After hagbahah and gelila (in Ashkenazi schuls), the Torah must remain out until the proper point of return. In some schuls, I have seen special furniture to hold the Sefarim. In others, I have seen chairs set aside for the people who had lifted the Torah to sit in and hold the Sifrei Torah.

While I assume that both practices are halachically acceptable, is there a preferred variant, in terms of kibbud Sefer Torah and halacha?

  • 2
    A student of Rav JB Soloveitchik once told me that his teacher (RJBS) once told him that one must remain standing if the Torah is being held by a human even if that human is seated. (This doesn't seem to be the commonly held view.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 5:54
  • @DoubleAA do you have any more info about that
    – sam
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


The Igros Moshe OC 1:38 writes that one should not use a special piece of furniture to hold a sefer Torah since this does not show proper respect for the Torah.A Torah is supposed to be held and one should not even pass the Torah to someone else after hagba(unless it is for chiunuch see Rav Emdin in the Igros) since it is a bizyion(degrading) to the Torah. There may be a difference if someone stands guard(since guarding is honor) right next to the Torah. Holding the Torah is certainly preferable ,and using that special furniture may be assur and should not be used according this tshuva.

Rav Moshe goes so far to say(in a case when two Torahs are needed) that if no one is able to hold the first Torah then they should only take out the second after they return the first ,like Rabbi Yose from the Yerushalmi held.

  • 1
    The Igros there is discussing a seat low down, on ground level near the people, that's why it is a problem when it is behind the bima. The shuls i have seen that have these devices, are always shuls that have raised platforms upon which these Torah seats sit. I do not think Reb Moshe would have an issue with those.
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:04
  • Did you read the whole tshuva ,he mentions other factors,and i did mention the guard concept which may be different .He held holding it is more preferable than any device.
    – sam
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:39
  • He has another Tshuva in Yoreh Deah ,have to find it
    – sam
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:42
  • Yes. The guard would help, possibly, to guard from the people passing by. שכיון שהוא במקום נמוך ומקום גלוי שנקל לכל למשמש בה אין זה משומר etc
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:43
  • Its Yo'd chelek one siman 175
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:46

The seat for the Seffer Torah to be placed upon is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman רפ׳ו סעי׳ י׳ב on the list of items that are tashmishei kedusha וכן הכסא שהוכן להניח ספר תורה עליו. The Ba'er Hagola #22 brings one pshat that this item is the כורסיא mentioned in Megila 26b, he explains 'for there are places that set up a chair to place the Seffer Torah upon on a day when they take out two Sifrei Torah'. By virtue of the Ba'er Hagola saying this, we can assume he thought this practice was fine.

This כסא שנותנין עליו ספר תורה, the chair upon which the Seffer Torah is placed is also mentioned in Shulchan Aruch siman 154 siff 3. It should be noted that the Mishna Berurah explained this to mean the (שולחן) table on the (בימה) platform, what we call the Bimah, like Rashi in Megila, and not like the Ba'er Heiteiv.

  • If the Torah is placed upon a seat, as per your quote from Y"D, I'm assuming that it is in a tik, rather than following the Ashkenazi (or Spanish-Portuguese) custom of not encasing it Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:04
  • There Magen avraham s.k. 6 says we are specifically discussing a seffer Torah that is sometimes placed there without it's covering. Otherwise the seat would not have kdushas seffer torah, but only kedushas beis hakneses. But in any event there are no Halakhic differences between a Sfardi metal case and an ashkenazi material one. And the Baer Hagola traced this back to a gemara. You think they had metal cases then?
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:08
  • Not sure, I'm sure that the case is old. Also, there may not be a halachic difference, but there is certainly a practical one: an Ashkenazi sefer can't be left without support of some kind. Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:14
  • Obviously it could. They did. You lean it! It's actually interesting that we are halachicaly supposed to lean it, like a mezuzah, so as to compromise between Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam. But look at the old edifices. Some had holes for the Badim to go down into, some had ropes. Have you ever gotten your hands on a Sefardi Seffer Torah? They are not as sturdy as you would think and can topple quite easily.
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:18
  • The Igros Moshe I mention discusses this reading of seat,and brings the Magen Avrham
    – sam
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 3:41

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