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My weekday morning minyan recently merged into another one, so we're seeing some minor changes in customs. One that is new to me is: at the end of the torah service, as the torah is being carried through the congregation, somebody follows with a tzedakah box and most people contribute something. By the sound, most people drop in coins.

I haven't seen this before and asked somebody why we do it, and that person shrugged and said "it seems like an auspicious time". I agree with that assessment, but I still wonder about the custom. Is this one local community's innovation, or is it more widespread (and just not in my pre-merger minyan)? Is it based on anything specific?

I'm particularly curious about collecting tzedakah during any part of the torah service (not during the actual reading, of course). I wondered this morning if it was somehow tied to us just having said mi sheberach for healing. A comment suggests that it's the first opportunity so that might be why.

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    Many shuls do this since they do not allow collecting during parts of davening that one cannot interrupt ,so until after laining many parts one cannot interrupt so first opportunity that makes sense is right after krias HaTorah. With regards to krias HaTorah being an auspicious time,that is why mi shebeirach is said then due to its specialness – sam Dec 13 '18 at 16:10
  • THe question says Tora's carried back, but the title says "during the service". While the Torah is returned it's a good time as most people are idle, but not during the reading! You might want to adjust the title accordingly. – Al Berko Dec 13 '18 at 16:59
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    Torah service includes the end of it @AlBerko – Dr. Shmuel Dec 13 '18 at 17:20
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    You may not be able to hear when they drop in bills, though – Dr. Shmuel Dec 13 '18 at 17:21
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    @sam I thought of proximity to mi sheberach too, but I don't know if that's the reason, a back-formation (we collect now so it must be because...), or unrelated. – Monica Cellio Dec 13 '18 at 18:33
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  1. Collecting Tzedakka while interrupting a Mitzvah is a transgression and is called "מצווה הבאה בעבירה", therefore Tzedakka cannot be collected during Kriat Shemah, the Amida Prayer including the Chazarah, reading of the Torah, Kaddishim etc. (BTW It is also not a good conduct to collect in a Kolel where people are studying Torah intensively).

  2. Tzdaka can be collected during Pesukey Dezimra and from the moment of returning of the Sefer Torah to the end of the Teffilah. As the number of people reaches its maximum during the reading of the Torah (unlike Psukey Dezimra) the best time to collect is while returning Sefer Torah to Aron.

  3. This is practiced in all Haredi congregations in Israel. This applies to private collectors as well as to Shuls' Gabbayim.

  • @monica When people spend their time answering your question I think it's polite to drop some words of comment from the OP. Just to know if it was any good. – Al Berko Dec 14 '18 at 11:11
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    It doesn't appear like you spent that much time answering this question, and it doesn't appear like most people found it to be any good. – Double AA Dec 14 '18 at 12:44
  • I don't agree with the previous, IMO quite harsh assessment, but I think you need some sources here – SAH Dec 14 '18 at 14:44
  • Thank you for the edit. Until then only #3 seemed to answer the question (as you were just talking about when it can be done); now you're making an argument in #2 for why that time. I can't evaluate #3 myself; you said "all", which is a strong claim, so it'd be great to have some supporting evidence. Thanks. – Monica Cellio Dec 14 '18 at 18:52

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