I was in shul and the Torah reader was not careful not to block the words with the Yad when he was reading. I was taught that he should be careful, but I did not tell him anything I first want to find a source

Please help me
What I found

The reader uses a yad (literally, "a hand"), usually a six to eight inch piece of silver fashioned in the shape of a finger, to point to the words of the Torah as he reads them. This is done so the reader does not obstruct the vision of the person honored with the aliyah and does not mar the dignity of the Torah by touching it. 

In other words what is the source of the idea that it is wrong to "obstruct the vision of the person honored with the aliyah" (and maybe this problem applies to the Torah reader himself)
(and a plus: a source discouses specifically the yad blocking the view)

  • 2
    It's halakhah that he has to read it with a reader silently. If he can't see the scroll, he can't fulfil the mitzvah. he.wikisource.org/wiki/… May 24 '20 at 10:55
  • @Kazibácsi thank you, but how do you know he needs to see every letter? sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Orach_Chayim.141.2
    – hazoriz
    May 24 '20 at 13:36
  • 1
    I can only speak in my own name, but if a hand obscures the text being read, I can't follow it lacking an X-ray sight. May 24 '20 at 14:06
  • If I wrote you an answer using this source, would you accept that? May 26 '20 at 10:54
  • 1
    @Kazibácsi סומא אינו קורא לפי שאסור לקרות אפי' אות אחת שלא מן הכתב sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Orach_Chayim.139.3
    – hazoriz
    May 26 '20 at 11:56

I'm not sure if this is helpful since I can't think of sources about the the yad as such. But it does seem to be a long standing principal that removing one's eyes from the words even for a second during a public kriah is an issur because then you are transmitting torah shebitkhav in public from memory and it invalidates the reading. So blocking would be a big no-no for anyone who was trying to fulfill a public kriah either directly or through a shaliach:

Tanchuma, Ki Tissa 34: Just like someone participating in oral torah by doing the targum can't glance at the text, so someone reading from the text can't glance away and temporarily go oral: כְּתָב לְךָ אֶת הַדְּבָרִים, הֲרֵי מִקְרָא. כִּי עַל פִּי הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, הֲרֵי מִשְׁנָה עַל פֶּה. דָּבָר אַחֵר, כְּתָב לְךָ. מִכָּאן אָמְרוּ: הַמְתַרְגֵּם לַקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה, אָסוּר לוֹ לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בַּתּוֹרָה וּלְתַרְגֵּם. וְהַקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה, אָסוּר לוֹ לִתֵּן עֵינָיו חוּץ מִן הַתּוֹרָה, שֶׁלֹּא נִתְּנָה הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא בִּכְתָב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְכָתַבְתִּי עַל הַלּוּחוֹת אֶת הַדְּבָרִים אָסוּר לִמְתַרְגֵּם לְעַיֵּן בַּתּוֹרָה וּלְתַרְגֵּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כְּתָב לְךָ אֶת הַדְּבָרִים, הֲרֵי הַמִּקְרָא. כִּי עַל פִּי הַדְּבָרִים, תַּרְגּוּם שֶׁנִּתַּן עַל פֶּה

(And surprisingly this passage has been quoted as halacha, apparently: ה) שם לסייע למתרגם וכו' המתרגם אסור להסתכל בכתב והקורא אסור ליתן עיניו חוץ מן התורה תנחומא וירא פ"ו)

bTa'anit 28a: But this only seems to be a big deal in public readings, so maybe that's why it's taught concerning the yad?: תא שמע דתניא בשחרית ובמוסף נכנסין לבית הכנסת וקורין כדרך שקורין כל השנה ובמנחה יחיד קורא אותה על פה אמר ר' יוסי וכי יחיד יכול לקרות דברי תורה על פה בצבור אלא כולן נכנסין וקורין אותה על פה כקורין את שמע:

Aruch HaShulchan Orach Chaim 690: And this sort of thing must be what they usually mean when they say that reading from memory invalidates a megillah reading, no? I mean, there are stories about megillah "readings" when no scroll is at hand but this seems to be a simpler understanding of that issur:

וכבר נתבאר שצריך לקרותה כולה מתוך הכתב, ואם קראה על פה – לא יצא ידי חובתו. ולכן אם קרא הפסוק השני בעל פה, ואחר כך קרא השלישי מתוך המגילה – לא יצא, וצריך לחזור ולקרות מן המגילה מן הפסוק השני כסדר עד סופה.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .