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I've noticed that people usually stay standing after hagbah until the Torah is dressed, even after the magbia sits down. Is there a mekor for this practice, or is it muttar to sit once the magbia holding the sefer Torah is seated?

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Once the Torah is held by someone who is sitting one can sit. –  sam Sep 29 '13 at 23:21
    
I stay standing because the hagbah may stand up again in the shuffle (maybe to help the gelilah). –  Charles Koppelman Sep 30 '13 at 1:10
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@CharlesKoppelman I don't remember ever seeing the magbiah stand again to help with the g'lila. I have sometimes, however, seen him stand to put the sefer elsewhere (some synagogues have designated spots for the s'farim after g'lila, and IIRC some place them on the table for the haftara), to pass it to another, or to sit elsewhere. –  msh210 Oct 2 '13 at 17:52
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The Mishnah Berurah (146:17) explains the ruling of the Mechaber that one doesn't need to stand for keriat ha-torah, because when the Torah is "in its place" one doesn't need to stand: א"צ לעמוד וכו' - ואפילו העומדים על הבימה דא"צ לעמוד מפני ס"ת אלא כשאדם נושאה אבל כשמונחת במקומה א"צ...וכן אפילו כשאחד תופסה בידו כגון בעת שקורין ההפטרה כיון שהוא יושב במקומו א"צ לעמוד לפניה. The Sha'ar ha-Tziyun explains further: ובפרי מגדים כתב דאפילו הוא עומד עמה (כגון בעת שמזכיר החזן נשמות), גם כן אינו מחוייב אז לקום לפניה, כיון שהחזן עומד עמה במקום אחד, ולפי זה הוא הדין בעת שפותחין הארון, כי הלא בכל זה במקומה מונחת. והעולם נוהגין בכל זה לעשות הידור לתורה ולעמוד. ועיין באליה רבה שדעתו, דבעת הגבהה מחוייבין הכל לעמוד אף שהיא ברשות אחרת, וטעמו דהרי הוא מגביה להראותה לעם ומחוייבין לכבדה. According to this reasoning, one would not have to stand during gelilah. This halakhah is stated explicitly by the Maharam Schick (Orach Chaim no. 65) which I found cited in the Leket Kemach ha-Chadash.

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Until the outer cover is placed on the sefer Torah, the magbia is logistically compelled to hold the sefer Torah in a manner that might be described as not at rest. If this is in fact not considered a resting position, people should stand until the magbia can reposition the sefer Torah into its resting position. –  Fred Oct 29 '13 at 1:07
    
Well, given that the Maharam Schick says that he is discussing "בדין אי חייבין בשעה שאוחזין ספר תורה מזמן גלילה עד הכנסתה למקומה" and never makes such a chilluk, it seems like he does not consider that type of holding to be "not at rest". –  Malper Oct 29 '13 at 17:54
    
@Malper I just read the Maharam Shik. The phrasing you mention is relevant to the lenient position that he takes. His interpretation of the stringent position is less clear, though. He writes (paraphrased): "When the Sefer Torah is at rest or being held while sitting, whether in it's place or not (in the case of sitting, this means whether the person is sitting in his intended final spot, or whether he is sitting down while pausing on the way to his final spot), whether the Sefer Torah is resting in a vertical or horizontal resting position, everyone agrees that people don't need to stand." –  Fred Oct 30 '13 at 23:40
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