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  • Sing "vayhi binsoa" as the Aron is opened by -- let's call him Mr. Opener
  • Brich Shmei is said
  • Chazan is now holding Torah scroll and says Shema (or Gadlu).

I've seen different things happen for Brich Shmei:

  1. Torah sits in Aron the entire time, chazan receives it afterwards from Opener.
  2. Torah is taken out and held by Opener immediately, then handed off to chazan after Brich Shmei
  3. Torah is taken out and immediately handed to chazan, who holds it for Brich Shmei.

Any practices I missed? Are any of these documented as proper?

I suspect this has something to do with the source for Brich Shmei altogether. Rabbi Artscroll says when we're taking out the Torah is an ideal time for beseeching Hashem (if I recall correctly), probably something kabbalistic.

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4. Take out and give Torah to chazan during Brich Shemay. –  Yahu Sep 26 '10 at 6:06

4 Answers 4

In an Ashkenaz Artscroll Machzor (for Yom Kippur) it seemed to imply like #1: Everything is said, and right before Gadlu (or Shema) the Torah is taken out and given to Chazan.

And that is what the Shul I davened in did (again, Ashkenaz)

The above has a source. However, I have noticed that general practice in many Shuls (whether correct or incorrect) is to hand over the Sefer Torah right away (i.e. some time during B'rich Shmei). In these cases it was usually some variation of #2 and #3.

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By Sephardim the Aron and the Torah(we keep ours in wooden cases) are both opened, and then Brikh Shmei is recited typically followed by Tehillim 127, and then the Torah briefly closed, lifted out of the Aron and handed to the person who will be carrying it, re-opened, Gadlu is said while it is being carried to the Teiva, Hagbah, the Torah is then set upon the Teiva and closed until the Kohen ascends for the first Aliyah.

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There's different minhagim about whether the sefer torah itself is opened at any time before it reaches the Teiva. The minhag you mention is that of Syria and Jerusalem, but Morrocans, Persians, and Turks (to name a few) don't open the sefer torah until it reaches the Teiva. –  Chanoch Sep 26 '10 at 23:23
    
I grew up Morrocan and that is how we did it. Whenever I davned by the Persians in LA it was the same deal. It was how the Ben Ish Hai said to do it, and well he was Persian. –  Rabbi Michael Tzadok Sep 27 '10 at 6:30
    
The Rav Pealim Chelek 3 Siman 8 also holds that you should say Brich Shmei after the Sefer Torah is taken out of the Aron Kodesh. I am not sure where you are basing your Ben Ish Chai on? –  Gershon Gold Sep 29 '10 at 0:20

In Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4 Siman 70 Section 9 HaRav Moshe Zatzal quotes from the Shaarei Efraim Hilchos Kriyas HaTorah Shaar 10 Section 1 "In the time you open up the Aron Kodesh to take out the Sefer Torah the congregation says Vayehi Binesoa - and after you take out the Sefer Torah the congregation says Brich Shmei. Since no one disagrees with this Shaarei Efraim that is what you should do. However we are not Moche if someone takes out the Sefer Torah after Brich Shmei - but if someone asks he should be told the correct way."

The Rav Pealim Chelek 3 Siman 8 also holds that you should say Brich Shmei after the Sefer Torah is taken out of the Aron Kodesh.

However the Darchei Chaim V'Sholom in Os 196 brings down that the Munkatcher Rebbe Zatzal would say Brich Shmei while the Sefer Torah was still in the Aron Kodesh, and that is also how the Sidur HaRav Paskens.

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Can we get a location? Thanks! –  yydl Sep 28 '10 at 2:24

It's not so simple that Berich shmei should be said at all.

It is not in the very old siddurim, it is rather a new thing that came about in the last several hundred years.

Not everyone says it. Some omit it entirely, others don't say it every time the sefer Torah is taken out, just sometimes.

Minhag Ashkenaz (German) is not to say it at all. Some non-German gedolim also omitted it.

See lengthט discussion on the topic in sefer שרשי מנהג אשכנז חלק א

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Mordechai, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the interesting information! We'd love to have you as a fully-registered member, which you can accomplish by clicking register, above. –  Isaac Moses Sep 29 '10 at 2:34
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Mordechai, that is an interesting point. Your answer would be more fitting for a question such as "What is the source for saying Berich Shmei" (which you may ask yourself under "ask a question"). Also, most of us don't own a copy of שרשי מנהג אשכנז, so if the point is too lengthy to quote, try to track down an online source (like on hebrewbooks.org) and link the page. –  YDK Sep 29 '10 at 4:33
    
Actually the "minhag" of many Ashkenazi shuls is to say "Brich Shemei Bai Ana Rachitz etc.", skipping all those hard to pronounce words in the middle! ;-) –  Yahu Oct 3 '10 at 16:11

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