It used to be that when someone got an aliyah, they would read their own Torah portion, and not have it read for them by the ba'al kriyah. This practice seems to have fallen by the wayside, as every synagogue I've been in has had a ba'al kriyah -- (almost) no one will read their own aliyah, except for certain minyanim where the kriyah is split up, and the gabbai will give each ba'al kriyah an aliyah...which is still not the same as "having each oleh read their own aliyah."

Are there any modern-day communities where the custom is still to have each oleh read their own aliyah?

  • 2
    I can't say the custom is for everyone to read their own aliyah, but in many Mizrachi communities, if the oleh can, he will.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 14:18
  • @Scimonster Interesting; I haven't been to many Mizrachi batei knesset. See also Isaac Moses' answer.
    – MTL
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


I have seen this practice in action in a Yemenite shul in Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel. I got called up for an 'aliya, and the gabbai leined on my behalf, but I was the ignorant exception.

They also had a boy reading Targum after (if I recall correctly) each 'aliya.

  • Right, i've seen the Targum done at Teimani shuls also. Not that i've been to any very often.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 14:21
  • I don't think I've ever seen Targum done. I need to get out more (read: go to a Teimani shul at least once). cc @Scimonster
    – MTL
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 14:52
  • I saw this at a Yemenite Shul in Binyamina, Israel. That week was Parashat Vayishlach and the Meturgeman skipped the translation of Maaseh Reuven.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 3:48
  • @DoubleAA. I have been to the same Teimani shul in Binyamina and being an am ha'aretz had to ask what in the world was going on. The Torah service was long, but it started to go faster after they passed out the Arak.
    – SDK
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 2:52

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