Questions tagged [torah-service]

the prayer service and ceremony surrounding communal reading from the Torah scroll

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42
votes
12answers
8k views

Reason behind pinky during hagba

Why do people lift their pinkies during Hagba?
27
votes
2answers
946 views

How does a son call up his father for an Aliyah?

Suppose a son is the Gabbai in a Shul and needs to call up his father for an aliyah (or his brother who is the son of his father). Does the son say his father's name? Does he say something else ...
18
votes
3answers
369 views

2 Sifrei Torah for close readings

This morning we read Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1 - 24:18) and the special reading of Parashat Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16). The custom everywhere I have ever seen is to remove two Sifrei Torah from ...
17
votes
1answer
329 views

Why, in double parshiyos, are the aliyos not simply combined in pairs?

Consider for example the double parshah Vayakhel-Pekudei. The aliyos from the two individual parshiyos are combined as follows: 2, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3. (Meaning: the first two aliyos are combined into ...
16
votes
2answers
370 views

Why don't we use a translator during Torah reading?

Outside of the Teimanim I am not aware of any other segments of Judaism that still employ a meturgamen (translator) during kriat ha'torah. Why has this practice fallen into disuse?
16
votes
1answer
254 views

Out-of-order minyan participation

Some shuls have several minyanim back to back. If one arrives before the Torah reading of the 8:30 minyan and has finished davening before the Torah reading of the 9:30 minyan (to whose Kedusha one ...
15
votes
3answers
871 views

What's a good technique for a not-so-strong person to do [Ashkenazi] Hagbaha?

I've seen many people shy away when asked to do Hagbaha (‏הגבהה‏), thinking themselves too weak. I know for a fact that it doesn't take that much strength to do it correctly, so I'd love to ...
15
votes
4answers
504 views

maftir: an honor?

A bar mitzva or bridegroom is usually (in congregations I'm familiar with, or, at least, Ashkenazic ones) given maftir. Why is this, considering that it's the lowliest of all the aliyos (e.g.)? (The ...
15
votes
1answer
172 views

Why do we leyn before mincha but after shacharis?

When reading Torah in the morning, we daven shemoneh esrei of shacharit and then afterwards read the Torah. When reading Torah in the afternoon (Shabbos/fast days), we read Torah first and then daven ...
14
votes
1answer
515 views

Who broke the parshiyot into aliyot and how?

The Torah readings on Shabbat are broken into 7 aliyot. I know that there are rules for the minimum number of pesukim for each aliyah but I am wondering who set up the exact placement of the aliyah ...
14
votes
2answers
772 views

Called to the Torah before wedding

I recently received an invitation to a friends wedding and I noticed that it said he would be "Called to the Torah" with a date and time approximately 1 week before the wedding. I am not Jewish, so ...
14
votes
1answer
458 views

“Yaamod p'loni ben p'loni… chazak”?

The last ole (person called to the Torah) (besides the maftir) of Vaychi, P'kude, B'chukosay, and Mas'e is, in my experience, called using the formula "yaamod p'loni ben p'loni sh'vii chazak", with ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
13
votes
1answer
427 views

Why are some bakashot made on Shabbat?

As I understand it, we don't make prayers of request (bakashot) on Shabbat (cf Rambam Shabbat 30:12). For that reason, we omit so many liturgical requests because of shabbos - e.g., Avinu Malkeinu, ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

חזק חזק ונתחזק Chazak Chazak VeNischazek: why

Why do we say חזק חזק ונתחזק when we end each Chumash?
12
votes
1answer
332 views

How to call up a ger who converted with his father?

In general a Ger is called up as [name] Ben Avraham. However, what if the Ger converted as a child together with his parents? I would think it is the same but I recently saw someone who is in that ...
12
votes
2answers
804 views

What do I do when asked to “open the Aron” or “take out the Torah”?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
12
votes
2answers
5k views

What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
12
votes
2answers
283 views

Auctioning/Sale of Kibbudim on Shabbat / Yom Tov

Many synagogues have the practice of selling kibbudim (i.e. aliyot, haftorah, opening the ark, etc.) on major holidays, usually via auction. I've been to some shuls where this is done every Shabbat. ...
11
votes
1answer
945 views

Bar Mitzvah before Circumcision?

If one was never circumcised can they be called up to the Torah for their bar-mitzvah?
11
votes
2answers
940 views

Does golel for first torah stand for second torah?

When there are two or three sifrei torah read on the same day, either the magbiah or golel holds the first sefer while the second is read. In this case should he stand for… kadish after reading from ...
11
votes
3answers
236 views

Why doesn't saying the sh'ma satisfy torah-reading requirements?

According to this answer to a related question, the g'mara on Bava Kamma 82a requires reading torah at least every three days because we should never go longer than that without words of torah. But ...
11
votes
1answer
109 views

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say?

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say for a newborn, for a sick person, after an Aliyah, etc.?
10
votes
2answers
788 views

How does Hagbah work on a Sephardic Torah case?

How does one do Hagbah on a Torah in a Sephardic Torah case, such as one of these silver cases (picture courtesy of Hadad Brothers) : See also the Ashkenazi version of this question.
10
votes
1answer
488 views

Who gets shelishi if there are no Israelim?

Imagine that the Cohen family reunion is on a Monday. A minyan is planned with a sefer Torah. However, the gabbai, a kohen, looks around and sees that the minyan has nine kohanim and one levi - who ...
10
votes
1answer
847 views

naming convention for a Jew with a non-Jewish father?

If a Jew has a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother, how is he or she: Called up to the Torah, Mentioned in legal documents, such as ketubot, and Mentioned for healing in mi shebeirach? Does any of ...
9
votes
3answers
296 views

Must readers be called to the Torah by name?

"I was in one place recently where they are very strict about calling people's names before they approach the Torah and another place where the people just came up one-by-one, having arranged ...
9
votes
1answer
146 views

Why is the order of returning the sefer-torah different on shabbos than on weekday?

Why on shabbos is ashrai said before returning the sefer-torah and on weekday (nusach ashkenaz) afterwards. This cannot have to do with kaddish tiskabel since this is also done on rosh chodesh where ...
9
votes
1answer
201 views

How are we allowed to take out two sifrei Torah?

The Mishna in Yoma says that when the Kohen Gadol used to read from the Sefer Torah on Yom Kippur, he had to read two portions: one from Acharei Mos and the other from Emor. It says that he used to ...
9
votes
2answers
246 views

forgot birkas hachodesh

If a congregation forgot to say birkas hachodesh on the Shabas before rosh chodesh, should it say it another time? When? (Does it, perhaps, depend on what day(s) of the week rosh chodesh is?) Note: ...
9
votes
2answers
228 views

process for Gabbai to call his son to the Torah

If the father is the Gabbai ,how should he call his son up for an Aliyah ? Does the father use his own name for example Yaakov ben Moshe? or Yaakov Bnee?
9
votes
1answer
126 views

Kohen k'rav ya'amod

Inspired by this question. When we call up a Kohen (or when not present, a Levi or Yisrael) we use a special formula: ויעזר on Shabbat and yom tov (Shacharit) and ותיגלה on weekdays (and Minchah). In ...
9
votes
1answer
156 views

Hashta Ba'agala

There have been questions about the use of Aramaic as a language of prayer, in whole or in part, and even a question about the possible appearance of a single Aramaic word in an otherwise Hebrew ...
9
votes
2answers
125 views

Why reverse Mishle verses' order?

When putting the Torah scroll back in its cabinet, we — at least most Ashk'nazim — say (among other things) "עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ וְתֹמְכֶיהָ מְאֻשָּׁר. דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי ...
9
votes
1answer
307 views

Why are the Yehi Ratzon prayers connected to Tachanun?

On Mondays and Thursdays, after the torah is read, we say a series of Yehi Ratzon prayers. However, we do not say those prayers on a Monday or Thursday on which we do not say Tachanun: The ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the origin of hazak u'baruch?

Hazak u'barukh is a phrase commonly said after one does something in the synagogue (e.g., after an aliyah). What is its origin?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the reason of using Yad in reading Torah?

I heard from a Bengali writing - just a single line that - Jews fear their God that much that they even fear to touch the God's word. Then I searched and found that Jews use Yad when they read Torah. ...
8
votes
2answers
373 views

Can the Torah be read in shul if a minyan is present after the point in the service designated for Torah reading?

There have been instances where we had 9 people in the shul, and we began to daven Mincha Shabbat afternoon. We finished our individual Shmoneh Esreh, when the 10th person appeared. Can we go back and ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why “new-mother bat her-father” for a woman who gives birth?

When we pray for the healing (refuah) of a woman or girl, we refer to her as "(patient's name) bat (patient's mother's name)", for example "Shoshana bat Michal" or "Rivka bat Shifra Aviva". This is ...
8
votes
2answers
366 views

Ya'amod by an Aliya

The root of the word Ya'amod means to stand in place. See Hebrew dictionary here. Thus why do we call up someone to an Aliya with the word Ya'amod? We are not asking him to stay in place, we are ...
8
votes
2answers
365 views

Why does the Chazzan bow when saying “Gadlu” holding the Torah?

There's a widespread custom for the Chazzan to bow, facing the ark, when reciting "Gadlu" with the Torah before carrying it away. The Aruch Hashulach (282:1) says that one should do this, but doesn't ...
8
votes
1answer
454 views

When to close the ark after putting away the Torah

On shabbat morning when putting away the Torah, many chazzanim like to draw out different tunes for the verses recited then. Should the one honored with putting the Torah back wait until after the ...
8
votes
1answer
519 views

how to call up a kohen/levi as acharon

Shulachan Aruch (OC 135:10) holds, and Rama (there) seems to also hold, that if a kohen (or levi, m.m.) is called as acharon then the gabai should say "af al pi shehu kohen". The purpose of this is to ...
8
votes
1answer
265 views

How do you decide how the aliyos should be arranged when there are not sufficient yisroelim in a minyan?

(This is a question based on an event. A shaaloh was asked. The object of the question is to examine the underlying reasons for the dinim in the situation.) A family minyan meeting once only on ...
8
votes
1answer
212 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate (...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the correct response to “Chazaq u'Baruch!”?

When a person gets an aliyah or other synagogue privilege the congregants of an Ashkenazic synagogue generally thanks him by saying "Shokyach!" or "Yasherkoach!" to which he responds "Baruch Tehiye!". ...
7
votes
4answers
312 views

Is it permitted to make kiddush before Torah reading on Shabbat?

I know it's acceptable to have kiddush before Mussaf. Is it acceptable to have kiddush after the kaddish shalem of Shacharit but before the sefer Torah is taken out to be read? (I believe I've heard ...
7
votes
3answers
139 views

Non-statutory Torah service

Is it possible to have a "stand-alone" Torah service, not connected to a statutory prayer? I saw this done on Shavuot once, where some people who slept through davening convened a minyan solely for ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Why do we do Hagbaah?

After "leining" the Torah, we pick up the Torah scroll to show everyone. Why do we do this?
7
votes
3answers
97 views

In what relative positions are multiple Sifrei Torah placed on the bimah?

When two Sifrei Torah (when the second sefer is needed for a special maftir) are placed on the bimah just before hagbah for the first Torah, should the first sefer read from be on the left or the ...