When people read or roll a Torah, I have always seen the table covered either with a cloth or a tallit. Is it necessary to cover the table? Why? If not, and this is a minhag, what is its source?
Could the reason be because of what is said in Talmud Bavli Megillah 32. ? -
"Rabbi Parnach Rabbi Yohanan said that one who handles a Torah bare (without a cloth) is buried bare ... Abaye explains this as meaning "bare" without this mitzvah."
This is referring to handling a bare Torah. Would that include laying it on a bare table?