During Shabbat mincha last Shabbat, the Torah reader (it wasn't me :-) accidentally extended the Levi (2nd) aliya past its designated break, and read what was designated for yisra'el's aliyah, thus, ending at the Shabbat sheni aliyah, or the end of the designated reading. What should be done in such situations? Should the Torah reader:

  • repeat beginning from what was designated as the yisra'el aliya?


  • Read ahead reading a minimum of 3 verses? (rule is that there must be a minimum of either 3 verses until the end of the current paragraph, or if beginning a new paragraph, he must read 3 verses.)
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    What's a "designated break"? If you mean the recommended stop in the Siddur, know those are (nearly always) halachically meaningless judaism.stackexchange.com/a/59414/759.
    – Double AA
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:39
  • 3
    Possibly relevant: some weekday/mincha readings extend past the end of the first (Shabbat) aliya. Ha'azinu is one example -- the first (Shabbat) aliya is only 6 verses, so there's not enough to divide into three weekday aliyot. This means there is some precedent for continuing past the first (Shabbat) aliya, though whether it is limited to cases like this or is generally ok I do not know. But maybe this will serve as a starting point for somebody else. Dec 15, 2015 at 19:50
  • @DoubleAA, if you have an answer, I suggest you post one.
    – msh210
    Dec 15, 2015 at 22:53
  • @MonicaCellio Counter relevant: Rosh Hashanah we specifically BACKTRACK in verses and double up to avoid starting too close to the end of a paragraph. If we could just keep reading, then Chazal would likely have the THIRD aliyah encompass R"H and institute the fourth aliyah AFTER that. That we regularly do not seems to imply that there's nothing wrong with backtracking if you like. Technically, you would still fulfill the requirement to read if ALL THREE read the same stretch of verses (as long is it was long enough)... Dec 16, 2015 at 2:06
  • @IsaacKotlicky - Is this a typo for Rosh Hodesh?
    – Epicentre
    Dec 16, 2015 at 6:18

1 Answer 1


It's clear that the main requirement on Shabbat, Mincha, (same for Mon & Thurs morning) is

A. To read a minimum of 10 verses(except 9 when it closes the topic, such as with the reading about Amalek on Purim which starts and ends in 9); and

B. To have only 3 people read, not 4. (Which is done on Rosh Chodesh.)

If an error occurs as stated, we do not re-read the mistaken additional verses because that would indicate that the first reader was, for some reason, improper. His reading did have (a) at least 3 verses and (b) blessings were properly said before and after. So... The appropriate thing to do would be to simply continue on past "Sheini," at least 3 verses, until a natural stop or pause in the topic.

This is done for many parshiot, such as Va'etchanan, Nitzavim and Va'yeilech.

[note: if however the reader read only two verses then his closing blessing is inappropriate. He should read a third verse and then repeat the closing blessing.

If a second reader was already called and said the first blessing before reading, then the first two verses read by the earlier reader "were not blessed properly;" therefore, they must be repeated, as if they had not been read at all! The second reader re-reads the two verses that had been read incorrectly, adds one more for the first reader, then adds 3 or 4 (or more) for himself and leaves the remainder for the third reader,

Source: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, סימן קלז - כמה פסוקים צריכים לקרא לכל אחד

  • 1
    "that would indicate that the first reader was, for some reason, improper". I'm not sure where you got this idea from. See Isaac Kolitky's comment above re: backtracking during the weekday Rosh Hodesh reading (I think his writing Rosh Hashannah was a typo). Point is that repeating a previously read verse is done to accommodate the 3 verse rule and is, obviously no indication of the previous reading being "improper". It seems that all you have done is confirmed what I have stated in my question regarding the 3 verse rule. I still don't know which direction to start Yisra'el aliyah.
    – DanF
    Dec 16, 2015 at 14:05
  • Thank you Danny. As for Isaac Kotlitsky's comment "if ALL THREE read the same stretch of verses" (see comments on question): see Sh"A 137/6 it's NOT ok if the second reader repeats the first reader's verses unless he adds (see Biur Halacha) at least one new verse...but preferably, three new verses. Dec 16, 2015 at 14:21
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    The Rosh Chodesh paradigm or Parei hachag or Chanukah readings are examples of "ee efshar " it is not possible to do it another way because you have less than the requisite 9/10 verses on the topic. So we overlap or even repeat. (See commentators on 137/6). But when there is no new topic, such as a regular Parsha, in which the reading is not specific to the First Aliyah, but the entire parasha is relevant, we just read less of it on the weekday, it is appropriate to read new verses for a new reader. Otherwise the early reader wouldn't count, which essentially negates his reading. Dec 16, 2015 at 14:30

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