Must one stand to read from the Torah (in a communal reading) if one has difficulty standing?

  • Welcome to Mi Yoedeya. Are you assuming that in general one must stand to read at a communal reading? – Alex Dec 6 at 22:06

I occasionally daven in a nursing home. One of the patients has an amputated leg. He lains (and is frequently Shaliach Tzibur ) from his wheelchair. The rav permits this.


@Sam referred to O.C. 141:1 which states that the ba'al Koreh must stand. However, see Mishnah Berurah commentary #4 which states that someone who is ill may lean a bit. I have to look further if the leaning would extend to completely sitting if one cannot even lean.

  • The Shulchan Aruch states this himself regarding a baal basar,I wrote in my answer – sam Dec 6 at 21:16
  • @sam Thanks. I saw that, and MB goes further to include all ill people that have difficulty. However, it is unclear if it includes Sitting. – DanF Dec 6 at 23:53

The Shulchan Aruch 141:1 writes that the baal koreh must stand. Even leaning on a wall is assur unless one is a baal basar (overweight). The Pri Chadash holds that if he did sit then they are yotzei b'deved.

Rav Yitzchak Abadi 1:53 has a teshuva that one does not need to stand during laining and brings as a proof the fact that only the baal koreh needs to. He brings from the Rambam Hilchos Tefillah 12:11,and he also brings the Hagahos Maimonis who specifically talks about the baal koreh since the Rambam is talking about the m'turgaman. He also brings the Biur Hagra who sources the Yerushalmi Megilla 4:1 which says it's assur for the m'turgaman and the baal koreh to read sitting. (Also in the Bavli 21a)

The Rivevos Ephraim 8:293 writes that he has seen in America that they give aliyos the elderly who sit on a seat for the aliyah. He writes that he has not found a reason to permit this,but he notes that since they cant stand then maybe their sitting is like standing (he doesn't seem to be too pleased with this logic). He also adds that it isn't any less than a sick or elderly person who davens shmoneh esrei while seated. However, he notes that if this is a minyan for people who cannot stand then its not possible for them to use anyone else and it would seem to be mutar. (It seems from this teshuva that it is a real b'deved,but in a nursing home it could be mutar.)

  • Hmmm ... I have some research to do as well as some questions to ask my rav. Would you mind confirming if these sources are in all cases - no matter what? OP Seems to focus on an ones - someone who has difficulty or can't do it. – DanF Dec 6 at 21:02

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