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I was taught (Conservative) that the Torah has several of the attributes of a person, and is only one step below God in authority. I tend to provide the same respect to the Torah as I would a flag officer.


There is a difference between respect and worship. Respect means that you are honoring something because it is important to you, and worship is when you perform a service to something that has power so that you will receive something in return.


As the Rambam codifies in Hilchos Avoda Zara 3:5, only four activities are "objectively" idolatry when done in honor of something other than G-d, and forbidden to do to any idol. 1) Prostration, 2) Animal Sacrifice, 3) Incense burning, 4) Libations. Outside of those four things, it is only idolatry if done as part of the normal service of the idol. So an ...


The reason for the custom is that according to those who understand these matters, Monday and Thursday are Yemei Rotzon, days of added Divine "favor", and Shabbos afternoon is also known in Kabbala as a time of Raava d'Raavin, a time of extreme Divine favor. So it is seen as especially auspicious to have one's first aliya during that more Jewishly ...


Shaare Efrayim 8:60 and many other works cite the custom to call an esteemed person for this aliya. Perhaps "rabi" is used in the formula because it's typically a rabbi (as indeed it is in my own experience).

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