I've been in a number of shuls where the Rov of the shul will get up before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos and say some sort of "drasha". Sometimes it was connected to the parsha or inyunei d'yoma (i.e. before a yom tov, etc.) Or sometimes to "strengthen" the kehillah with words of "chizzuk" or mussar.

Where does this come from that the Rov should speak at this time? Perhaps it was only because of convenience that usually everyone was together and also it's not disrupting a particular part of the tefillah.

Many often find this bothersome that they are being forced to listen to a drasha at such a time and rather not make the tefillah any longer than it already is.

I'm asking to see if there is any source for this "minhag" in earlier seforim or sources.

An additional point, I once heard that it says one shouldn't speak before Krias HaTorah as it's not kavod for the Torah to speak (even Divrei Torah) right before the Torah itself is supposed to be read from. Is there a makor to this?

  • In an Ashkenazi (i.e. Nusach Ashkenaz) Beit Keneset I used to go to, one of the Gaba'im used to read a few Se'ifim from Chayei Adam, between Shacharit and Qeri'at ha-Torah on Shabbat.( The Rav would deliver his Derashah the evening before, between Qabalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv.) I think part of the idea was to add opportunities for saying Qadish.
    – Tamir Evan
    Jan 26, 2014 at 15:40
  • Not an answer but something nonetheless,Be'er Heitev 151:5
    – sam
    Jan 26, 2014 at 16:46
  • faculty.biu.ac.il/~fixeled/Derash.doc
    – sam
    Jan 26, 2014 at 18:40
  • I have not seen the source inside, but I've been told that this is the modern equivalent of the meturgaman who used to translate during the reading. Instead of during the reading, the rabbi is summarizing the reading before it begins. I know of a few rabbis who do this kind of summary before leining and also a full sermon later (after mussaf).
    – Moshe Katz
    Apr 17, 2023 at 1:58

3 Answers 3


Rashi says that Rav Yosef would give a Drasha before Musaf on Shabbos. Apparently when people weren't eating, or weren't eating much anyway. From Rashi it sounds like they would finish Shachris and Krias HaTorah, go to the Beis Medrash to hear the drasha, and then go to the Beis HaKenesses to daven Musaf.

Regarding saying the Drasha after Krias HaTorah rather than before, there is a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe to that effect. I'm not sure where to find it, though. However, shortly after the Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away they started saying a Drasha in 770 (his shul) before Krias HaTorah, and then publicly corrected it to do it after when the letter was pointed out, so I'm confident it exists.

(Regarding what to do about the kaddish before Musaf, the practice on Rosh Chodesh is to say a chapter of Tehilim first, because of the interruption of removing Tefillin - especially those that put on Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin at that time. It may be a good idea to do that in the case of a Drasha after Krias HaTorah as well, but it is not clear that the situation is exactly the same).

However there are those, especially those who strictly follow the Mishna Brurah, who argue to specifically not interrupt between Ashrei and the Kaddish before Musaf.

So the bottom line is that there is no perfect place for a Drasha according to all opinions that will still keep the crowd, but today's reality is that this is likely the only opportunity to make one in many Shuls, and that is taking precedence.

  • 2
    If you could find the letter that would be great!
    – Yehoshua
    Jan 28, 2014 at 21:16

A possible answer to this question is that the Drasha does not present itself as a hefsek during Tefilla. Recall that the various Megillot (Shir HaShirim, Ruth and Kohelet) are read prior to Kriat HaTorah.

In many shuls, the Drasha is said after the Sefer Torah is returned to the ark, just prior to Mussaf. The issue with that arrangement is that the Kaddish right before Mussaf therefore has no basis, since the Ashrei, Mizmor LeDavid and concluding pesukim U'Vnocho Yomar were said prior to the Drasha.

  • 1
    Right! Can you please quote sources? Jan 27, 2014 at 17:45
  • 1
    That explains why it isn't at a different time, but the OP was also asking why we do it at all, given the (assumed) inconvenience it causes. Jan 27, 2014 at 19:16

So then, the most acceptable place to do have the Drasha, and we do this a few times is to say it immediately after the Haftorah on every Shabbos and Yom Tov, before the Sefer Torah(s) are returned. In fact we do it when it's Yizkor or Tekiat Shofar (since there can not be a hefsek once the Tekiahs have started.)

The only problem is that the Sifrei Torahs have to be lying flat and covered with a Tallis during the Drasha and not being held by the Maghbia on the bench.

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