How does one do Hagbahah on a Torah in a Sephardic Torah case, such as one of these silver cases (picture courtesy of Hadad Brothers) :

Silver-covered cylinder with two hooks along one side that, when opened, allow it to be opened up around hinges that run up and down the other side

See also the Ashkenazi version of this question.

2 Answers 2

  1. While it is on the bimah, turn the Torah around so that the opening is away from you and then open up the scroll. You should be looking at the back of the Torah, standing immediately next to the bimah.
  2. Put your right hand so that it is on the right vertical edge of the right side of the case (reverse instructions for lefties), about half way up.
  3. Slowly shift the Torah backwards until its edge is starting to come off of the bimah (you can support it with your chest). Once you have room to do so, stick your left hand underneath the bottom of the left side of the case (so you are supporting it underneath with your left hand, and on the side with your right).
  4. Let the Torah come the rest of the way off the bimah and support it completely with your hands and chest. Try to lift it up higher if you can.
  5. Turn around in a circle (turning to your right). And then carefully put it back down.

Caution: don't try this unless you have some measure of physical strength. This is not like an Ashkenazi torah where balance is the key.

Also, this has nothing to do with the silver case - it is related to the Sefardi-style Torah's (many of which will not have a silver case like the one shown above).

  • (many of which will not have a silver case like the one shown above).. What will it have?
    – Menachem
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 6:14
  • 1
    The cases are almost always wood (as this one is). Many will have some silver work (like the one above). Sometimes they will just have decorative panels, illustrations and dedications in the wood, velvet drapings, etc. See here and here for some other images. Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 6:19
  • Thanks for the clarifications about the cases. I updated my question to reflect that.
    – Menachem
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 18:29
  • What I've seen in Syrian synagogues is that hagbah is done while the Torah is carried from the Ark to the bimah, so no need to lift from the bimah. Is that not universally the case?
    – JMS
    Commented Feb 29 at 16:30

AFAIR, the chazan puts the Torah on the Bimah (the table where the Torah is read) (which is level to the ground, not tilted upwards). It is then picked up and opened away from the person doing Hagbah.

I don't know of any public domain images, but here are a few pictures on Google images.

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