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I'm having trouble finding the halachos around the kibud of pesicha. I found the Shulchan Aruch contains a section for hagbahah and gelilah, but I don't see any description of pesicha.

L'maaseh, here are some of my questions I really want answers to:

  • Do I open the ark immediately after kaddish? Or do I do it immediately before/after the chazzan starts vayehi bensoa ha'aron...?
  • Do I have to close the aron immediately after I give it to him? Can he not continue until I do so?
  • Do I have to "take the long route home" (as we do with an aliyah) or does that not apply by pesicha? Do I have to leave the aron walking backwards and facing the aron after the kibud so as not to turn my back to it?

Even a simple answer of where to look to find this information would suffice!

  • I’d start here – Dr. Shmuel Sep 13 '18 at 14:01
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    I didn't try that search term, but will take a look and IY"H revise my question if I can find some information there. Thank you! – Dovmo Sep 13 '18 at 14:02
  • @Shmuel I scanned those mekoros and although they seemed nogea, none of them really answered my questions. However, it does seem that these halachos/minhagim or not codified or in one specific place like we have hagbahah-gelilah – Dovmo Sep 13 '18 at 14:19
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    I wasn't aware there were any Halakhot. Just get the Torah to the Chazzan (and don't do anything different from what the congregation is used to, aka minhag hamakom) – Double AA Sep 13 '18 at 14:21
  • Re last bullet - There seems to be a rule (Don't know if it is minhag or halacha) that people should kiss the Torah as it being brought to and leaving from the shulchan. However, From that rule, I infer that it is the congregants' responsibility to get to the Torah; not the Torah getting to the congregants. Practically, though, many shuls have older or disabled people or they are just "stuck: in the row of seats. Hence, that's probably a main reason why many take the long or excessively long route around a large shul. – DanF Sep 13 '18 at 14:34
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Open the ark after kaddish but wait for the chazzan to walk towards you before you take out the Torah. When he does, take out the Torah and hand it to him. He will recite the pesukim(according to Ashkenazi custom); after which you should close the ark.

He can continue walking if you don't close the aron if the minhag is such or wishes to do so.

It is respectable to walk backwards from the aron and take the long route home if you won't trip, but not an obligation.

See the site below for a nice how-to: https://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/1504378/jewish/Opening-the-Ark.htm

  • Awesome! Any mekorot (besides the video), by any chance? – Dovmo Sep 13 '18 at 17:27
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    It's interesting, because in the video, he says vayehi bensoa first! – Dovmo Sep 13 '18 at 17:28
  • Not off the top of my head except from my experiences of shul-going. But like DoubleAA wrote, the minhag should be the prevailing custom because some shuls have different minhagim. – chacham Nisan Sep 13 '18 at 17:29
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    This is one set up but others can and do exist. Your only sure bets are playing by ear and asking ahead – Double AA Sep 13 '18 at 19:06

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