the prayer service and ceremony surrounding communal reading from the Torah scroll

learn more… | top users | synonyms (4)

30
votes
9answers
3k views

Reason behind pinky during hagba

Why do people lift their pinkies during Hagba?
13
votes
4answers
572 views

What's a good technique for a not-so-strong person to do [Ashkenazi] Hagbaha?

I've seen many people shy away when asked to do Hagbaha (‏הגבהה‏), thinking themselves too weak. I know for a fact that it doesn't take that much strength to do it correctly, so I'd love to ...
12
votes
1answer
227 views

Why are some bakashot made on Shabbat?

As I understand it, we don't make prayers of request (bakashot) on Shabbat (cf Rambam Shabbat 30:12). For that reason, we omit so many liturgical requests because of shabbos - e.g., Avinu Malkeinu, ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

I'm in the middle of Tachanun when they take out the Torah; what do I do?

This happens to me a lot on Mondays and Thursdays: I'm just putting down my head to finish Tachanun when the baal tefilah says kaddish, the aron is opened and the Torah is taken out. Do I stop what ...
5
votes
6answers
320 views

Is B'rich Shmei said while the Torah sits in the Aron, or as it's held (by whom?)

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Custom for a mourner to be chosen to read the haftora every week

The Chabad rabbi near me has the custom of taking (for himself) both the kaddish recitation after the Torah reading (when applicable) and the reading of the haftorah on Shabbat — specifically ...
3
votes
3answers
304 views

Kissing a Sefer Torah as it passes

Some people in shul mark it as a sign of respect, as the Torah makes its way to/from the Aron Kodesh, to kiss it, and rush to get as close as possible. Others, given the cold season, think that this ...
14
votes
1answer
329 views

“Yaamod p'loni ben p'loni… chazak”?

The last ole (person called to the Torah) (besides the maftir) of Vaychi, P'kude, B'chukosay, and Mas'e is, in my experience, called using the formula "yaamod p'loni ben p'loni sh'vii chazak", with ...
10
votes
2answers
519 views

How does Hagbah work on a Sephardic Torah case?

How does one do Hagbah on a Torah in a Sephardic Torah case, such as one of these silver cases (picture courtesy of Hadad Brothers) : See also the Ashkenazi version of this question.
4
votes
3answers
266 views

Talking during Torah reading

Is one permitted to talk during the communal Torah reading?
24
votes
2answers
585 views

How does a son call up his father for an Aliyah?

Suppose a son is the Gabbai in a Shul and needs to call up his father for an aliyah (or his brother who is the son of his father). Does the son say his father's name? Does he say something else ...
12
votes
3answers
179 views

2 Sifrei Torah for close readings

This morning we read Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1 - 24:18) and the special reading of Parashat Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16). The custom everywhere I have ever seen is to remove two Sifrei Torah from ...
7
votes
3answers
217 views

Must readers be called to the Torah by name?

"I was in one place recently where they are very strict about calling people's names before they approach the Torah and another place where the people just came up one-by-one, having arranged ...
6
votes
2answers
276 views

Formal Hebrew honorific for one's mother

Many men, when going up for an aliya, tell the gabbai their name as, e.g. "Reuven ben Rav Yaakov", even if "Yaakov," the father, isn't actually a Rabbi." I believe the reason for this practice is to ...
5
votes
0answers
132 views

Hazi“v La”kh: what's behind the division?

The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 31a) tells us that the Haazinu song (Devarim 32) was sung weekly in the Temple and divided into six segments, given by the mnemonic HaZIV LaKh הזיו לך (where each letter is ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Hagbah of the Yemenites (Temanim)

I was learning in a sefer which discusses a case where they couldn't do hagbah, and the Mechaber suggested to do the hagbah like the Teimanim which is to leave it on table in some way, but I didn't ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

When an adopted child is called to the torah, how are they named?

When an adopted child is called up for an aliyah, how are they referred to? Are they called ben-(adopted parents' name) or something else? Are there any qualifiers involved? I'm given to understand ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
10
votes
2answers
136 views

Why doesn't saying the sh'ma satisfy torah-reading requirements?

According to this answer to a related question, the g'mara on Bava Kamma 82a requires reading torah at least every three days because we should never go longer than that without words of torah. But ...
6
votes
2answers
159 views

Can the Torah be read in shul if a minyan is present after the point in the service designated for Torah reading?

There have been instances where we had 9 people in the shul, and we began to daven Mincha Shabbat afternoon. We finished our individual Shmoneh Esreh, when the 10th person appeared. Can we go back and ...
2
votes
2answers
235 views

How to deal with the parts of the Torah reading that are pre-empted by the congregation

Sometimes, our traditional approach to the reading includes having the congregation recite a short section of the reading aloud before the Torah reader does it, and then he follows. The most ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
10
votes
2answers
423 views

What do I do when asked to “open the Aron” or “take out the Torah”?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Who broke the parshiyot into aliyot and how?

The Torah readings on Shabbat are broken into 7 aliyot. I know that there are rules for the minimum number of pesukim for each aliyah but I am wondering who set up the exact placement of the aliyah ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of hazak u'baruch?

Hazak u'barukh is a phrase commonly said after one does something in the synagogue (e.g., after an aliyah). What is its origin?
8
votes
4answers
831 views

חזק חזק ונתחזק Chazak Chazak VeNischazek: why

Why do we say חזק חזק ונתחזק when we end each Chumash?
7
votes
1answer
222 views

Why call so many olim “moreinu”?

I davened in a couple of different Chassidish shuls over the past few days, and in two different places (Tenka and Munkacs), I noticed that nearly all men who were called up for an aliya were ...
7
votes
4answers
304 views

maftir as an honor

A bar mitzva or bridegroom is usually (in congregation I'm familiar with, or, at least, Ashkenazic ones) given maftir. Why is this, considering that it's the lowliest of all the aliyos? (The question ...
5
votes
2answers
612 views

What is the correct response to “Chazaq u'Baruch!”?

When a person gets an aliyah or other synagogue privilege the congregants of an Ashkenazic synagogue generally thanks him by saying "Shokyach!" or "Yasherkoach!" to which he responds "Baruch Tehiye!". ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Why are there different intro. prayers for calling the Kohen aliyah on Shabbat vs. weekday?

Prior to calling the Kohen aliyah for Torah reading, there is an introductory paragraph said by the gabbai or ba'al kri'ah. Following is Nusach Ashkenaz as found in Art Scroll and Birnbaum, Ashkenaz, ...
5
votes
1answer
47 views

Is “קל ארך אפים” said if the Torah's not to be read from?

Tachanun is supplemented on Mondays and Thursdays by extended tachanunim starting "V'hu rachum". On those days, after tachanun is half-kadish (kadish l'ela, as some call it), a short paragraph that ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Song while dressing the Torah

As we dress the Torah in my congregation and many congregations I've been to, we sing (from the siddur's liturgy on putting away the Torah): Mishlei 3:18,3:17 עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים ...
4
votes
3answers
294 views

What is the Proper Way to Read Genesis 35:22?

In Parshas Vayishlach, there is a verse (Genesis 35:22) that contains a "Piska Be'emtza Pasuk": a new paragraph in the Torah scroll begins in the middle of the verse. However, unlike with other ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status?

What is to be done with a Sefer Torah written by an apikoreis, or by a soffer of unknown apikoreis-status (whether it be a question of the status of the soffer who wrote it, or if it is unknown who ...
3
votes
2answers
293 views

Can one say “Hazak u'Baruch” to both men and women? If not, is there a female equivalent?

When returning from an Aliyah la'Torah, I am commonly met with "Hazak u'Baruch". I have encountered this saying in other situations when someone does something praiseworthy. Can one say "Hazak ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Who & When composed the prayer said prior to calling the Kohain to the Torah?

In this question and answer Why are there different intro. prayers for calling the Kohen aliyah on Shabbat vs. weekday? there seems to be a question remaining as to when the prayers of ותגלה ותראה ...
1
vote
3answers
169 views

Why isn't it considered idol worship to give respect to the torah?

When the Sefer Torah is brought out of the ark, everyone stands up and kisses it. On occasions such as simchat torah and hoshana rabbah people dance around the Torah. To an outsider these actions can ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Two Yahrtzeits One for Mother one for Father who comes First

All other things being equal Halachically, if you have two people with Yahrtzeits one for a mother and one for a father, who has priority with regards to getting an Aliyah (and/or davening for the ...