When taking out the Torah from the ark, what is the proper procedure in these areas?

  • On Shabbat, the Chazan faces the cong. (back to the ark) when saying Shema and Echad Elokeinu. Then he turns to face the ark to say Gadlu and turns again to walk off the bimah. In which direction should he turn - clockwise or counter-clockwise?
  • When walking from the ark to the Torah table, which side of the shul should he walk? To his right or left?

Sources for both, please.

1 Answer 1


Could not find the answer to clockwise vs. counter-clockwise, but found the answer to your second question in Aruch HaShulchan Orach Chayim 282:1: - סימן רפב - דיני קריאת התורה והמפטיר בשבת

והש"ץ נוטל הספר תורה ופניו כלפי העם, ואומר בקול: 'שמע ישראל וגו', והעם עונים אחריו. ואחר כך אומר: 'אחד הוא אלקינו, גדול אדונינו קדוש שמו' ... והציבור עונין אחריו 'אחד הוא אלקינו וכו'.ואחר כך מחזיר הש"ץ פניו כלפי ההיכל ושוחה קצת, ואומר 'גדלו לד' אתי וגו', והציבור עונין 'לך ד' הגדולה וגו', 'על הכל יתגדל ויתקדש וכו', והולך הש"ץ עם הספר תורה לימין

My translation:

...and the chazan takes the sefer torah and faces the congregation, and says out loud "shema yisrael etc.," and the congregation answers after him. Afterwards he says "Echad Hu etc."... and the congregation answers after him "Echad Hu etc.". Afterwards, the chazan returns to face the ark and bows slightly, and says "gadlu etc." and the congregation answers "licha Hashem etc.", "al hakol etc.", and the chazan walks with the sefer torah to the right...

It is interesting to note that the Mishnah Berurah does not mention the practice of turning to face the ark when saying Gadlu, nor bowing. However, he does say in OC 134:13 that one should lift the Torah during each of the three pesukim:

וצריך להגביה התורה ג"פ דהיינו בשעה שאומר שמע וגו' אחד וגו' גדלו וגו' [מ"א בשם מ"ס]:‏

My translation:

... and he is required to lift the torah three times, namely during the time when he says "shema etc." "Echad etc." and "gadlu etc."

  • 1
    This a partial answer, as it answers just the 2nd question. That's great. Can you edit further and leave only the Hebrew part that you bolded? The rest seems superfluous.
    – DanF
    Dec 23, 2015 at 16:42
  • @DanF Edited. Everything I left I thought was relevant. Dec 23, 2015 at 16:57
  • Is the Aruch HaShulchan the first historical source to mention this minhag? Is it possible to know where does this originate from?
    – Binyomin
    Oct 15, 2022 at 18:48

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