New answers tagged torah-reading
I think you may be confused regarding the term "maftir" and how it works. "Maftir" refers to the "additional" aliyah that occurs after the other 7 required aliyot on Shabbat. There is always a maftir, so there is no additional maftir. It is merely that one maftir is substituted in place of the standard weekly maftir. Some people call the Haftarah "maftir". ...
According to this (It's a Google book, on p. 154 - in case link has a problem,) the first use of the Torah pointer in Europe was in Northern Italy dating back to the 15th century.
The earliest reference to its use is in connection with the schools of Bethar before the destruction of that place in the war of Bar Kokba (132-135). http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/15047-yad
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