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There's nothing in the verse you link to about reading aloud or as part of a prayer service. People nowadays study the Bible in synagogues all the time, and this was undoubtedly true in those days. (An almost contemporaneous account of this is in the Babylonian Talmud M'gila, in the middle of column 2 of folio 28 in the name of R. Ashi.)


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Rabbi Shaul Lieberman discusses pionting with a finger on pages 15-16 of his Hellenism in Jewish Palestine. He does not say so explicitly but I would conjecture, based on what he does say, that because pointing can also be seen as a haughty act that it is done in a diminished capacity ie with the smallest finger. See note 92 therein.


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The Shulchan Aruch - Yoreh Deah סימן שפד - האבל אסור בתלמוד תורה says that: ב אִם הָאָבֵל (ב) כֹּהֵן, וְאֵין בב''ה כֹּהֵן אַחֵר, אָסוּר לוֹ לַעֲלוֹת לִקְרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה.‏ Even of the mourner is the only Cohen, he cannot be called up. The באר היטב however clarifies that in סימן ת - דיני אבלות בשבת the Shulchan Aruch says that on Shabbat a mourner ...


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Shaarei Efrayim (shaar 1 sif 23 and shaar 8 sif 109) says that he should not be called up in the first place and should be asked to leave before the kriah. If he was called up already, then on weekdays he can't take the aliya but on Shabbos he can.



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