some pesukim in the Torah are more important than others, we are therefore permitted to stand. Thus, if you are coming from a place where they never stood and you arrive at a place where everyone is standing you should join them.
- Yalkut Yosef (145:14) writes that an individual who is in a shul in which they stand and he does not have the ability to change the practice of the shul should ensure to stand from the beginning of the Torah reading or at the very least from the moment the person called up for the aliya of the Aseret Hadibrot lest he end up sitting amongst everyone else who is standing which will be perceived as a disgrace to the Kedusha of the Aseret Hadibrot.
- S”A 146:2, Mishna Brurah 146:4,5
- Beiur Halacha 146 s.v. VeHaNachon
- Mishna Brurah 146:6, 15
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:4
- Shulchan Aruch 146:2, Aruch Hashulchan 146:5, Piskei Teshuvot 146:4.
- The Gemara Sotah 39a establishes that it is forbidden to learn in the middle of kriyat hatorah, however, the rishonim try to explain how why Rav Sheshet was allowed to turn his face away and learn during kriyat hatorah as recorded in Brachot 8a. Tosfot (Brachot 8a s.v. Rav Sheshet) says that he learned quietly. The Rif (Megillah 14b) answers that he learned all the time and as such he was exempt from certain mitzvot (torato umanuto). The Rosh Brachot 1:7 cites both opinions. Rabbenu Yonah (Brachot 4a s.v. Rav Sheshet) writes that if he turns away his face before they start kriyat hatorah then he can learn since he is indicating that he isn't involved with kriyat hatorah now (and he going to fulfill that obligation another time). The Bahag (cited by Rif Megillah 14b) holds that in all cases it is only permitted to learn if there are already ten people listening to the kriyat hatorah. The Shulchan Aruch 146:2 cites all four of the above opinions. Mishna Brurah 146:9 cites the Eliya Rabba that today we don't have someone who learns all the time (torato umanuto). The Aruch Hashulchan 146:5 writes that it is only permitted to learn if one already started before they start kriyat hatorah, one turned away one's face, there are ten others who are listening to the kriyat hatorah, and one is learning quietly.
- Mishna Brurah 146:15 quoting Magen Avraham says to read along with Baal Koreh, while Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 24:3 and Piskei Teshuvot 146:5 say that it’s better to listen quietly.
- Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 1:106
- Shulchan Aruch 137:3, Mishna Brurah 137:8. Nishmat Adam 31:1 writes that one does not need to read the pesukim in order and if one is repeating for a missed one pasuk one doesn't need to continue to read everything afterwards in order.
- The Rambam Tefillah 12:6 writes that the Baal Koreh should be corrected even for a small nuance. The Shulchan Aruch 142:1 adopts the opinion of the Rambam. Although the Mishna Brurah 142:1 implies that the Shulchan Aruch agrees with the Rama, the Kaf Hachaim 142:1 clarifies that this isn't the case. Kaf Hachaim indeed proves from the Zohar and other kabbalistic sources that every single punctuation and musical note (trup) is vital to the kriyat hatorah. (See also Mishna Brurah 143:21 that the Rama often argues with the Shulchan Aruch even without writing Yesh Omrim.)
- The Rambam Tefillah 12:6 implies that the Baal Koreh should be corrected even if he makes a mistake on one nuance in the pasuk. However, the Tur 142:1 cites the Manhig who sounds like you don't have to correct the Baal Koreh at all. The Mahari Ibn Chaviv (cited by Bet Yosef 142:1) proposes a compromise based on the Rosh. Only if the mistake changes the meaning of the words then the Baal Koreh should be corrected. The Rama 142:1 rules like the Mahari Ibn Chaviv.
- Kaf Hachaim 142:1
- Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 1 p. 368), Yabia Omer OC 2:11. He cites several reasons for this minhag. 1) Since generally the identification of the mother is more certain than the father that is why the minhag was established with the mother's name (Zohar Lech Lecha p. 84a, Kaf Hachaim 284:37, Maharshal in Chachmat Shlomo Shabbat 66b). So as not to embarrass a child of a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father we mention the mother's name always (Yafeh Lelev 3:605). 2) It is hinted to in the pasuk of "והושיעה לבן אמתך" (Tehillim 86:16) and "ואני עבדך בן אמתך" (Tehillim 116:16) (Zohar ibid., Melamed Lhoil OC 1:23). 3) Chazal said that symbolically the flesh comes from a person's mother and one's bones from one's father. Therefore, while a person is alive the mi sheberech is made using the mother's name and after he's dead we use the father's name (Rashi Kiddushin 30b, Mekor Chesed 242:1). 4) It is more effective to pray for mercy using the mother's name since she isn't accountable for bitul torah (Ben Yehoyada Brachot 55b).
- Yabia Omer OC 2:11:5
- Melamed Lhoil 1:23, Chazon Ovadia (Aveilut v. 1 p. 368) based on Shabbat 66b, Kaf Hachaim 284:37, Yabia Omer 2:11.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:4
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:3
- Gemara Gittin 60b, Magen Avraham 284:1. See however, Yachava Daat 5:26 who questions whether it is really better since once it was permitted once in history because it was impossible otherwise perhaps that halachic leniency is canonized. In fact, Chikrei Lev 1:57 holds that once it was permitted to write an incomplete sefer the leniency continues and that's why the minhag is not to use a complete sefer.
- Rav Ovadia in Yachava Daat 5:26 holds that it is better to use a handwritten haftorah sefer instead of a printed Tanach since it has more kedusha as many poskim hold printing a sefer isn't considered ketiva. Chazon Ish 60:11 (cited by Dirshu) held that there's no preference for a printed tanach than an incomplete sefer since a printed tanach is made of separate pages and is considered a sefer that chazal wouldn't warrant to write. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shulchan Shlomo 284:1, cited by Dirshu) holds that it is better to use a sefer haftorah than a printed Chumash. See Rav Poalim 4:33 who writes that a sefer haftorot is an invalid sefer and once it is invalid it doesn't matter if it is invalid in one way or multiple ways. See also Chikrei Lev 1:57.
- Magen Avraham 284:1 writes that it is better to use a printed Tanach or complete sefer of Navi rather than a chumash with printed haftorah. He explains that it is better since a printed sefer is considered a properly written sefer and therefore if it is complete it is warranted by chazal. Taz 284:2 also agrees that printing is like ketiva.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:5. * Rabba and Rav Yosef in Gemara Gittin 60a state that one can't read from a Sefer Haftorot since it isn't supposed to be written since it isn't a complete Sefer of Tanach. However, the Gemara concludes that it is permitted since it is otherwise impossible for every congregation to have a complete set of Navi klafim handwritten. Why shouldn't you read it if it isn't shouldn't be written? The Meiri seems that once the rabbis said it was forbidden to write they also didn't want people to read from it once it was written. However, the Ritva Gittin 60a explains that since the incomplete sefer shouldn't be written reading from it is like reading pesukim by heart, which is forbidden. Similarly, the Chatom Sofer O.C. 1:68 explains that reading from an incomplete sefer is forbidden just like reading by heart since both of them are forms of transmitting Torah that could lead to mistakes. According to that approach, assuming like Tosfot Temurah 14b s.v. devarim it is forbidden to read from an incomplete sefer for others. Tosfot Temurah holds that one could read pesukim by heart for oneself but not to exempt others. Gra 49:2 holds that opinion is correct. And Magen Avraham 49:1 is concerned for it. Accordingly, Chatom Sofer concludes that if they are reading the haftorah from an incomplete sefer the congregation should read to themselves. Gra in Maaseh Rav n. 136 and Mishna Brurah 284:11 agree with that logic. * The Ritva and Meiri write that the halacha is that it is permitted to write an incomplete sefer because of Et Laasot LaHashem. Kol Bo siman 20 quotes the Rashba who writes that one can read the haftorah from an incomplete sefer. Bet Yosef 284:1 quotes this. * Magen Avraham 284:5 quotes the Arizal who said that a person should read the haftorah to oneself and listen to the brachot. Pri Megadim E"A 284:5 points out that everyone should read along quietly and listen to the congregational reading otherwise if no one listens to the congregational reading and just reads silently it isn't a reading of a tzibur. Maaseh Rav n. 136 also makes it clear that one should read word by word with the Shaliach Tzibur.
- Chatom Sofer O.C. 1:68 agrees with the approach of the Arizal and Gra to read along quietly but adds that the minhag is that everyone listens without reading along.
- Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 79:6
- Yerushalmi Brachot Perek 7, quoted by Rif Brachot 33b and Rosh 7:11. Ritva Hilchot Brachot 6:5, Pekudat HaLeviim (Ra’ah) Brachot 45b, Birkeh Yosef OC 215:1, Yosef Ometz 68, Ben Ish Hai vol. 1 Masei Seif 14, Kaf HaChaim OC 215:1, Yechave Daat 2:23, Yabia Omer vol. 8 OC 25:10 and vol 9 OC 108:102, Ohr LeTzion vol. 2 page 134, Halichot Olam vol. 2 page 130, Birkat Hashem vol. 1 6:18. See Answering_Amen_to_Your_Own_Bracha
|( V | T )||Specific parts of Prayer|
| Birchot HaShachar - Birchot HaTorah - Korbanot - Kaddish - Pesukei DeZimrah - Barchu - Birchot Kriyat Shema - Kriyat Shema|
Amidah: Shmoneh Esrei - Mashiv HaRuach - Atta Chonen - Atta Chonantanu - Hashivenu - Slach Lanu - Refaenu - Barech Aleinu - Yaaleh VeYavo - Al Hanissim - Sim Shalom - 3 Steps - Chazarat HaShatz - Kedusha - Birkat Cohanim - Havinenu
Post-Amidah: Kriyat HaTorah - Hagbah and Gelila - Tachanun, Ashrei, Aleinu, Shir Shel Yom
Other daily prayers
|Mincha - Mariv/Arvit - Repeating Shema at Night - Bedtime Shema - Tikkun Chatzot|
|Tefillat HaDerech - Mussaf - Hallel of Rosh Chodesh|