15 votes
Accepted

Who broke the parshiyot into aliyot and how?

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 ...
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13 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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13 votes
Accepted

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

According to Wikipedia "Baruch Tehiye" is an acceptable response, but "Chazak Ve'Ematz" is the common one. Among Morrocans it would be "Kulchem Beruchim".
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9 votes
Accepted

What did it use to mean for a kohen to get a second aliyah?

Tosfot (Gittin 59b) answers (based on a similar case in Tosefta Megilla 3:6) that to distinguish the two sections, the kohen would go sit down back in his seat and then stand up again and go up to the ...
  • 95.7k
8 votes

Why isn't it considered idol worship to give respect to the torah?

As the Rambam codifies in Hilchos Avoda Zara 3:5, only four activities are "objectively" idolatry when done in honor of something other than G-d, and forbidden to do to any idol. 1) Prostration, 2) ...
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8 votes
Accepted

What happens with the blessings if a mute is called for a Torah aliyah?

Peri Megadim (OC 140 MZ 2) writes that perhaps if the mute is an extremely important person ("אדם חשוב גדול הדור") we can be lenient to allow others to say the blessing for him through Shomea' KeOneh, ...
  • 95.7k
7 votes
Accepted

3 kugels for 3 sifrei Torah?

Perhaps your Rav based it on Minhagei Komarna. Minhagei Komarna - 235 says that the Minhag Komarna was to have 3 Kugels every Shabbos. When 2 Sefer Torahs were read they had 4 Kugels. When 3 Sefer ...
7 votes

What is the source for the role of the Levi in the Torah service?

It's an explicit Mishna in Gittin 5:8 וְאֵלּוּ דְבָרִים אָמְרוּ מִפְּנֵי דַרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. כֹּהֵן קוֹרֵא רִאשׁוֹן, וְאַחֲרָיו לֵוִי וְאַחֲרָיו יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִפְּנֵי דַרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם ‏ These were ...
7 votes
Accepted

Original Aliyah breaks for Ki Tisa

Indeed the custom you mention is first mentioned in 16th century Safed in the work Tikkun Yissakhar by Yissakhar ben Mordechai, and while he notes with praise the custom to have a Levi read the ...
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6 votes

Is "קל ארך אפים" said if the Torah's not to be read from?

Your question is an interesting one. I researched this article on The Be'urei Hatefilah site (I highly recommend it, as it's one for the best resources on the web for Tefillah-related articles and ...
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6 votes

Non-statutory Torah service

There was a case with a group of shochtim who could not get a minyon for Shacharis on a Monday or Thursday. They were able to meet during their lunch break to have a minyon to lein. Update: Found ...
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6 votes

Can someone who takes out the Torah also get an Aliyah?

It's possible to run into a situation in which you have no choice but to double up. For an extreme example, suppose you have a minyan of exactly ten men, and it's a Shabbat on which you take out three ...
  • 46.9k
6 votes

Is there a Sof Haftarah?

In Ashkenazi cantillation, the demarcation of the end of a recitation unit is technically no different than the end of any other verse vis a vis the cantillation marks themselves. There is therefore ...
6 votes

Source for this Prayer for American Armed Forces

This was composed by Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, then the Rabbi of the Harvard Hillel Orthodox Minyan, around 2002.1 I remember him speaking, around that time, about the debt we owe to service members in our ...
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6 votes

Is a new blessing required when taking off and putting back on your tallit?

This is a dispute recorded in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 8:14: אם פשט טליתו אפילו היה דעתו לחזור ולהתעטף בו מיד צריך לברך כשיחזור ויתעטף בו הגה וי"א שאין מברכין אם יהיה דעתו לחזור ולהתעטף בו וי"א ...
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5 votes

Tircha D'Tzibbur vs. Kavod Hatorah - which wins?

Machzor Vitri - page 206 brings a story on Rosh Chodesh which was Chanuka where they took out 2 Sefer Torahs and the person who read the Torah, in error read 4 Aliyos in Rosh Chodesh and the Halacha ...
5 votes
Accepted

Sephardi Minhag of Boy Taking Maftir at Age 9

O Ch 284 (4) starts with the words that someone under barmitzvah (age not specified) can say the maftir. The source is a gemoro in Megilo 23a.
5 votes
Accepted

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

Your question is asked by no less than the P'ri M'gadim (OH Eshel Avraham: 135)! According to the Amora Sh'muel, as quoted by R. Yehudah, in Berakhot (21a), the recitation of Sh'ma is merely rabbinic....
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5 votes

Is a Cohen allowed to be called up for a Maftir even not on Shabbat?

Maftir is not considered one of the 7 "main" aliyot of the parsha. Technically, the entire parsha has been read and maftir is, usually, a repetition of the last few verses of the the weekly reading. ...
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5 votes

Chabad custom not to have bar mitzva aliya shabbat morning

The reason for the custom is that according to those who understand these matters, Monday and Thursday are Yemei Rotzon, days of added Divine "favor", and Shabbos afternoon is also known in Kabbala as ...
5 votes
Accepted

Why are there different intro. prayers for calling the Kohen aliyah on Shabbat vs. weekday?

Likutei Halevi - note #11 - in the name of Sefer Matamim is since there is a special Bracha of "Samcheinu" on Shabbos and Yom Tov by the Haftora where we request for the arrival of Mashiach there is ...
5 votes

Kohen aliyah during shiva

Shaarei Efrayim (shaar 1 sif 23 and shaar 8 sif 109) says that he should not be called up in the first place and should be asked to leave before the kriah. If he was called up already, then on ...
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5 votes

Kohen aliyah during shiva

The Shulchan Aruch - Yoreh Deah סימן שפד - האבל אסור בתלמוד תורה says that: ב אִם הָאָבֵל (ב) כֹּהֵן, וְאֵין בב''ה כֹּהֵן אַחֵר, אָסוּר לוֹ לַעֲלוֹת לִקְרוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה.‏ Even of the mourner ...
5 votes

Can someone who takes out the Torah also get an Aliyah?

Yes. I've been in a good number of orthodox synagogues in which the same person took out the Torah scroll and received an aliya. These include Young Israel of St. Louis (Mo.), Agudas Israel of St. ...
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5 votes

Tips for sitting holding a Sefer Torah without hurting your shoulder?

This probably depends in part on the size (eitz to eitz length, I mean) and weight of the sefer torah, but here's what people in my minyan do (and what I do personally) with a medium-sized scroll. My ...
4 votes

process for Gabbai to call his son to the Torah

I have been a gabbai and the way I was trained was יעמוד בני יוסף without mentioning my own name. That is also the way that I have seen other gabbaim do it. When my sons who are gabbaim mention their ...
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4 votes

Kissing a Sefer Torah as it passes

The Shearim Metzuyanim Behalacha on the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (חלק א - כג ס"ק א, מהדורה תשס"א) writes: As is known, we are obligated to stand for the Sefer torah, and this is learned from the ...
4 votes
Accepted

Custom for a mourner to be chosen to read the haftora every week

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (204:4) mentions (almost by the way) that a mourner gets to say the Haftara. יִשְׁתַּדְּלוּ לַעֲשוֹת נַחַת רוּחַ לַנְּשְׁמָה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְרָקִים לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, ...
4 votes

Is B'rich Shmei said while the Torah sits in the Aron, or as it's held (by whom?)

The Zohar (which is the source for saying this in the first place) states that the prayer should be said "כד מפקין ס"ת בצבורא למקרא ביה", when the Torah scroll is removed in the minyan to be read. Of ...
4 votes

Reason behind pinky during hagba

There is no definitive reason as to why specifically the pinky is used to point. In fact, others advocate using the pointer (cf. R. Haim Palagi, Lev Haim vol. 2 §167 3.6) R. Meir Mazuz suggested a ...
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