- Question: [Thursday, 10th yar 5781]
When I am called up to read the Haftorah, may/should I close the Haftorah book after concluding its reading prior to saying the after blessings, or should I leave it open until after the blessings are recited?
The person who reads the Haftorah for the public should leave the Haftorah book open until he finishes saying the after blessings for the Haftorah. However, the rest of the congregation can close their Haftorah as soon as the reading is done.
Explanation: Although the public reader of the Haftorah is not allowed to remove the Haftorah book from the table until he finishes reciting the after blessings [just as we rule regarding a Torah scroll itself that it may not be removed from the table until the after blessing of the Aliyah is recited], nonetheless, it is debated as to whether he also may not close it until after he completes the blessings or if closing it is allowed just like is allowed to be done by a Torah scroll, and practically it is best to leave the area of the Haftorah open until the after blessings are completed. This is similar to the Chabad custom regarding the Megillah reading.
Sources: Regarding not removing it from the table see: Admur 284:12; M”A 284:6; M”B 284:12; Shivlei Haleket 80 in name of Geonim; Tanya 16; Mateh Moshe 455; Hagahos Maimanis; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 284:13; The following rule that it should also not be closed: Shaareiy Efraim 9:34; The following rule that it may be closed: Elya Raba 284:10 based on implication of M”A and Admur ibid; Kaf Hachaim 284:34