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wikipedia: A yad (Hebrew: יד‎) (Yiddish: האַנט), literally, "hand," is a Jewish ritual pointer, popularly known as a Torah pointer, used by the reader to follow the text during the Torah reading from the parchment Torah scrolls. Beyond its practical usage, the yad ensures that the parchment is not touched during the reading. There are several ...


13

In terms of the history of division of Aliyot, you should see Ilana Katzenellenbogen's survey article in Sinai 119 (1998), pp. 224-45. She looks at 33 different division customs from the last 1000 years from around the Jewish world and compiles a ~10 page chart with all the different variants from "our common custom" (OCC). Her conclusions are (summarized ...


12

The Beis Yosef Simman 135 writes regarding the halacha of hagbah (Sefardim do it at the beginning of the Torah service, and Chazal call hagbah gelilah) וכתוב עוד במ"ס פרק הנזכר (פי"ד) וז"ל כשמוציאין ס"ת אומר על הכל יתגדל ויתקדש וכו' מיד גולל ס"ת עד ג' דפין ומראה פני כתיבתו לעם העומדים לימינו ולשמאלו ומחזירין לפניו ולאחריו שמצוה לכל אנשים ונשים לראות הכתב ...


12

I've been a Torah reader for about 45 years, and have read Megilla for about 20 years. This is tough to give you an exact assessment, here, because there are several factors here. So, take what I write as my own "best professional" opinion. I'm going to assume throughout that you can both read and pronounce Hebrew well. (I've been listening to numerous Bar ...


11

I have seen this practice in action in a Yemenite shul in Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel. I got called up for an 'aliya, and the gabbai leined on my behalf, but I was the ignorant exception. They also had a boy reading Targum after (if I recall correctly) each 'aliya.


11

To answer question 1: Magen Avraham writes that they should not wait for the Kohen because of tirchah di'tzibbura (135:6) or because of the honor of the congregation (135:7). If you don't wait, should you call a Levi or Yisra'el? Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (23:10) writes that a Levi or Yisrael may be called in his place. To answer question 2: Once again there's ...


11

The Rama to Orach Chayim 135:2 writes that if a whole tzibbur missed last weeks laining they should lain both this weeks parsha and last weeks. With regards to a tzibbur missing many shabbasim it is a machlokes. The Mishna Brurah 135:6 brings both opinion. One holds that they make up every single week missed,and according to the other opinion the tzibbur ...


10

I don't know about whether such a practice technique is permissible, but I'd recommend against it for other reasons. Unfortunately, due to Torah-readers' habit of singing "Amen" as an introduction to their reading, they sometimes end up delaying this response until too long after the blessing it's responding to. (The response is supposed to be "immediate" ...


10

Because the Halacha is that you can sit (and such was the custom in the majority of synagogues in the period of the Rishonim), and everyone in a given place should follow the same custom. (Or Yitzchak 1:53)


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I asked this question to one of my Rabbeim when I was a teenager. His response was "We do not want to finish an Aliya with the name of an Avoda Zara וַנֵּשֶׁב בַּגָּיְא מוּל בֵּית פְּעוֹר therefore Levi goes until Sheni and then we give the Yisrael from there".


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Mishna Berakhot 2:1 היה קורא בתורה, והגיע זמן המקרא--אם כיוון את ליבו, יצא; ואם לאו, לא יצא.‏ If he was reading in the Torah and it came time to read [Shema]: if he intended, he fulfilled his obligation, and if not, he did not. (my translation) Rambam (Shema 2:1) and ShA (OC 60:5) rule this way as well. So "assuming he has the proper kavana (intent)...


9

The parsha deals with a false prophet and uses exclusively male verbs. This might lead one to think the relevant laws only apply to a male prophet. Therefore the Midrash Sifrei 83:3 says: בקרבך. לרבות האשה. "in your midst": to include a woman. I guess this word is considered superfluous enough to be adding something, which Chazal say that even a ...


9

In a standard Torah scroll they are indeed the same height as the rest of the columns, but they are wider than the regular columns. To keep the proportions right and have it fit on one page, it looks like those printers scaled the whole column down to page width. Rambam writes (Sefer Torah 9:10) that in his Torah scroll the columns were 4 finger-breadths ...


9

When משתה is in construct state it has a tzere instead of a segol and would mean "drinking-party of" instead of just "drinking-party".


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It should first be noted that the k'thiv/q'rei phenomenon you refer to is only observed in the Pentateuch and not elsewhere in Tanach. That being said, there appear to be two major camps on this issue. One camp believes along the lines of what you suggested, namely that הוא was actually written to mean היא. The explanation is that waw and yod were used ...


8

They would take out a separate Sefer Torah and read the curses, in addition to the standard weekly parshah. Source: I heard it directly from a well-known rav, who based it on the Rambam Hil. Tefillah, 13:1-2.


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There is a concern that the congregation might come to think that the Brachos said before Torah reading are written in the Torah, but closing the Torah and then opening it would take extra time (see Megillah 31a). Therefore, the Rama (139:6) writes that it is best to turn one's head away from the Torah while making the Beracha. Once one is turning his head, ...


8

To answer your question as briefly as I can, during a leap year where Rosh Hashannah begins on Tursday and the year is "Chaser" - "Deficient" meaning 383 days long, then Pesach begins on Sunday, and there will be 55 Shabatot in total. I am also assuming that we are talking about Galut readings, as Israel readings have slightly different rules. We have 54 ...


8

YUTorah.org has free, streaming Torah reading recordings by R' Jeremy Weider. He enunciates and intones extremely clearly. He performs the two features you're looking for: The masa'ot start at 06:00 in his Laining for Matot Mas`ei Part 4. 35:5, with the unusual trop, starts at 02:07 in his Laining for Matot Mas`ei Part 6.


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It would seem that original Minhag Ashkenaz was to use ta'am elyon only on Shavu'ot, but on shabbat parashat yitro and shabbat parashat va'etchanan to use ta'am tachton. This can be seen in the commentary of Hizkuni to Shemot 20:14, and is also the practice prescribed by Masat Binyamin, quoted in Magen Avraham 494:1. Magen Avraham also notes the Sephardic ...


8

There are grammatical rules in general, but for your case: It's always שושַן הבירה, otherwise שושָן. It's always מרדכַי except on an esnachta, sof pasuk, or in exactly one case a zakeif katon ויגידו למרדכָי את דברי אסתר. The general rule is any of the letters בגדכפת have a dageish (dot) at the beginning of a word, except when they come after a word that (a) ...


8

The word is spelled לָמָה (without a dagesh and stressed on the final syllable) when the following word begins with an א or ה or ע,* and spelled לָמָּה (with a dagesh and stressed on the penultimate syllable) in every other case. There are eight exceptions to these rules (enumerated in Masora Gedola to Psalms 43:2): The three cases of לָמָה before letters ...


8

The Rama 685:7 writes that one should still read it with its correct tune. הגה: ואם אי אפשר להם לבוא, מכל מקום יזהרו לקרותם בנגינתם ובטעמם (מצא כתוב). The Kaf Hachaim 685:35 writes one should read from Sefer Torah preferably(without bracha),but if one doesn't have ,a chumash should be used. לה) שם הגה. ואם א"א להם לבא מ"מ יזהרו לקרותם וכו' ר"ל אם יש להם ...


7

The Rama (OC 143:2) writes: בחומשים שלנו, אפילו כל ה' ספרים ביחד אין לברך עליהם, ובמקום שיש ס"ת ואין ש"ץ הבקי בנגינה בעל פה, ראיתי נוהגים שהש"ץ קורא מן החומש בנקוד והעולה קורא אחריו מן הס"ת הכשר.‏ In our Chumashim [which are printed] even if all 5 Books [of the Torah] are included, one cannot recite a blessing over [reading from] them. In a place ...


7

Your question is really the other way around. Generally speaking it's the person who does the mitzva action that says the bracha (Rambam Brachot 11:10). In the case of an aliyah, you are right that in most congregations an appointed reader is designated to read each persons portion out loud and with proper cantillation; however Shulchan Aruch (OC 141:2) ...


7

It's very common in some of the manuscripts - for example, the codex of the Prophets from the Qaraite synagogue in Cairo, which was written by Moshe ben Asher. There, it features in every the occasional consonantal aleph (and might therefore be understood to be a mappiq). This is generally considered to have been a feature of the Palestinian vocalisation ...


7

The Mishna Berura (685 sk 18) only recommended this practice for Parashat Zakhor, seemingly because it may be a biblical obligation (ShA OC 685:7). Betzel HaChokhma (6:50) said this applies to any readings being used to fulfill the Mitzva (eg. on Purim morning, if someone missed Zakhor). Ketzot haShulchan (3:84:13 footote 22) said to read one way in Shvi'i ...


7

I heard from R. Nota Greenblatt, the posek of the South that if the baal korei has trouble reading the whole thing you can further subdivide the parsha, as the original enactment of krias hatorah wasnt to finish it each year. Related answer.


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Keset HaSofer, by R Shlomo Ganzfried, discusses the laws of writing as a Sofer STaM. Topics include: how to make Kosher parchment, shapes of the letters, intent when writing, what sorts of corrections are permitted, prohibition of erasing God's name (among other things). Online at Hebrewbooks.org here. Minchat Shai, by R Yedidya Nortzi, discusses the ...


7

This seems to start with an idea brought by the Chok Ya'akov, although he doesn't quite describe the current practice which you mention. He writes (in 490:2) that the prevalent custom (in his day and location) was like that mentioned by the Rema in Orach Chaim 25:13, i.e. to remove the tefillin on Chol Hamoed before the amidah of Musaph. The Chok Ya'akov ...


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