I've recently attended minyanim with no Levi and each time, the Kohen was called up twice. The confident Gabbaim seem to just declare 'Bimkom Levi' whilst the less confident ones just mumble.

'Bimkom Levi' isn't a fully formed statement and it seems odd to me that this is what the Gabbai should be saying to re-call up the Kohen.

What should the Gabbai actually say in this situation? (Sources please)

  • I've heard "Yaamod Bimkom Levi", in case that changes a for you. Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 13:57
  • @רבות interesting. Isn't the guy already standing up there?
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 14:39
  • Yaamod could mean that he should remain standing. BTW, I've always heard the gabai say "Ain kan cohen, yaamod cohen bimkom levi."
    – Mordechai
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 20:28
  • @mordechai why would he say ain can cohen and then call up a cohen? Did you mean "ain man levi"? Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


So firstly to ascertain a source for a Kohein going up in place of a Levi:

Rambam in Mishneh Torah in Hilchos Tefillah and Bircas Kohanim 12:19 writes:

אֵין שָׁם כֹּהֵן עוֹלֶה יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְלֹא יַעֲלֶה אַחֲרָיו לֵוִי כְּלָל. אֵין שָׁם לֵוִי כֹּהֵן שֶׁקָּרָא רִאשׁוֹן חוֹזֵר וְקוֹרֵא הוּא עַצְמוֹ פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה בִּמְקוֹם לֵוִי. אֲבָל לֹא יִקְרָא אַחֲרָיו כֹּהֵן אַחֵר שֶׁמָּא יֹאמְרוּ הָרִאשׁוֹן פָּסוּל וּלְפִיכָךְ עוֹלֶה כֹּהֵן אַחֵר. וְכֵן לֹא יִקְרָא לֵוִי אַחַר לֵוִי שֶׁמָּא יֹאמְרוּ אֶחָד מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם פָּסוּל:

Should no Cohen be present, an Israelite goes up to read the Torah and a Levite should not follow. Should no Levite be present, the Cohen who read the first section, reads the second section in place of a Levite. Another Cohen however does not read after the first, lest it be said that the one first called up was unfit and that therefore another Cohen went up. So too, one Levite does not read after another, lest it be said that one of them is unfit. (Sefaria translation)

And then a source for the Gabbai calling him up "בִּמְקוֹם לֵוִי" - The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 23:9 writes as follows:

כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ כֹּהֵן בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת צְרִיכִין לִקְרֹת אוֹתוֹ תְּחִלָּה, וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הוּא עַם הָאָרֶץ אֶלָּא שֶׁהוּא אָדָם כָּשֵׁר, הוּא קוֹדֵם אֲפִלּוּ לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם, וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם הַכֹּהֵן רוֹצֶה לִמְחֹל לֹא מַהֲנִי. וְאַחַר הַכֹּהֵן קוֹרִין לֵוִי, וְאִם אֵין שָׁם לֵוִי, קוֹרִין אֵת הַכֹּהֵן אֲשֶׁר עָלָה בִּמְקוֹמוֹ, וְאוֹמְרִים: בִּמְקוֹם לֵוִי, וְאִם אֵין כֹּהֵן בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, קוֹרִין בִּמְקוֹמוֹ לֵוִי אוֹ יִשְֹרָאֵל, וְיֵשׁ לִקְרֹת אֵת הַיּוֹתֵר גָּדוֹל בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁנִּמְצָא שָׁם (עַיֵּן מג"א סקל"ה סק"ז), וְאוֹמְרִים: אִם אֵין כָּאן כֹּהֵן, לֵוִי בִּמְקוֹם כֹּהֵן, אוֹ יִשְֹרָאֵל בִּמְקוֹם כֹּהֵן. וְאִם קָרְאוּ יִשְֹרָאֵל בִּמְקוֹם כֹּהֵן, אֵין קוֹרִין אַחֲרָיו לֵוִי. יִשּׁוּב שֶׁכֻּלָּם כֹּהֲנִים אוֹ לְוִיִּם, יַעֲשׂוּ שְׁאֵלַת חָכָם אֵיךְ יִתְנַהֲגוּ.

If there is a Kohein present in the synagogue he must be called [to the reading] first. Even if he is an unlearned person, provided he is an upright person, he has preference over a [Torah] scholar. Even if the Kohein wants to forgo [his right] he may not do so. After the Kohein, a Leivi is called. If there is no Leivi present, the Kohein who was called [first] is called [again] in his (the Leivi's) stead, and [the gabbai] announces: "Instead of a Leivi." If a Kohein is not present in the synagogue, a Leivi or Yisrael is called in his stead; and in such a case we should call the most learned in Torah among those present, and [the gabbai] announces: "If there is no Kohein present, a Leivi instead of a Kohein," or: "a Yisrael instead of a Kohein." When a Yisroel is called in place of a Kohein, a Leivi is not called afterwards. A community made up of only Kohanim or Levi'im should put the question to a learned sage as to how to conduct themselves. (Sefaria translation)

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    – msh210
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 17:13

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