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I have heard that one must bow during Hagba. Is this something that is an actual halacha or just a minhag than people try to pass off as one? Also, if it is a halacha, why dont more people do it?

  • I haven't seen this minhag done anywhere. Where have you seen this or heard about this? – DanF Jun 27 '17 at 2:44
  • maseches sofrim. 14, 14. and Orach chaim 134.2 – The Thinking Yid Jun 27 '17 at 2:48
  • I have to research this further. Rav Kairo implies to do this when the Torah is taken out and I have seen this as common practice in Sefardi minhag (Edot Hamizrach as a sample.) I haven't paid attention to people bowing when this is done, though. Interestingly, the term used is "It is a mitzvah" to do so. That is a vague phrase, indeed. – DanF Jun 27 '17 at 2:59
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    TheThinkingYid you should edit in important inforation to the quesiton, not leave it in commetns. thats not what comments are for – Double AA Jun 27 '17 at 13:08
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    I know what they were and they were inappropriate as I said. Comments are not for replying to people with content that belongs in the question. If someone asks you for more info, you should respond by editing it into the question so everyone can see it – Double AA Jun 27 '17 at 13:42
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The Beis Yosef Simman 135 writes regarding the halacha of hagbah (Sefardim do it at the beginning of the Torah service, and Chazal call hagbah gelilah)

וכתוב עוד במ"ס פרק הנזכר (פי"ד) וז"ל כשמוציאין ס"ת אומר על הכל יתגדל ויתקדש וכו' מיד גולל ס"ת עד ג' דפין ומראה פני כתיבתו לעם העומדים לימינו ולשמאלו ומחזירין לפניו ולאחריו שמצוה לכל אנשים ונשים לראות הכתב ולכרוע ולומר זאת התורה וכו' תורת ה' תמימה וכו' ע"כ

It is written in Maseches Sofrim Chapter 14: When they take out the Torah, you say "Al hakol yisgadal veyiskadash etc.". Immediately you roll the Torah (do hagbah) until three columns are visible, and you show the script to the people standing to your right and to your left, and you turn forward and backward. This is because it is a mitzvah for all men and women to see the writing and bow and say vezos hatorah, toras Hashem temimah

The shulchan aruch brings this in Simman 134:2. It's not clear to me if the the focus is on seeing the script, and the bowing is a tangential fact, or the mitzvah is to do both. It sounds more like the latter to me.

The Rema and Mishnah Berurah don't comment on the bowing, so it would sound like they agree. The Aruch Hashulchan Seif 4 quotes the Beis Yosef directly, and again doesn't comment on the bowing.

However, many don't seem to do this and it could be based purely on minhag.

Rav Asher Weiss has an interesting writeup on the laws and sources to hagbah and gelilah (https://www.torahbase.org/hagba-glilla-5776/). I'll paste the relevant parts:

He brings the Shiltei HaGiborim Kiddushin 14b quoting the Riaz to justify the practice of not bowing

וחייבים לעמוד מפני הס"ת "אם מפני לומדיה עומדים מפניה לא כ"ש" (קידושין ל"ג ע"ב). ונראה בעיני שלא אמרו אלא לעמוד מפני התורה ולא להשתחוות לה ולא נמצא בכל התורה שמשתחוין אפילו לארון הקדש כמב"ה

One is obligated to stand before a sefer Torah. "If we have to in front of those who learn it, all the more so before it" (Kiddushin 33b). But it appears in my eyes they only said to stand, but not to bow and in the whole Torah we never saw an idea to bow, not even to the Aron Kodesh.

However he brings from the הגרי"י אלגאזי בספרו אמת ליעקב על קריה"ת who deflects the words of the Riaz and says according to the Zohar it is fitting to bow.

He then brings the Chidah in Birkei Yosef (סימן קל"ד ס"ק ג') who brings the Knesses Hagedolah who notes people don't bow, yet in the end also rejects the Riaz. You see even in his days people weren't bowing.

He finishes by bringing the תשובת מהריק"ש who also says to bow. His conclusion is ומ"מ נראה פשוט להלכה דיש לנהוג כמפורש בשו"ע ובמס' סופרים ולא כשיטת הריא"ז, that it sounds from all these sources that it's the proper thing to do.

At the end of the day, as with all matters pertaining to halacha, CYLOR.

  • I don't completely understand " If we have to in front of those who learn it". Is he referring to the obligation to stand when Talmidei Chachamim enter the room? – DanF Jun 27 '17 at 14:40
  • He's commenting on Kiddushin 33b (he's on 14b in the Rif), which says that line. The gemarra is talking about the mitzvah to stand before talmidei chachamim, and the gemarra infers all the more so before a sefer Torah. I'll clarify – robev Jun 27 '17 at 16:24

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