From the Rav’s Desk: Getting an Aliyah if in fight with Baal Korei

  • Question: [Wednesday, 29th MarCheshvan 5783]

I am the Gabbaiy of a Shul and I have the following unusual question. One of the congregants in our synagogue is in a year’s long financial dispute with our set Baal Korei, in which a lot of bad blood has been created between them. They do not speak. It was recently brought to my attention by someone that it’s a question of danger if I can give an Aliyah to the congregant if the set Baal Korei is the reader, and that perhaps I should only give him an Aliyah when someone else is taking him over for the reading. Is there any basis or truth to this?


The above is only partially accurate. There is no Halachic issue or issue of danger with an enemy of the Baal Korei getting an Aliyah with exception to the verses in Scripture discussing curses, such as in Parshas Bechukosaiy and Ki Sisa, in which in any event the widespread custom is for the Baal Korei himself to receive the Aliyah.

Explanation: The Rishonim write, and so is ruled in the Shulchan Aruch, that the Baal Korei must be beloved upon the congregation as otherwise it is dangerous for him to read the verses which discuss curses. Likewise, if a person hates the Baal Korei, he is not to be called up for an Aliyah when verses discussing curses are being read. Thus, writes the Mishneh Berurah, the Gabaiy is to beware not to call up an enemy of the Baal Korei for an Aliyah of the curses. However, it is clear that this worry of danger only applies when reading verses in Scripture which discuss curses, however, by other verses there is no issue whatsoever

Sources: See Admur 53:24; Rama 53:19; Or Zarua 1:114; Maharil 97; Sefer Chassidim 409-410; M”B 53:58; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 81:6

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