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

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25
votes
7answers
2k views

Reason behind pinky during hagba

Why do people lift their pinkies during Hagba?
23
votes
2answers
500 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
229 views

Why, in double parshiyos, are the aliyos not simply combined in pairs?

Consider for example the double parshah Vayakhel-Pekudei. The aliyos from the two individual parshiyos are combined as follows: 2, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3. (Meaning: the first two aliyos are combined into ...
14
votes
2answers
252 views

Why don't we use a translator during Torah reading?

Outside of the Teimanim I am not aware of any other segments of Judaism that still employ a meturgamen (translator) during kriat ha'torah. Why has this practice fallen into disuse?
14
votes
2answers
417 views

Called to the Torah before wedding

I recently received an invitation to a friends wedding and I noticed that it said he would be "Called to the Torah" with a date and time approximately 1 week before the wedding. I am not Jewish, so ...
14
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
490 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
177 views

Out-of-order minyan participation

Some shuls have several minyanim back to back. If one arrives before the Torah reading of the 8:30 minyan and has finished davening before the Torah reading of the 9:30 minyan (to whose Kedusha one ...
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
151 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
643 views

Does golel for first torah stand for second torah?

When there are two or three sifrei torah read on the same day, either the magbiah or golel holds the first sefer while the second is read. In this case should he stand for… kadish after reading from ...
10
votes
2answers
416 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.
10
votes
1answer
444 views

Who gets shelishi if there are no Israelim?

Imagine that the Cohen family reunion is on a Monday. A minyan is planned with a sefer Torah. However, the gabbai, a kohen, looks around and sees that the minyan has nine kohanim and one levi - who ...
10
votes
1answer
434 views

Bar Mitzvah before Circumcision?

If one was never circumcised can they be called up to the Torah for their bar-mitzvah?
10
votes
1answer
202 views

How to call up a ger who converted with his father?

In general a Ger is called up as [name] Ben Avraham. However, what if the Ger converted as a child together with his parents? I would think it is the same but I recently saw someone who is in that ...
10
votes
1answer
85 views

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say?

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say for a newborn, for a sick person, after an Aliyah, etc.?
10
votes
1answer
170 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, ...
9
votes
6answers
864 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?
9
votes
2answers
62 views

process for Gabbai to call his son to the Torah

If the father is the Gabbai ,how should he call his son up for an Aliyah ? Does the father use his own name for example Yaakov ben Moshe? or Yaakov Bnee?
9
votes
2answers
112 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
684 views

חזק חזק ונתחזק Chazak Chazak VeNischazek: why

Why do we say חזק חזק ונתחזק when we end each Chumash?
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
1answer
85 views

Why is the order of returning the sefer-torah different on shabbos than on weekday?

Why on shabbos is ashrai said before returning the sefer-torah and on weekday (nusach ashkenaz) afterwards. This cannot have to do with kaddish tiskabel since this is also done on rosh chodesh where ...
8
votes
1answer
116 views

How are we allowed to take out two sifrei Torah?

The Mishna in Yoma says that when the Kohen Gadol used to read from the Sefer Torah on Yom Kippur, he had to read two portions: one from Acharei Mos and the other from Emor. It says that he used to ...
8
votes
2answers
361 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
2answers
119 views

forgot birkas hachodesh

If a congregation forgot to say birkas hachodesh on the Shabas before rosh chodesh, should it say it another time? When? (Does it, perhaps, depend on what day(s) of the week rosh chodesh is?) Note: ...
8
votes
1answer
147 views

naming convention for a Jew with a non-Jewish father?

If a Jew has a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother, how is he or she: Called up to the Torah, Mentioned in legal documents, such as ketubot, and Mentioned for healing in mi shebeirach? Does any ...
8
votes
2answers
106 views

Why reverse Mishle verses' order?

When putting the Torah scroll back in its cabinet, we — at least most Ashk'nazim — say (among other things) "עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ וְתֹמְכֶיהָ מְאֻשָּׁר. דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי ...
8
votes
2answers
168 views

Why does the Chazzan bow when saying “Gadlu” holding the Torah?

There's a widespread custom for the Chazzan to bow, facing the ark, when reciting "Gadlu" with the Torah before carrying it away. The Aruch Hashulach (282:1) says that one should do this, but doesn't ...
8
votes
1answer
224 views

When to close the ark after putting away the Torah

On shabbat morning when putting away the Torah, many chazzanim like to draw out different tunes for the verses recited then. Should the one honored with putting the Torah back wait until after the ...
7
votes
4answers
186 views

Is it permitted to make kiddush before Torah reading on Shabbat?

I know it's acceptable to have kiddush before Mussaf. Is it acceptable to have kiddush after the kaddish shalem of Shacharit but before the sefer Torah is taken out to be read? (I believe I've heard ...
7
votes
1answer
108 views

Why do we do Hagbaah?

After "leining" the Torah, we pick up the Torah scroll to show everyone. Why do we do this?
7
votes
1answer
325 views

What's the reason of using Yad in reading Torah?

I heard from a Bengali writing - just a single line that - Jews fear their God that much that they even fear to touch the God's word. Then I searched and found that Jews use Yad when they read Torah. ...
7
votes
3answers
199 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
259 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
565 views

Why “new-mother bat her-father” for a woman who gives birth?

When we pray for the healing (refuah) of a woman or girl, we refer to her as "(patient's name) bat (patient's mother's name)", for example "Shoshana bat Michal" or "Rivka bat Shifra Aviva". This is ...
7
votes
1answer
179 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
1answer
130 views

Sale of kibbudim on shabbat / chag

Many shuls have the practice of selling kibbudim (i.e. aliyot, hafotrah, opening the aron, etc.) on major holidays, usually via auction. I've been to some shuls where this is done every shabbat. A ...
7
votes
0answers
108 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate ...
6
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

A meshabarach prior to going on aliyah

My family and I will be making Aliyah in a couple of weeks. Is there a customary meshabarach for a person who is about to make Aliyah?
6
votes
2answers
254 views

Why do we put the belt (gartel) of the Sefer Torah on the top third?

I have observed in the Shuls I Daven in that the one who does Gelila often puts the belt (gartel) on the top third of the Sefer Torah. Is there a reason or source for this? Why not in the middle?
6
votes
1answer
146 views

When there is no Levi, why do we call up the SAME Kohen “bimkom Levi” - “in place of a Levi.”

The Torah.org halakha class says, If a kohen is present in the synagogue, he must be called to receive the first aliyah. After the Kohen, a Levi is called. If a Levi is not present, the same ...
6
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

how to call up a kohen/levi as acharon

Shulachan Aruch (OC 135:10) holds, and Rama (there) seems to also hold, that if a kohen (or levi, m.m.) is called as acharon then the gabai should say "af al pi shehu kohen". The purpose of this is to ...
6
votes
0answers
48 views

How much of the standard תורה service is done on שמחת תורה?

I've seen a number of Simchas Tora customs in Ashkenazic practice and/or prescribed by Ashkenazic prayer books. Specifically, I think I've seen both sides of each of the following dichotomies, ...
5
votes
3answers
133 views

Megilas Esther by day - why is it done after Kriyas HaTorah?

We read Koheles on Succos, Shir HaShirim on Pesach, and Rus on Shavuos, and we always read it prior to Kriyas HaTorah. Then why do we read Megilas Esther on Purim day after Kriyas HaTorah?
5
votes
6answers
252 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
162 views

Which tefilot you say when your minhag differs from that of the shoul your praying in?

Here is the case: This past Sabbath, at an ashkanazi synagogue, a sephardi comes to pray. This is the synagogue that he normally attends (there are about 20 within 1 sq mile). He prays with the ...