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Inspired by DanF question here. Covering the Aron Kodesh in a Shul is a curtain called the Paroches. One needs to open up the curtain before taking out the Torah. Which direction is one supposed to open the curtain - from right to left or left to right? I have seen both ways done in Shuls. Can someone bring sources for opening in either direction?

  • I'd say right to left like the Hebrew reading direction...And "chesed-gevurah." But I have no source. – ezra Jun 19 '17 at 17:32
  • I suspect it has to do with interpreting going from right to left. Does it mean start from the right or does it mean to go in the direction of the right. The latter would mean one starts from the left. – Earl Jun 19 '17 at 17:41
  • I would think you would start with right, similar to the way we put on shoes. – ezra Jun 19 '17 at 17:44
  • I'd think it has mostly to do with the construction of the curtain(s) and door(s). Some allow easy access by only one direction of opening the curtains. – msh210 Jun 19 '17 at 18:11
  • In the second Mikdash according to Rabbi Yehuda, there was a double parochey, the firse was open on the south side, the cohen g was walking between the two in north directin and the second was opened on the north edge. I remember approximately, see 5th chapter of Yoma in Gemara – kouty Jun 19 '17 at 18:54
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Rabi Ovadia Yosef ZATSAL.

(so his son said - Rabi Avraham Yosef so i heard him and here is a link to his answer)

And Rabi Meir Mazuz SHLITa

(so i heard him and here is a link answered in his Yeshiva).

Both saying from the left side to the right. So if you are looking forward to the Aron Kodesh, you are taking your right hand to your left and pushing the PAROCHET to the right. That way you are committing : "all your turns will be to the right" HAZAK.

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According to Shut Be'er Moshe (5:38), there is no definitive way it should be opened, and whichever way one opens it is fine.

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The answer depends on the parochet. The schul I grew up in has a parochet which goes towards the right, whereas the one I daven by now has one which goes towards the left. The former is a Chabad, the latter a fairly mainstream Orthodox minyan. Further, many older, Western European schuls (such as Ohel Avraham in Paris and Orach Chaim in NYC) have parochot which open from the centre.

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