Chapter 1: The Mitzvah of Kerias Hatorah & its general laws

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Chapter 1: The Mitzvah of Kerias Hatorah & its general laws

1. The Mitzvah and its days of reading:[1]

Moshe Rabbeinu established for the Jewish people that they are to read from the Torah scroll on Shabbos, Yom Tov, Yom Kippur, Rosh Chodesh, Chol Hamoed, and Monday’s and Thursday’s. [This reading is of Rabbinical status.[2]] Ezra established for the Torah to be read also on Mincha of Shabbos.[3] [The Sages in the Mishnaic era established that the Torah be read also on fast days.[4] The Sages in the second Temple era established that the Torah be read on Chanukah and Purim.]

The reason why the Torah reading was established on Shabbos, Mondays and Thursdays: The verse[5] states that the Jewish people walked three days in the desert and did not find water. The Talmud[6] states that the preachers [i.e. Dorshei Reshumos] explained that the term water in the verse refers to Torah, and the verse is stating that since they went three days without Torah, they became confounded. Therefore, the prophets of those days stood and established for the Jewish people that they read the Torah on Shabbos, and again on Monday, and again on Thursday, in order so they do not pass three days without Torah. [The daily Shema recital does not suffice as a substitute, as one is required to be engaged in Torah learning, and not just reading. Likewise, perhaps one is required to read from the actual words written in a scroll.[7] Likewise, the public reading gives one the merit of public Torah learning.[8] The reason the Sages established the Torah reading specifically for Monday’s and Thursday’s, is because Moshe Rabbeinu ascended to heaven for the third time to receive the second Tablets on a Thursday and descended on a Monday, thus turning these days into an auspicious time.[9] Alternatively, according to Kabballah, the reason the Sages established the Torah reading specifically for Monday’s and Thursday’s is because these are days of judgment and require a connection of prayer with Torah learning.[10]]

The reason why the Torah reading was established on Shabbos by Mincha:[11] Ezra made the above Takana for the sake of the merchants who deal with their business and merchandise throughout all the days of the week and thus do not come to Shul and hear the Torah reading on Monday’s and Thursday’s. Therefore, Ezra established on their behalf, the reading of the Torah on Shabbos by Mincha, as then they are free and will come to hear it.

 

Summary:

It was established for the Torah to be read on the following days:

1. Shabbos morning

2. Shabbos Mincha

3. Yom Tov

4. Yom Kippur [Shacharis and Mincha]

5. Monday

6. Thursday

7. Rosh Chodesh

8. Fast days

9. Chanukah

10. Purim

Q&A

May one read the Torah on days other than those mentioned above?

It is forbidden to read the Torah with a blessing outside of any of the above mentioned days, and one who does so transgresses reciting a blessing in vain.[12] This applies even if one missed one of the days of Torah reading and desires to make it up.[13] Furthermore, one may not even take out the Torah to read without a blessing on days other than those listed above, [unless one has an accepted custom to do so based on Tzaddikim, such as for the night of Simchas Torah/Hoshana Raba, the Nessiim, Shnayim Mikra, and the like].[14]

 

2. Who is obligated in the Torah reading?

A. Individual versus congregation:[15]

It is debated amongst the Poskim if Kerias Hatorah is an obligation upon the congregation or is a personal obligation upon each individual. Some Poskim[16] rule that it is an obligation upon each individual to hear the Torah reading. However, majority of Poskim[17] rule that it is a general obligation upon the congregation and not upon the individual. [According to this latter approach, one who missed the Torah reading of his Minyan, and certainly if he only missed a few words, is not obligated to make it up by another Minyan. Likewise, according to this latter approach one may live in a city that does not have a Minyan, even though he will miss Kerias Hatorah.[18]] Practically, however, even according to the latter approach, every man is initially required to place effort to be present by the Torah reading, and create a community Minyan, similar to the obligation one has to make a Minyan for Davening.[19] Likewise, every man who is present by the Minyan is obligated to hear every single word of the reading.[20]

B. The reading versus the blessings:[21]

There is no obligation on the congregation to be Yotzei the blessings said by the Aliyos of Kerias Hatorah and the obligation is merely regarding the hearing of the reading. Nonetheless, it is an obligation upon the congregation to pay attention the blessing while it is being said.[22]

C. Women:[23]

Some Poskim[24] rule that women are obligated in hearing Kerias Hatorah.[25] Other Poskim[26], however, rule that women are not obligated in hearing Kerias Hatorah. Practically, the widespread custom is for woman not to be particular to hear Kerias Hatorah.[27] Thus, they are permitted to leave Shul for Kerias Hatorah, or not come to Shul at all.[28] Nevertheless, a woman who remains in Shul is to concentrate on the reading and not talk or disturb.[29] [However, if she has not yet Davened and fears missing Zeman Tefilla, then she is to Daven quietly during Kerias Hatorah.[30] Women who are within their period of menstruation are not to look at the Sefer Torah.[31]]

 

Q&A

What receives precedence; hearing Kerias Hatorah or Davening with a Minyan or on time?

If one is unable to both Daven with a Minyan and hear Kerias Hatorah, then he is to precede Davening with a Minyan.[32] Certainly, one is to precede Davening within Zman Tefilla than to hear Kerias Hatorah and push off Davening until after Zeman Tefilla.[33]

What is one to do if he is in middle of Shemoneh Esrei, and the congregation began to read Kerias Hatorah?

See Chapter 8 Halacha 5!

Must an individual have in mind to fulfill the Mitzvah of Kerias Hatorah, as is required by all other Mitzvos?[34]

No.[35]

Are children obligated in Kerias Hatorah?[36]

Children, even those who have reached the age of Chinuch, are not obligated in Kerias Hatorah. Nevertheless, it is customary to educate them to remain in the Shul when age appropriate, and certainly not to talk or disturb in middle.

 

3. A Minyan-The requirement to have a Minyan by Kerias Hatorah:[37]

A. The General law:

One may not read from the Torah [with its blessings] if there are less than ten adult men above the age of Mitzvos who are present.[38] [Accordingly, one is required to have a Minyan to be able to perform Kerias Hatorah, just as is the rule regarding any Davar Shebekedusha, such as for Kaddish and Chazaras Hashatz.]

“Asara Mitzaytin”-Ten people who are paying attention to the reading:[39] It does not suffice for there simply to be ten men present in the room for one to be able to perform Kerias Hatorah. In addition, there must be ten men who are paying attention to the reading in order for the Minyan to be valid. This is known as Asara Mitzaytin. [Thus, if one of the ten men is on the phone, or studying Torah, or involved in any other subject, and will not be stopping to hear Kerias Hatorah, then he cannot be counted as part of the Minyan of ten. Accordingly, when amongst the Minyan there are less than ten people who did not hear Kerias Hatorah, one must verify that those people who are completing the Minyan will concentrate and pay attention to the reading.]

B. If lost Minyan in middle of reading:[40]

If one began the reading with a Minyan of ten men, and in the middle of the reading some of them left, leaving them without a Minyan, the remaining congregation is to complete the reading of the Torah. [This however only applies if at least six people remain.[41] It is considered that one has begun the reading if the words of Baruch Ata Hashem has been said in the first blessing of the first Aliya, however it does not suffice if merely Barchu was recited.[42]] One may continue calling up the remaining Aliyos with the blessings said before and after the reading.[43] [Thus, on Shabbos, one is to call all seven Aliyos. It is however forbidden to add more Aliyos than necessary in such a situation.[44] Accordingly, one is not to call an 8th Aliya for Maftir on Shabbos, and rather the seven Aliyos should include the Maftir.[45] The Haftorah is to be read without a blessing before or afterwards.[46] After the Torah reading, one may say half Kaddish.[47]]

 

Q&A on lost Minyan in middle

If one lost the Minyan in the midst of reading Maftir, may the Haftorah be recited with its blessings?

If one began reading the Maftir with ten men and then one of them left in middle, some Poskim[48] rule that the Haftorah is to be read without its before or after blessings. Other Poskim[49], however, rule the blessings are to be recited.

 

If one lost the Minyan in the midst of reading the Haftorah, are the after blessings to be recited?[50]

If one began reading the Haftorah with ten men and one of them left in middle, the after blessings are nevertheless to be recited.

 

C. Do children below Bar Mitzvah count for the Minyan?[51]  

Some Poskim[52] rule that a child below the age of Mitzvos does not join a Minyan for Kerias Hatorah. Other Poskim[53], however, rule that a child does join a Minyan for Kerias Hatorah.[54] Practically, Safek Brachos Lehakel and one is not to join a child for a Minyan.[55] Nevertheless, a congregation who is lenient to have a child join the Minyan is not to be protested.[56]

 

 

Q&A

How many people within the Minyan must not have yet heard Kerias Torah to be allowed to perform the Keriah?[57]

Some Poskim[58] rule that one may only perform Kerias Hatorah with its blessing if at least ten people have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei.[59] Other Poskim[60] rule that one may perform Kerias Hatorah with its blessing if at least seven people have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei.[61] Other Poskim[62] rule that one may perform Kerias Hatorah with its blessing if at least six people have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei.[63] Other Poskim[64] rule that by a reading of three Aliyos, such as on Monday, Thursday, and Mincha of Shabbos, it suffices to have three people who have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei. Other Poskim[65] imply it suffices to have even one person who did not yet hear the Torah. Other Poskim[66] rule one may repeat the reading even if everyone already heard the Torah.

May six people who already heard the reading join for the Minyan if they had in mind to not be Yotzei?

Some Poskim[67] rule that one who has in mind to not be Yotzei, is considered still obligated to hear the reading, and thus they may join for a Minyan to make a new reading of Kerias Hatorah. They can also make a stipulation that if they will be needed for another Minyan then they have in mind to not be Yotzei.[68] [Accordingly, those involved in Mivtza Aseres Hadibros on Shavuos, may have in mind by the Torah reading to not be Yotzei with the reading just in case they are needed for a reading later on. Nonetheless, initially, if a Minyan for the reading is already scheduled to take place later on, then it is better for the participants to exit the Shul prior to the reading in the morning, than to remain and intend to not be Yotzei.[69]]

If ten people heard Kerias Hatorah in other Minyanim, may they still read the Torah in their Minyan?[70]

Some Poskim[71] rule that it is permitted to do so, if they did not intend to be Yotzei with those Minyanim.[72] Other Poskim[73], however, rule that they may not read the Torah unless there are ten people present who did not hear the Torah from previous Minyanim.[74] Practically, if the congregation already heard Kerias Hatorah before their Minyan, then it is not to be repeated.[75]

 

On the second day of Yom Tov, may a Ben Eretz Yisrael be counted for a Minyan in Chutz Laaretz, or vice versa?[76]

On the second day of Yom Tov in the Diaspora, one who is from Israel and is thus only keeping one day of Yom Tov, cannot count for the Minyan, unless it is also a day of reading in Israel [such as a Monday, or Thursday, or Shabbos]. Likewise, in Israel, an Israeli cannot be counted for a Kerias Hatorah Minyan of Bnei Chutz Laaretz on the second day.

 

4. The Times-When during the day is the Torah to be read and until what time?[77]

A. Lechatchila:[78]

Initially, although one may read the Torah anytime throughout the day [as explained next], it is a Mitzvah for the Torah to be read early on in the day, during the Shacharis prayer, after Shemoneh Esrei, in the order established by the Sages. [There are both Halachic and esoteric reasons for reading the Torah specifically in the order of the morning prayers.[79] Furthermore, there is esoteric meaning behind reading the Torah specifically after Shemoneh Esrei, prior to Ashrei and Uva Letziyon, as during this time there are special Divine revelations which occur and thus create an auspicious occasion for the Torah reading to take place.[80]]

B. Bedieved-Until what time in the day may the Torah be read:[81]  

Shabbos: The Shabbos Torah reading may take place anytime throughout the day [until sunset]. Thus, a congregation which did not read the weekly Parsha by Shacharis, may do so by Mincha and call up seven Aliyos, just as is done by Shacharis.[82] [See Q&A regarding the order in such a case. The above follows the Ashkenazi ruling, however, the Sephardi custom is to never make up the weekly Parsha reading by Mincha, and it is rather read the following week if it could not be read by Shacharis.[83]]

Weekday: The above law also applies by the Torah reading of any other day, such as Monday and Thursday or Rosh Chodesh, that it may take place anytime throughout the day [until sunset].[84] Thus, if at least six people did not hear the morning Torah reading they may gather another four individuals and read the Torah with its blessings, up until sunset.[85] [Some Poskim[86], however, conclude that one may only be lenient to read the Torah by Mincha in a time of need, if one missed the Torah reading due to reasons beyond one’s control, and not simply due to inconvenience or being busy. Practically, while the custom of some Gedolei Yisrael was to make an afternoon Minyan for Torah reading[87], others abstained from making up the reading during Mincha, and would thus miss the Torah readings on days that they were unable to hear it during Shacharis.[88] In all cases, one should not create a set afternoon Minyan for Torah reading, and should only do so on occasion if necessary.[89]]

 

 

Q&A

On a fast day, may the morning Torah reading be made up in the afternoon?[90]

Some write that this cannot be done once the time of Mincha arrives, as the Torah reading of Mincha of a fast day is the same as that of Shacharis.

 

What comes first; Davening Mincha or making up the morning Torah reading?

Shabbos:[91] In the event that a congregation did not hear the Shabbos Torah and the time for Mincha has already arrived, then [according to the Ashkenazi custom] the congregation is to first read the Torah and only afterwards Daven Mincha.[92] The order is as follows: One first reads the Torah, then says Ashrei and Uva Letziyon, and then reads the Mincha Torah reading, as usual. If the congregation already began Mincha and said Ashrei, Uva Letziyon, and Kaddish, then they are no longer to read the weekly Parsha which they missed, and are to simply continue with the set Mincha reading for that Shabbos.[93] It is rather to be made up the next week, as explained in Chapter 2 Halacha 6.

Weekday: In the event that a congregation did not hear the weekday Torah reading of Monday or Thursday [or Rosh Chodesh, and the like], and the time for Mincha has already arrived, then some Poskim[94] rule that the congregation is to first Daven Mincha and only afterwards make up the Torah reading.[95] Other Poskim[96], however, rule that it is to be read prior to Mincha, prior to the Karbanos, and Ashrei of Mincha.

May one hear Kerias Hatorah prior to Davening Shacharis?[97]

If one plans to Daven Shacharis at a later Minyan, he is initially not to join the Torah reading of an earlier Minyan, in order so he is able to be Yotzei the Torah reading during its instituted time. Nevertheless, if he is afraid that he may not be able to make it for the later Torah reading, and certainly if he plans to Daven afterwards alone without a Minyan, then he is to hear the reading prior to Shacharis. The same applies for any other time of need [such as he needs an Aliyah, and will not be able to receive it during his Minyan’s Torah reading]. Nonetheless, even if one already heard the reading before Shacharis, he is to hear it again after Shacharis Shemoneh Esrei, within the normal order of Davening, if the opportunity arises.

May one read the Torah prior to sunrise or Alos Hashachar?

It is permitted to read the Torah prior to sunrise. Furthermore, some Poskim[98] rule that in a time of need one may even read the Torah prior to Alos Hashachar, even though it is still night. Practically, however, this may only be done in a time of need, and only on occasion, and not as a set Minyan.

If one will not have a Minyan after Tachanun, may one skip Tachanun in order to read the Torah with a Minyan?[99]

Yes.

 

5. The law if there is no Minyan available, or if one is Davening in private:[100]

One who is unable to arrange or join a Minyan to hear the Torah reading [i.e. Davening at home, or no Minyan in Shul, or community], is to read the Parsha to himself from within a Chumash. This applies to all days that the Torah is read, including Monday’s and Thursday’s, and certainly to Shabbos.[101]

Reading from a Sefer Torah:[102] It is permitted for one to take out the Sefer Torah and read the Torah portion from it without its blessings even if a Minyan is not available. Thus, if a congregation could not gather a Minyan for Kerias Hatorah, they may nevertheless remove the Sefer Torah and read the entire portion consecutively without its blessings or Aliyos.

6. The law if there is no Sefer Torah available:

A Shul or community which does not own a Sefer Torah is in its stead to have one person read the text aloud from a Chumash.[103] The reading is done without blessings.[104] It is done without calling people up for Aliyos, and rather the Baal Korei reads the entire Aliyah from beginning to end.[105] [The Baal Korei is to stand during the reading, as is normally done, and is to recite a half Kaddish at its conclusion.[106]] Likewise, the Haftorah is to be read without its blessings.[107]

7. Using a Kosher Sefer Torah-The law if the only Sefer Torah available is Pasul:[108]

One is required to have a Kosher Sefer Torah in order to be able to perform Kerias Hatorah. Thus, one may not read the Torah reading with its blessings from a Pasul Sefer Torah [with exception to the case explained next where the invalidation is found in a different Chumash]. This applies even if there is no other Kosher Sefer Torah available in the city.[109] [One may, however, read from it without its blessings, just as one would read from a Chumash, as explained above in Halacha 6.[110]] Thus, one may not read from a Sefer Torah that does not contain all five books of Moshe written and bound together.[111] It goes without saying that one cannot read with a blessing from a printed Chumash.[112] See Chapter 10 Halacha 4 for a list of invalidations relevant to a Sefer Torah.

The law if the Sefer of the Parsha of the Torah reading does not contain any invalidations:[113] If the area of invalidation in the Pasul Sefer Torah is not found in the Sefer of the Parsha that one is set to read from, then it is permitted to read from this Sefer Torah [with a blessing[114]], if no other Kosher Sefer Torah is available. [For example, if a Sefer Torah contains invalidations in the Parshiyos of Sefer Bereishis, Sefer Shemos, Sefer Vayikra and Sefer Devarim, but contains no invalidations in any of the Parshiyos of Sefer Bamidbar, then one may read a Parsha from Sefer Bamidbar with its blessings if no other Kosher Sefer Torah is available. However, some Poskim[115] argue on the above and rule that one is never to read from a Pasul Sefer Torah even if the invalidation is not found in the current Sefer of the Parsha that one is reading. Practically, the custom is to be stringent and not read from an invalid Sefer Torah with its blessings, in any circumstance.[116] Nonetheless, those who are lenient are not to be protested.[117]]

The law if in middle of the reading it was discovered that the Torah is invalid: See Chapter 10 Halacha 3!

 

Q&A

If one discovered an invalidation in the Shul’s Sefer Torah, is he obligated to inform the community?

Some Poskim[118] rule that if there is no other Kosher Sefer Torah available in the community, and there is no Sofer available who can fix it, then there is no need to inform the community of its invalidation, and they may continue to read from it with its blessings.

8. Bringing a Sefer Torah from one area to another for the sake of Kerias Hatorah:

A. The general law:[119]

Bringing it to a private Minyan:[120] It is forbidden to remove a Sefer Torah from a Shul for the sake of reading from it in another area [unless certain conditions are fulfilled, as will be explained in Halacha’s B-C]. [This prohibition applies even if one carries the Sefer Torah together with its Aron.[121] This prohibition applies even if one wraps the Sefer Torah in a Tallis and escorts it with ten people.[122]]

From one Shul to another Shul: The Zohar states that it is a severe prohibition to be lenient in this matter of moving a Sefer Torah, even to move it from one Shul to another Shul.[123] However, some Poskim[124] rule that it is permitted to bring a Sefer Torah from one Shul to another Shul so long as there are ten people escorting it in a form of respect. Practically, we are stringent in this matter.[125] However, if a set Shul Minyan is stuck without a Sefer Torah for whatever reason [i.e. their only Sefer Torah was found to be Pasul, or they lost the key to the Aron Kodesh[126]] then it is permitted to have a Sefer Torah brought to them, even if it is possible for them to move the Minyan to another Shul.[127] [However, if they still have one Kosher Sefer Torah available, it is forbidden to bring another Sefer Torah to the Shul even for the sake of Maftir.[128] Furthermore, this allowance only applies to a set Minyan in an established Shul. However, a breakaway Minyan which has decided to hold services in a different area than the local Shul is prohibited from carrying the Sefer Torah on Shabbos even for the sake of their Minyan and rather they must go to the main Shul for Kerias Hatorah.[129] If, however, they set up an Aron before Shabbos and have the Sefer Torah remain there for a few days, then from the letter of the law it may be done, as explained in B. See Q&A regarding moving from one room to another within the same Shul, and regarding if the Shul does not contain a safe.]

A private Sefer Torah:[130] A privately owned Sefer Torah [which is kept in one’s private home] is permitted to be moved from place to place, such as during travel, and the like. [If, however, the Sefer Torah is kept in the Shul and used by the public, then it follows the same laws and restrictions as a Shul’s Sefer Torah.[131] Likewise, some Poskim[132] rule that the Sefer Torah must be written with this intent, that it be used for travel.]

B. Cases of exception and allowance-If one cannot attend Shul, for the sake of a Gadol:

*In all the below cases of allowance, the Torah scroll may even be brought to the Minyan at the time of Kerias Hatorah and be returned immediately after the reading, unless stated otherwise. Nonetheless, initially, it is best for the Sefer Torah to be set up in an Aron from the day before and remain there for one to two days, as explained in Halacha’s C, and be transported in the ways explained in Halacha D.[133]

For the sake of one who cannot attend Kerias Hatorah:[134] One may not bring a Sefer Torah even on behalf of people who are incarcerated [or sick[135] and the like and are hence unable to make it to Kerias Hatorah]. This applies even on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.[136] [See footnote regarding Parshas Zachar/Parah![137] This, however, only applies to a case that there is less than a Minyan of people that need the Sefer Torah.[138] If, however, there is a Minyan of people who are unable to make it to Kerias Hatorah due to reasons beyond their control, then a Sefer Torah may be brought to that Minyan.[139] If, however, the Minyan is able to make it to Shul, then a Sefer Torah may not be brought to them unless certain conditions are fulfilled, as will be explained in C. Thus, practically, one may bring a Sefer Torah on behalf of a group of ten patients who are stuck in a hospital, or ten prisoners, or ten soldiers stuck in an army base without permission to leave, and all cases of the like where a group of ten people cannot make it to Shul. However, one may not bring a Sefer Torah on behalf of a private Minyan or break away Minyan, since they are physically able to make it to the Shul if they desired.]

For the sake of a Gadol Betorah or Leader:[140] [Another exception to the above prohibition is as follows:] If the person who requires the Sefer Torah to be brought to him is a Chashuv person [i.e. Gadol Betorah[141], or a G-d fearing community leader[142]], then it is permitted to be brought in all cases. [This applies even if he is the only person that requires the reading, and even if an area was not prepared for the Sefer Torah.[143] Likewise, the Sefer Torah can be brought there just for the reading and then immediately returned.[144] Some Poskim[145] rule that this law applies even if the Adam Chashuv is not sick and can make it to Shul. However, other Poskim[146] rule that this law does not apply if the Adam Chashuv is not sick and is able to make it to Shul. Practically, if he is able to make it to Shul, then an Aron is to be set up by his house to allow the Torah scroll to be brought according to all opinions.[147] Thus, when a Gadol Betorah comes to a city and it is common for the people of the city to gather by his home and make a Minyan, the Sefer Torah may be brought to his home for the Minyan.[148]]

For the sake of a congregation that is stuck without a Sefer Torah: See above and in Halacha A regarding moving from one Shul to another! See Q&A regarding if the Shul does not contain a safe.

C. If the Sefer Torah will remain in a set up Aron for a few days:[149]

The above prohibition only applies if the Torah scroll is being brought to the Minyan at the time of Kerias Hatorah [and is being returned after the reading], however if [an ark[150] is prepared for the Torah scroll[151] and] it remains there for a day or two[152] then it is permitted to be brought. [This allowance applies whether it will remain a day or two prior to the reading or after the reading.[153] This allowance only applies if the Torah scroll will be placed in an actual ark or closet, and not if it will simply be left on a table or in a corner.[154] This allowance applies even if the people are able to come to Shul but they have a justified reason for desiring to make their own Minyan.[155] However, this allowance is not to be used for unjustified reasons, such as for the leisure of making a Minyan in ones house when he can simply walk to Shul.[156] In all cases it must be brought before Davening and not simply when they reach Kerias Hatorah.[157]]

Reading three readings in the Sefer Torah: Some Poskim[158] rule that in addition to the above conditions [setting up an ark and leaving it for one to two days] one is not to return the Sefer Torah until it is read on three different occasions. Other Poskim[159], however, rule that there is no need to read from the Sefer Torah on three different occasions, and there is no source for requiring one to do so. Practically, when possible, the widespread custom is to read from the Sefer Torah on three occasions in order to show that the Torah was given a set place in the area.[160]

For the sake of a Beis Hachashan, or Beis Ha’avel: See Q&A!

D. How to carry and travel with the Sefer Torah:[161]

*Transporting the Sefer Torah in the below mentioned manner is only to be done if one of the allowances stated above are applicable, otherwise it is forbidden to carry the Sefer Torah from one place to another even if it is wrapped in a Tallis and escorted by ten people.[162]

Cover with Tallis: When bringing a Sefer Torah from one place to another [in the permitted cases explained above] it is an old age custom to cover it with a Tallis if it will pass through a street or other public area.[163] [However, if it can be brought in a portable Aron, then it is better to do so.[164]]

Dirty area:[165]  One is to be careful not to walk with the Sefer Torah through areas that contain filth.

Escorted by ten people:[166] It is a Hiddur for ten people to escort the Sefer Torah from behind, to its destination. [However, if one is able to bring it by car, then one is to do so rather than have it brought in the streets with an entourage.[167]]

 

Summary [Includes details from Q&A]:

It is forbidden to bring a Sefer Torah from one area to another unless one of the following exceptions apply:

1. A Minyan of people cant make it to Shul due to reasons beyond their control: The Sefer Torah may be brought on behalf of ten Jews who are unable to make it to Shul due to reasons beyond their will, such as for ten patients in a hospital, or ten prisoners, or ten soldiers stuck in an army base without permission to leave. If some of the ten Jews are able to make it to a Shul and read it there, then it is forbidden to bring a Sefer Torah to the group, with exception to Parshas Zachar, in which case a Sefer Torah may be read with a Minyan even on behalf of a single Jew who cannot make it to shul.

2. The Shul’s Sefer Torah is Pasul or Aron is locked: If a set Shul Minyan is stuck without a Sefer Torah, such as their only Sefer Torah was found to be Pasul, or they lost the key to the Aron Kodesh, then it is permitted to have a Sefer Torah brought to them, even if it is possible for them to move the Minyan to another Shul. However, a breakaway Minyan which has decided to hold services in a different area than the local Shul is prohibited from carrying the Sefer Torah.

3. Gadol Betorah and Adam Chashuv: If the person who requires the Sefer Torah to be brought to him is a Chashuv person [i.e. Gadol Betorah, or a G-d fearing community leader], then it is permitted to have a Sefer Torah brought to him.

4. The Sefer Torah is set up beforehand for 1-2 days: If the Sefer Torah is set up in an ark some time prior to the Keriah and remains there for one to two days, [and one reads from the Torah at least on three different occasions] then it is permitted to have the Sefer Torah brought to the area.

5. A private Sefer Torah: A privately owned Sefer Torah [which is kept in one’s private home] is permitted to be moved from place to place, such as during travel, and the like.

 

Q&A on moving a Sefer Torah from one area to another

May a Sefer Torah be brought from one room to another within the same Shul?[168]

Some Poskim[169] rule it is permitted to carry a Sefer Torah from one room to another within the same house. Thus, one may carry the Torah from the Heichal of the Shul to a side room in which a Minyan is taking place [i.e. Ezras Nashim, Cheder Sheiyni, Shtiebel Minyanim rooms]. Other Poskim[170], however, rule that it is forbidden to carry a Sefer Torah even from one room to the next, or from upstairs to downstairs, or vice versa. Practically, initially all Shuls are to arrange to have an Aron Kodesh with a Sefer Torah in each room that Minyanim take place in order to avoid the need to carry the Sefer Torah from one place to another.[171] However, in the event that this cannot be done, and the Minyan can’t move to the room with the Heichal for Kerias Hatorah[172], then one may be lenient to bring the Sefer Torah from one room to another.[173] This especially applies if the two rooms are connected and one can go straight from the room with the Heichal to the next room without needing to go into the hallway.[174]

Bringing Sefer Torah to courtyard or Sukkah of Shul/The Kosel: One is certainly to be stringent to avoid bringing a Sefer Torah to a Shul’s courtyard or Sukkah.[175] Nonetheless, in a time of need one may be lenient, as stated above.[176] Thus, by the Kosel Hamaaravi, it is proper not to bring Sifrei Torah to the courtyard and one is rather to go inside the tunnel area to have the Torah read. However, if this is not possible, then one may be lenient, and so is the custom.[177]

Bringing Sefer Torah outside for the sake of reaching another room in the building:[178] One is not allowed to carry a Sefer Torah outside for the sake of bringing it to another room, even if the room is in the same building as the Shul [but can only entered from the outside], and the entire allowance above is only in scenarios that the Sefer Torah will not be leaving the property/building at all.

Bringing a more Mehudar Sefer Torah, or second Sefer Torah for Maftir:[179] One is not to be lenient to bring a Sefer Torah even from one room to the next if there already is a Sefer Torah in the current room. This applies even if the Sefer Torah in the room is less Mehudar, or of a different script [i.e. Beis Yosef versus Arizal]. This applies even if one desires a second Sefer Torah for Maftir, unless rolling the Sefer Torah to the area of Maftir would involve a great Tircha Detzibura.

Q&A on scenarios of exception

May a Sefer Torah be brought to the house of a Chasan during Shabbos Sheva Brachos?[180]

It is permitted to have a Sefer Torah brought to the home of a Chasan during Sheva Brachos, if the families are doing their own Minyan, and there is good reason for why they should not merge with the local Shul Minyan [i.e. not enough Aliyos, Shul will lose money, Tircha Detzibura].[181]  In such a case, initially the Sefer Torah is to be brought before Shabbos, and stored in a designated Aron or closet.

May a Sefer Torah be brought to the house of an Avel during Shiva?[182]

Some Poskim[183] rule one is not to bring the Sefer Torah to the house of the Avel, and rather after Davening the congregation is to go to Shul for Kerias Hatorah.[184] Other Poskim[185] however rule it is permitted to bring a Sefer Torah to the house of the Avel. Practically, the custom is to bring the Sefer Torah to the house of the Avel for the Shiva prayers.[186] The Sefer Torah must be set up in an ark some time prior to the Keriah and remain there for at least one to two days.[187] [The Rebbe had a Sefer Torah brought to his mother’s home during the Shiva.[188]]

Must one read from the Sefer Torah three times? It is not required to read from the Sefer Torah on three different occasions, and hence one is not required to make a Minyan in the Shiva home also on Shabbos for Shacharis or Mincha, in order to have three readings.[189] However, some Poskim[190] are stringent in this matter and accordingly rule that in addition to reading on Mondays and Thursdays, the Shiva home must also arrange a Minyan on Shabbos for the Torah reading.

May a Sefer Torah be brought to a Chabad house Minyan that is established especially for Rosh Hashanah?

It may be brought in the following way: An ark is to be set up for the Sefer Torah and the Sefer Torah is to remain there one to two days.

On Rosh Hashanah, may people make a separate Minyan by Kerias Hatorah in a nearby house, bringing the Sefer Torah with them?[191]

It was accustomed by some congregations that when the time of Kerias Hatorah arrived on Rosh Hashanah, a Minyan within the congregation would take a Sefer Torah with them to a nearby home and read the Torah there in order so everyone can get an Aliyah. The Poskim[192] negate this practice based on the ruling above. Nevertheless, if the Aliyos will be sold and the charity funds will increase as a result then it is permitted to be done.[193] Nevertheless it is best to set up an Ark for the scroll and leave it there for a day or two.

May one bring the Sefer Torah to another area if one carries it inside a Tallis, or inside a portable Aron?[194]

No. The above prohibition against bringing a Sefer Torah from one area to another [without fulfilling the mitigating allowances] is forbidden even if the Torah is wrapped in a Tallis and brought inside of an Aron.

May one move the Aron Kodesh with the Sefer Torah to outside the sanctuary of the Shul for the sake of making room for an event?[195]

It is absolutely forbidden to do so. This applies even if the event is a Seudas Mitzvah.

If one does not contain a safe area in the Shul to store the Sefer Torah, may it be brought from its safe area to the Shul for the sake of the reading, and then returned?[196]

Yes. In such a case, the Sefer Torah is to be brought that day before Davening, and be returned after Davening. This, however, only applies if one cannot move the Minyan to the area with the Sefer Torah, or if one is in the same property as the Sefer Torah, and is merely moving it from one room to another.

 

Q&A on Simchas Torah

May one bring Sifrei Torah from other Shul’s on Simchas Torah for the sake of performing Hakafos?[197]

One is not to bring Sifrei Torah from one Shul to another even if they do not have any Sifrei Torah, unless one fulfills the conditions required for moving a Sefer Torah throughout the year.[198] However, some Poskim[199] are lenient to permit doing so on Simchas Torah, especially if the other Shul will not have Minyan to dance with the Sefer Torah. Likewise, some Poskim[200] are lenient to permit many Shuls to gather for Hakafos in one large Shul and to bring with them all their Sifrei Torah.

May one bring Sifrei Torah from other Shul’s on Simchas Torah for the sake of everyone getting an Aliyah?[201]

The custom is to be lenient to bring Sifrei Torah from one Shul to another for the sake of reading from it in order so all the congregants receive an Aliyah. The Torah is to be wrapped in a Tallis and escorted from behind by ten men, from the Shul that it is taken from.

May one on Simchas Torah take the Sifrei Torah outside the Shul, to the street, to dance with?[202]

Yes. This may especially be done if there is not enough space to dance with the Sefer Torah inside the Shul.

  

E. How to travel with a Sefer Torah from one city to another:[203]

Unsewing the Sefer Torah:[204] When sending a Sefer Torah from one city to another, many are accustomed to invalidating the Sefer Torah by removing the stitching of one of the parchments, and it is then resewn in the new destination. [Practically, this is to only be done when sending the Sefer Torah through the mail system, or as luggage on a plane, train, or ship. If, however, a Jew will be escorting the Sefer Torah on its journey, such if it will be with him in the car, or as carry-on luggage on an airplane flight or ship, then the Sefer Torah does not need to be unsewn.[205] In the event that one cannot personally escort the Sefer Torah throughout the journey, and must send it through mail, or under the plane/bus, then the five Chumashim are to be unsewn and well packaged, and it may then be sent.[206]]

How to package it when sending by mail or as luggage: When sending the Sefer Torah through mail, or as luggage, the Sefer Torah is to be well packaged with a number of coverings[207], and have a rain covering to protect it from getting wet.

How to travel with it as carry on luggage: The whole Sefer Torah may be placed in a suitcase if the person will be with it the entire time. If one is taking a flight, it must be brought in as hand luggage, and remain next to the person, or on top of the person by the overhead luggage compartment, and not on the floor. It is not to be placed together with all the other luggage on the bottom of the plane. The same applies when traveling by bus. In the event that one cannot personally escort the Sefer Torah throughout the journey, and must send it through mail, or under the plane/bus, then the above directives are to be followed.

Treating the package with respect:[208] Even when the Sefer Torah is unsewn and packaged in several wrappings inside of a suitcase or box, it should nevertheless be treated with respect, and not as a normal package or luggage.

 

Summary:

Escorting to destination: One who is escorting a Sefer Torah from one city to another is to package it well with a number of coverings, and have it by his side during the travel. It may be placed by the overhead compartment of a plane, but should not be placed under one’s seat or with all the other luggage in the main luggage compartment.

Sending by mail: One who sends a Sefer Torah through the mail is to undo the sewing of the five Chumashim and package it well for its journey.

 

  

9. Taking a Sefer Torah out of the Shul not for the sake of Kerias Hatorah:[209]

It is permitted to remove a Sefer Torah from the Shul for the sake of its honor and respect. This includes the following cases:

Hachnasas Sefer Torah:[210] It is permitted to remove an old Sefer Torah from the Aron for the sake of dancing with it by a Hachnasas Sefer Torah. It may be danced with even in the streets together with the procession of the new Torah.  

In honor of a King or president: Some Poskim[211] rule that it is permitted to remove a Sefer Torah from, the Aron for the sake of greeting a dignitary, such as the president or king.

Hakafos for Simchas Torah: See previous Halacha in Q&A!

For the sake of editing it:[212] It is permitted to have a Sefer Torah brought to the home of a Sofer for the sake of checking it or editing it.

10. Reading from the Sefer Torah not for the sake of Kerias Hatorah:

Reading from it on non-Kerias Hatorah occasions:[213] It is forbidden to remove a Sefer Torah from the Aron for the sake of learning from it. Rather, one is to learn from a Chumash. [Thus, one may not take out the Torah to read without a blessing on days in which the Torah is not meant to be read, unless one has an accepted custom to do so based on Tzaddikim, such as for the night of Simchas Torah/Hoshana Raba, the Nessiim, Shnayim Mikra, and the like.[214]]

Reading Kerias Hatorah from it without its blessings if there is no Minyan:[215] It is permitted for one to take out the Sefer Torah and read the Torah portion from it without its blessings if a Minyan is not available. Thus, if a congregation could not gather a Minyan for Kerias Hatorah, they may nevertheless remove the Sefer Torah and read the entire portion simultaneously without its blessings or Aliyos.

Reading Shnayim Mikra from a Sefer Torah:[216] If one knows by heart the tunes [which mark the end of each verse[217]] in the Torah reading, then it is proper for him to read Shnayim Mikra from a Kosher Torah scroll on each and every Erev Shabbos.[218] [Practically, this is not the Chabad custom, or the custom of many other Gedolei Yisrael, as by doing so one is unable to read the Targum after each verse.[219] Hence we read it from printed Chumashim which contain Targum.[220] One who does not know the Taamim by heart according to all is not to read from the Torah.[221]]

 

Q&A

Opening the Aron and removing the Sefer Torah for the sake of showing a gentile [i.e. tourists]:[222]

One is not to open the Aron, and is certainly not to remove and open a Sefer Torah, for the sake of showing it to a gentile.[223] It goes without saying that a gentile is not to be given a Sefer Torah to hold.[224] Nonetheless, in previous times it was customary for the congregation to greet a king or other important dignitary with the Sifrei Torah of the Shul.[225]

May a Sefer Torah be put on display on a museum and the like?[226]

This is not to be done, unless it is a time of great need [such as due to political pressure, which can cause undue friction with the Jewish community]. A Pasul Sefer Torah is to be used for such a purpose.

 

 ________________________

[1] Admur 282:1; 13; 488:5; M”A 135:1; Rambam Tefilla 12:1 “Moshe”; Rif Megillah 4; Bava Kama 82a that the prophets in the times of Moshe established it; Yerushalmi Megillah 4:1 “Moshe”; Miseches Sofrim 10:1; Mishneh Megillah 31a regarding Yom Tov; Chok Yaakov 429 regarding Yom Tov; See Kesef Mishneh ibid; M”B 135 in Pesicha; See P”M 135 A”A 1; Yesod Veshoresh Havoda p. 102; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:1

Opinion of Yerushalmi: In some Girsaos of the Yerushalmi ibid it states that Ezra established the reading of Mondays and Thursdays, however in truth the Rishonim on Megillah Bavli explain that Ezra only established the Aliyos, and therefore it was called on his name. According to the Girsa of the Rif and Rosh, in the Yerushalmi, this is explicitly stated. 

[2] Tosafos Megillah 17b “Kerias Hatorah is not Biblical but rather Rabbinical”; Implication of all Poskim who write that Zachar is Biblical, hence excluding all other Parshiyos; Birkeiy Yosef 135; Peri Chadash 139:8; P”M 135 A”A 1 that so is implied from Setimas Haposkim in 135 and 685; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:2 footnote 11

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that Kerias Hatorah on Shabbos is a Biblical obligation. [Bach 685 and that so is opinion of Rashi, brought and negated in P”M ibid, brought in Taz 685:2]

Why was this Mitzvah not counted as one of the seven Rabbinical commands? See P”M ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[3] Admur 292:2 “Ezra established that three people be called to read the Sefer Torah in the congregation, every Shabbos by Mincha time”; M”A 135:1; Bava Kama 82a; Yerushalmi Megillah 4:1; M”B 135 in Pesicha

[4] P”M 135 A”A “Is from a Takana of the Gemara”; Yerushalmi Taanis 2:14; Miseches Sofrim 17; Rambam Taanis 1:17

[5] Shemos 15:22

[6] Bava Kama 82a

[7] See P”M 135 A”A

[8] Toras Chaim Sofer 135

[9] Tosfos Bava Kama ibid “Kdei”; See also Taz 134:1

[10] Siddur Shelah; See also Peri Chadash 134:1; P”M 134 M”Z 1

[11] Admur 292:2; Bava Kama 82a

[12] See Biur Halacha 135 “Shabbos”; Meishiv Davar [Netziv] 16; Mishneh Halachos 4:33

[13] Biur Halacha ibid

[14] Mishneh Halachos 5:33; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 10

[15] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:2; 282:2; Igros Kodesh 9:79, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:166

[16] Implication of Raavan 73 who rules that one needs Kavana to be Yotzei the blessings; Shelah in Hagahos Yeish Nochlin “If one did not hear even one word he is not Yotzei the reading at all”; Birchas Shmuel Yevamos 21 in name of Rav Chaim of Brisk; Biur Halacha 146:2 “Viyeish Matririn” that the obligation of Ezra is on each individual [however see Biur Halacha 135:14 “Ein Mevin” “There is no obligation on the individual”]; Igros Moshe 4:40; See Admur 282:5 “And all the congregation fulfill their obligation through hearing him,” hence implying that there is an obligation upon the individual [at least when he is present by the Minyan. Vetzaruch Iyun!; See Tikkunei Zohar Tikkun 21 p. 63a “This is why the Sages established to hear the Torah during prayer, in order so it be a complete Karban for man.” See Igros Kodesh ibid that there are two types of Kerias Hatorah, one being a community obligation and the second being a personal obligation; See Likkutei Sichos 4:1283; Pardes Chabad 7:100; Hearos Veiyunim Kfar Chabad 5:132

[17] Implication of Tosafos Sukkah 52a; Ramban Milchamos Hashem Megillah 5a “All that which we were taught in the Mishneh is an obligation on the congregation and not on the individual”; Ran Megillah 3a in name of Ramban ibid and implication of Ran 13b; Radbaz 1:572; Noda Beyehuda Tinyana 15; Tzemach Tzedek 35-7 “The obligation is not on the actual congregation for them to hear all seven Aliyos, and rather it suffices for there to be seven readers, and it is not similar to Kerias Megillah which is an obligation on each individual to hear the entire Megillah”; Tzemach Tzedek Megillah 3:6-3; Peulas Sachir on Maaseh Rav 175 in name of Gr”a; Semicha Lechaim of Rav Chaim Falagi; Maharshag 2:92; Aruch Hashulchan 69:14; Imrei Yosher 2:171; Biur Halacha 135:14 “Ein Mevin” “There is no obligation on the individual” [however see Biur Halacha 146:2 “Viyeish Matririn” that the obligation of Ezra is on each individual]; Tziyunim Letorah Klal  9 in length; Har Tzevi 1:58; Minchas Shlomo 2:4-14; Yabia Omer 7:9; 8:17; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:148; 3:65; Yagdil Torah 8:15

Must the congregation hear all of the Kerias Hatorah according to this opinion? Some Poskim rule that even the congregation is not obligated to hear the entire Kerias Hatorah during the reading, so long as they hear most of it, and it was all read. Accordingly, even a Katan may read one of the Aliyos. [Tzemach Tzedek ibid] Other Poskim, however, rule that the entire congregation must hear the entire reading to fulfill their obligation, and hence a Katan is invalid to read any Aliyah. [Admur 282:5; M”A 282:6]

[18] Maharshag 2:92

[19] See Tzafnas Paneiach on Rambam Tefilla 12:5 based on Moed Katan 23a that even according to Ramban ibid, one has an obligation to create a Minyan if there is none in his area; See Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 90 that it is similar to the obligation to Daven with a Minyan; See Likkutei Sichos ibid

[20] Admur 284:11 “It is an obligation upon all to hear the Haftorah just as is regarding the Parsha in the Sefer Torah”; Beis Yosef 146; Rabbeinu Yerucham 2:3 in name of Maharam; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 14; 137:3; 282:2; See Chapter 8 Halacha 3 regarding the prohibition to talk during Kerias Hatorah and how each person is to pay attention to the reading

[21] Admur in 53:13 “A Katan cannot be a Chazan because he cannot be Yotzei others, however he may receive an Aliyah because there is no obligation upon the public to say the Bracha but only for the person receiving the Aliyah, as opposed to Davening which is an obligation upon all to fulfill”; Admur 124:11 The blessing was not instituted for the sake of the congregation but rather due to that it is proper for one who reads from the Torah to recite a blessing. Now, although it is an obligation upon the congregation to hear the blessing being said [as explained in 139:6] nevertheless the main part of the blessing is on his own behalf and not on behalf of the congregation, as is the case with Chazaras Hashatz.” ; See Admur 282:5 that a child is exempt from Kerias Hatorah and 282:16 that he may nevertheless receive an Aliyah even for Zachar

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the congregation is obligated to hear the blessings and be Yotzei them from the Olah. [Taz 685:2]

[22] Admur 124:11

[23] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:2; 282:6

[24] M”A 282:6 “It is implied from here that woman are obligated in Kerias Hatorah”, brought in M”B 282:12, based on Tosafos Rosh Hashanah 33a; Ran Megillah 13a; Miseches Sofrim 18:4; Tosefes Shabbos 282:6

[25] The reason: As although it was mainly established for the sake of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, nonetheless, it is a Mitzvah to hear it similar to the Mitzvah of Hakhel which is incumbent upon women and children to hear. [M”A ibid; See Miseches Sofrim 18:4]

[26] Implication of Admur 282:5 “Women may receive an Aliyah even though they are not obligated in it”; M”A ibid and M”B 282:12 that so is the custom; Maharsham 1:158 based on Ran Megillah; Hisorerrus Teshuvah 1:5; Beir Moshe 8:86; All Poskim who exempt women from Parshas Zachar and rule that the custom is for woman not to go to Shul on Shabbos: Chinuch 603; Avnei Nezer 509; Marcheshes 1:22; Aruch Hashulchan 282:11; 685:2; Arugas Habosem 205; Tzitz Hakodesh 1:51; Hisorerus Teshuvah 1:5; Divreiy Chaim 2:14; Kaf Hachaim 685:30; Toras Chesed [Lublin] 37: “Minhag Yisrael is Torah and we have never heard of women going to Shul for Parshas Zachor. One should not be Machmir in this”

[27] M”A ibid that the custom is for them to leave Shul for Kerias Hatorah; M”B ibid

[28] Kaf Hachaim 146:2

[29] Hisorerus Teshuvah ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid and ibid

[30] Koveitz Teshuvos [Rav Elyashiv] 3::48; Piskeiy Teshuvos 282:6

[31] Admur 88:2; M”A 88:2; Taz 88:2; Rashal; Binyamin Zev 153

[32] Minchas Yitzchak 7:6

[33] Imrei Yosher 2:171; See Admur 92:1

[34] Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:2; 137:3

[35] The reason: As since it is a congregational obligation, as stated above, therefore there is no need for one to have in mind to be Yotzei.

[36] See Vayivarech David 1:27; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 19; 282:5; See M”A 282:4 who brings from Miseches Sofrim 18:4 that women are children are obligated to be brought to hear the Torah for Hakhel, and therefore ideally women should be obligated in Kerias Hatorah. Seemingly, according to this logic, children should likewise be obligated in Kerias Hatorah. Nevertheless, practically, the custom is to educate them only as they get older, close to Bar Mitzvah.

[37] Michaber 143:1

[38] Michaber ibid; Rambam Tefilla 2; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:14

[39] Implication of Michaber 146:2 “If there are ten people listening to Kerias Hatorah”; Implication of M”A 146:5 in name of Terumos Hadeshen [that only when one is reciting Shnayim Mikra there is a leniency that we don’t need Asara Mitzaytin]; Semak [Amudei Goleh] 155 “If there are ten people which place their ear to the Torah”; Biur Halacha 146:2 “Vilikros Shnayim Mikra” based on Rif, Bahag, Kol Bo, Hagahos Maimanis, and other Poskim that by Kerias Hatorah there must be ten listeners; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:1; So rule regarding a Davar Shebekedusha that one who is sleeping, or talking, is as if he is not there: 2nd opinion in Admur 55:8 regarding sleeping; Admur 56:4 “If there is less than nine people listening to the Chazan, then he should not say Kaddish at all, as every Davar Shebekedusha may not be said with less than nine listeners and one reader” ; Beis Yosef 125; Rosh 4:19

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is permitted for a member of the Minyan to recite Shnayim Mikra during the reading, and he can still count for the ten listeners. [M”A 146:5, in name of Terumas Hadeshen, based on Or Zarua] The Biur Halacha ibid negates in length this opinion, and states that Kerias Hatorah is more severe than Davening, and thus if there are not ten people actually paying attention, the Minyan is invalid, and it is a blessing in vain to go forward with Kerias Hatorah in such a state

[40] Michaber 143:1; Shaareiy Efraim 7:38; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:14; 84:12; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:2; See Admur 55:3 regarding Davening

[41] Peri Chadash 143; P”M 143 A”A 1; M”B 143:5; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; See Admur 55:3

[42] P”M 143 A”A 1; Derech Hachaim; Tehila Ledavid 282:18; M”B 143:4; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid

[43] M”A 143:1; Kesef Mishneh ibid; Shaareiy Efraim 7:38; M”B 143:6; Biur Halacha 143:1 “Veyatzu” that so rule all Achronim; See Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Yabia Omer 7:20; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the current Aliyah is to read the remainder of the Aliyos and not call anyone else up. [Eshkol, brought in Biur Halacha 143:1 “Veyatzu”]

[44] M”A ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid

[45] M”A ibid as explained in Machatzis Hashekel ibid and Levushei Serud ibid; Kaf Hachaim 143:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; This means that if there is a special reading for Maftir, such as on Rosh Chodesh, or during the four Parshiyos, then the 6th Aliyah is to complete the remainder of the Parsha, and the 7th Aliyah is to read Maftir. The same applies on Yom Tov, that the 4th Aliyah is read until the end of the portion and the 5th Aliyah is to read Maftir.

[46] Elya Raba 143:2; P”M 143 A”A 1; Machatzis Hashekel 143:1

The reason: As the Haftorah is a Mitzvah in its own right and is not dependent on the reading of the Torah. [ibid]

Opinion of M”A: It is possible to learn in the M”A ibid that he holds one is to also read the Haftorah with its blessings. It is however also possible to explain his intent is that it should be read without its blessings. [P”M and Machatzis Hashekel ibid; See Aruch Hashulchan 143:1]

[47] Shaareiy Efraim 7:38; M”B 143:6; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the half Kaddish is not to be recited. [Birkeiy Yosef 143:1; Kaf Hachaim 143:5; Yabia Omer 7:20]

[48] Shaareiy Efraim 9; M”B 143:6; Shaar Hatziyon 143:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:2

[49] Aruch Hashulchan 143:1

[50] Shaareiy Efraim 9; Aruch Hashulchan 143:1; M”B 143:6

[51] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 55:9; Halacha Berurah 55:15

[52] Michaber 143:1 “One may not read the Torah with less than ten adults; Rambam Tefilla 12:3; Miseches Sofrim chapter 16 [end]; M”A 55:4 concludes with a doubt; Meiri in Kiryat Sefer 5:1; Shaareiy Efraim 7:38; P”M 55 A”A 4; Aruch Hashulchan 143:1; M”B 143:2; Shevet Halevi 1:115; Piskeiy Teshuvos 282:5; See Levushei Mordechai Kama O.C. 20; Toras Yekusiel 31; Mishpitei Uziel Tinyana 14; Yabia Omer 4:9;

So rule regarding every Davar Shebekedusha that a Katan does not join: 2nd and main opinion in Admur 55:5 and in Michaber and Rama 55:4; Ravayah 128; Raavad, brought in Rashba 1:239; Rashba ibid and 453; Rabbeinu Yonah Brachos 47b; Rambam Tefilla 8:4; Rosh; Riy; Rav Nutraiy Gaon 16

[53] 1st opinion in M”A 55:4 [M”A ibid concludes with a question]; Rabbeinu Peretz in Hagah to Tashbatz 201; Implication of Tosafos Brachos 48a based on Megillah 23a that a Katan may go up for one of the seven Aliyos; Haorah 2:156; Levushei Mordechai Kama O.C. 1:20; Toras Yekusiel 31; Igros Moshe 2:18

So rule regarding every Davar Shebekedusha that a Katan joins: 1st opinion in Admur 55:5 and in Michaber and Rama 55:4; Rabbeinu Tam Tosafos Brachos 48a; Razah in Hamaor Hakatan Brachos ibid; Rebbe Yehoshua Ben Levi Brachos 47b

[54] The reason: So is proven from the fact that a child can be called up for one of the seven Aliyos. [M”A ibid; See Admur 282:5; Michaber 282:3; Megillah 23a]

[55] Halacha Berurah 55:15; Final ruling of Admur 55:5 and Michaber/Rama 55:4 regarding all Davar Shebekedusha

[56] Admur 55:5; Rama 55:4; Poskim in previous footnotes, in lenient opinion

[57] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:3; Yalkut Dinei Kerias Hatorah [Chazak] p. 1321

[58] Chayeh Adam 31:11 questions this matter; Aruch Hashulchan 69:14; Binyan Shlomo 35; Igros Moshe 1:38

[59] The reason: As the obligation of Kerias Hatorah is on the public and not on a private individual. Hence, only if a full Minyan is obligated in the Mitzvah, because they did not yet hear Keriah, can a Keriah be performed. [Chayeh Adam ibid; Shaareiy Efraim 7:39; Aruch Hashulchan ibid; Poskim ibid]

[60] Kaf Hachaim 143:3 in name of Lev Chaim 2:25

[61] The reason: As one requires Ruba Deminkar. [ibid]

[62] Biur Halacha 143:1 “Bepachus” “A certain Gadol Showed me that it is explicit in the Ran that only six people are needed”; Ashel Avraham 69; Maharsham 1:175; 2:97; Lev Chaim 2:25; Levushei Mordechai 1:39; Ketzos Hashulchan 26:14; Keren Ledavid 16; Har Tzevi 1:52; Shaareiy Teshuvah 566:4 in name of Machazik Bracha regarding Taanis Tzibur  that 6-7 people fasting suffices; See Yabia Omer 8:14; Mishneh Halachos 3:17

[63] The reason: As whenever majority of a Minyan is obligated in a matter, we allow the recital of a Davar Shebekedusha. [See Admur 55:3; 69:4-5]

[64] Peri Hasadeh 2:97; Shaareiy Rachamim 7:18; Toras Yekusiel 51; Daas Sofer 1:8; Daas Torah 69 although concludes with Tzaruch Iyun; Mahariy Asad 51; So rule regarding a fast: Bach in name of Aguda; Meiri Megillah 2a; Orchos Chaim [Lunil]; Leket Yosher 114 in name of Terumos Hadeshen; Aruch Hashulchan 566:7; Maharsham 2:97; Daas Torah 69; Sdei Chemed 1 Klalei Haposkim 13:7; Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 26; Piskei Dinim 566; Shut Tzemach Tzedek Shaar Hamiluim 8, brought in Shaar Hakolel 9:17; Igros Kodesh 16:313; Luach Kolel Chabad; Hiskashrus 1024 footnote 16

[65] Implication of Maharil end of Shabbos that he once missed Kerias Hatorah and read it to himself after the Minyan. See Daas Torah ibid

[66] See Noda Beyehuda Tinyana O.C. 15; Birkeiy Yosef, brought in Daas Torah ibid

[67] Noda Beyehuda Tinyana O.C. 15; Daas Torah 69; Toras Yekusiel 51; Levushei Mordechai 1:19; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:3

Other opinions: From some Poskim, it is evident that one cannot intend to not be Yotzei Kerias Hatorah as it is a congregational obligation. [See Aruch Hashulchan 69:8 and all Poskim who rule that it is a congregational obligation, seemingly would also hold that it does not suffice to intend to not be Yotzei; See reply of Rebbe recorded in Igros Kodesh 3:4, brought in the next Q&A, from which it is possible to learn that having in mind to not be Yotzei does not suffice, although this is not imperative, as perhaps the case there refers to a case where the listeners had nothing in mind!]

[68] See Admur 46:9 in parentheses; 489:12; Michaber 489:3 as explained in Taz 489:6; M”A 489:7 according to opinion that Mitzvos need Kavana; M”B 489:16; See Birchas Habayis 46:15 footnote 41; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:13 footnote 62; Piskeiy Teshuvos 296:17; Yalkut Kerias Hatorah p. 1321

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that making a Tnaiy is useless, as one cannot questionably join the fulfillment of a Mitzvah. [Taz 489:6] It is thus questionable whether he has fulfilled his obligation even if he made a Tnaiy and remembered later on. [P”M 489 M”Z 6]

[69] This is in order to suspect for the stringent opinions brought above

[70] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:3; Yalkut Dinei Kerias Hatorah p. 1321

[71] Noda Beyehuda Tinyana 15; Daas Torah 69; Toras Yekusiel 51; Levushei Mordechai 1:19; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:3 [writes to have explicitly in mind to not be Yotzei]

[72] The reason: As we consider it as if they had in mind to not be Yotzei [i.e. Anan Sahadi], as people only want to be Yotzei within the Seder Hatefilla. [Toras Yekusiel ibid; Daas Torah ibid]

[73] Aruch Hashulchan 69:14 “By Kerias Hatorah it is clear to me that so long as there are not ten people who did not hear Kerias Hatorah, then one should not read it…therefore if some of the ten were already by Kerias Hatorah but did not yet Daven, one may not read the Sefer Torah again. So appears to me to rule Halacha Lemaaseh, even if there are a few who did not hear Kerias Hatorah at all, until there are ten who did not hear.”

[74] The reason: As the main obligation of Kerias Hatorah is on the Minyan, and there is no obligation on an individual to hear it privately, and it also may be heard before Davening, and thus one who heard it before Davening was already Yotzei. [Aruch Hashulchan ibid]

[75] Igros Kodesh 3:4, printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:259

[76] Lev Chaim 2:25; Har Tzevi 1:71; Yom Tov Sheini Kehilchaso 9 footnote 8 in name of Rav SZ”A; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:4

[77] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3; 282:2

[78] M”B 135:1

[79] See Midrash Socher Tov 17; Sefer Hachalom 17:11; Tzelusa Deavraham; Ashel Avraham Butchach 292:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[80] See Shaar Hakolel 11:22; Kaf Hachaim 135:2

[81] Digul Merivava 135; Mahariy Asad 51; Goren David; Maharshag 2:92; Teshuvah Meahavah 1:28; M”B 135:1 and 5; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:14; Kinyan Torah 4:17; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3; See Peri Hasadeh 3:1; Beis Yisrael 20; Betzel Hachochma 4:17; Shevet Halevi 4:15; 5:16; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:145; Yabia Omer 4:13; Tzitz Eliezer 13:27

[82] Digul Merivava ibid; Shaareiy Efraim 7:39; M”B ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid

[83] Chida in Chaim Shoel 1:71-5; 2:16; Birkeiy Yosef 135; Ikarei Hadaat 6:60; Beis Menucha Taus Kerias Sefer Torah 5; Kaf Hachaim 135:9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:4; See Yabia Omer 4:7

[84] M”B 135:1 and Shaar Hatziyon 135:3 that so is implied from Digul Merivava ibid, as there is no reason to differentiate between Shabbos and the weekday readings; Mahariy Asad 51; Goren David 5 in name of Chasam Sofer; Teshuvah Meahavah 1:28 regarding Rosh Chodesh; Maharshag 2:92; Kaf Hachaim 135:8; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:14; Kinyan Torah 4:17; See Hagaha of son in Mahrshag ibid that while one may read the Torah afterwards, he is not obligated to do so

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one cannot make up the morning weekday reading by Mincha. [Beis Shearim 50; Hagaha of son in Maharshag ibid that based on Arizal, there is no place for reading the Torah in the afternoon, and that so appears to be the conclusion of his father]

[85] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 23

[86] Shevet Halevi ibid; See Poskim brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3 footnote 24

[87] Chasam Sofer ibid would make an afternoon Minyan for the reading on days of travel, when he missed the reading during Shacharis; So also did Mahariy Asad ibid

[88] Gloss of the son of Maharshag in Maharshag ibid that the Maharshag would not rea the Torah by Mincha even if he did not read it by Shacharis due to reasons beyond his control

[89] See Mahrshag ibid; Teshuvah Meahavah 1:28; Poskim brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3 footnote 24

[90] Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 25

[91] Shaareiy Efraim 7:39; M”B in Shaar Hatziyon 135:5; Ketzos Hashulchan 25 footnote 69

[92] The reason: As by Mincha one needs to read the next weeks Torah reading, and hence one is required to precede the current weeks Parsha reading to that of Mincha’s. [Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]

[93] Shaareiy Efraim 7:39; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:4

[94] Ketzos Hashulchan 25 footnote 69

[95] The reason: As Mincha is more Tadir than Torah reading, and it thus receives precedence. [Ketzos Hashulchan ibid]

[96] Poskim brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3 footnote 24

[97] See Mishmeres Shalom Koidenov  13:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3

[98] Maharsham 1:158; Pnei Meivin 30; Beis Yisrael 20; Kinyan Torah 2:127; Yabia Omer 7:17; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3

[99] Yabia Omer 7:17; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:3 footnote 27

[100] P”M 143 A”A 2; Rav Poalim 1:52; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:14; Mishmeres Shalom Koidenov 13:2; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 14; 143:5

[101] Implication of P”M ibid; Mishmeres Shalom Koidenov ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 14

The reason: In order so one does not pass three days without Torah reading. [P”M ibid]

[102] Elya Raba 143:2; Makor Chaim 143 of Chavos Yair; Shaareiy Efraim 7:38; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:1

[103] Admur 284:3; Implication of Rama 143:2; M”A 143:2; Implication of Beis Yosef in name of Rashba; Sefer Hatanya; Elya Raba 143:4; Kneses Hagedola 143:1; Emes Leyaakov Kerias Sefer Torah 29; Ledavid Emes 8:29; M”B 143:9; Kaf Hachaim 143:11

The reason: This is done in order so the community does not come to forget the obligation of Torah reading. [M”A ibid in name of Tanya 6; Elya Raba ibid; M”B ibid; See Admur 284:3]

[104] Admur 284:3; Rama 143:2 “Our Chumashim, even if it contains all five books together, may not be blessed upon”; Mordechai Hanizakin; Ramban 187; 199; Rabbeinu Yerucham 2:2; Iggur; Shibulei Haleket; Maharik 68; Kol Bo; Maggid Mishneh Sefer Torah 9

[105] M”A 143:2; M”B 143:9

[106] Kiryat Sefer of Meiri Mamar 1:2 regarding Kaddish [however perhaps he refers to Kaddish Derabanan]; Oreiach Neman 143:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:5; 282:2

[107] Admur 284:3; Rama 284:1; M”A 284:1; Kneses Hagedola 143:1; Elya Raba 143:4; Kaf Hachaim 143:11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:5

[108] See Michaber 143:2-4; Rama 143:4; Admur 284:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:5

[109] Michaber 143:3; 2nd opinion in Rama 143:4; M”A 143:8; Teshuvos Rashba 487; Rosh; Terumas Hadeshen; Hagahos Maimanis Sefer Torah 10; Levush 143; Elya Raba 143:9; P”M 143 A”A 8; M”B 143:29 that so is Setimas Hacharonim

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that in a time of need when a congregation only owns a Pasul Sefer Torah, and there is no one there who can fix it, then it is permitted to have the congregation read from the Pasul Sefer Torah with its blessings. [1st opinion in Rama 143:4; Maharam Melublin 84 regarding Chovas Hayom; Shut Rambam 294 and Peir Hador 9 in name of Rif and Mahariy Migash, brought in Teshuvos Harashba Meyuchos LaRamban 239, and in Beis Yosef 143 and Y.D. 279 and M”A 143:4; Kol Bo 20; Abudarham 143; See Levushei Serud on 143:3 who questions why Rama did not mention this opinion on Michaber 143:3; See P”M 143 A”A 8]

[110] Kneses Hagedola 143:4; Emes Leyaakov 28; Ledavid Emes 8:28 [unlike his ruling in Ledavid Emes 1:13-See Kaf Hachaim ibid]; Kaf Hachaim 143:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143 footnote 165

[111] Michaber 143:2

[112] Rama ibid; Mordechai Hanizakin; Ramban 187; 199; Rabbeinu Yerucham 2:2; Iggur; Shibulei Haleket; Maharik 68; Kol Bo; Maggid Mishneh Sefer Torah 9

[113] Rama 143:4; M”A 143:8; Ran in name of Rashba; Peri Chadash 143:4; Olas Tamid 143:7; Levush 143; Elya Raba 143:10; P”M 143 M”Z 2; Chayeh Adam 31:34; Kitzur SHU”A 24:10; M”B 143:31; See Kaf Hachaim 143:43-44; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:5

[114] Olas Tamid 143:7; Levush 143; Peri Chadash 143:4; M”B 143:32; Kaf Hachaim 143:44

[115] Biur Hagra 143 in opinion of Rashi; Beis Meir; Shulchan Hatahor 143:6; Kaf Hachaim 143:44 that so is ruling according to Michaber 143:3

Opinion of Michaber and 2nd opinion in Rama: Some Poskim write that the above ruling applies even according to the Michaber 143:3 and the 2nd opinion in Rama ibid, who in general invalidates reading from a Pasul Sefer Torah and. [Olas Tamid 143:5; M”B 143:31] Other Poskim, however, rule that it does not apply according to the stringent opinion of Michaber and Rama ibid. [Kaf Hachaim 143:44]

[116] Shaareiy Efraim, brought in Biur Halacha 143:4 “Yeish Lihakel”; Toras Chaim Sofer 143:17; Kaf Hachaim 143:44 that so is custom of Sephardim; See Avnei Nezer Y.D. 371

[117] Conclusion of Biur Halacha ibid; Avnei Nezer ibid allows to be lenient if there is no other Sefer Torah available in the city, or if it was already taken out; Aruch Hashulchan 143:7 allows to be lenient on occasion; Chayeh Adam 31:34 rules to only be lenient by an obligatory reading, and not by Mincha of Shabbos which is not so much of an obligation; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid concludes that one may not be lenient if another Sefer Torah is available anywhere else in the city even if it will take a long time to get to.

[118] Avnei Tzedek 17; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:16 concludes that one may be lenient if the invalidation is itself not so severe

[119] Michaber 135:14; 584:3; Yerushalmi Yuma 7:1, brought in Beis Yosef 135 “In all places we say one must go to the Sefer Torah and not have the Sefer Torah come to him”; Mordechai Rosh Hashanah 710; Maharam Merothenberg 23; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23-29

[120] Michaber ibid; Poskim ibid; Zohar Vol. 1 Parshas Vayechi p. 225; Vol. 3 Parshas Acharei Mos p. 71

[121] See Q&A

[122] See next regarding going from Shul to Shul and Halacha C!

[123] Zohar Vol. 1 Parshas Vayechi p. 225; Vol. 3 Parshas Acharei Mos p. 71; Kaf Hachaim 135:74

[124] Rikanti 43; Emes Leyaakov Hotzas Sefer Torah 12; Ledavid Emes 3:12; Kaf Hachaim ibid that so is the custom of some

[125] So is evident from all Poskim who discuss whether one may bring a Sefer Torah from one Shul to another on Simchas Torah: See Ledavid Emes 4:17; Kuntrus Achron on 4; Machazik Bracha 669:9; M”B 669:9; Kaf Hachaim 669:28

[126] See Poskim in next footnote; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 176

[127] Shut Ramatz 16; Zera Emes 1:57; Eretz Tzevi 1:38 based on Rashba 115; Nishmas Avraham 135 in name of Rav SZ”A; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:27

The reason: As the honor of a Minyan/community and Tircha Detzibura is greater than the impediment against carrying a Sefer Torah from one place to another. This allowance is similar to the allowance to bring a Sefer Torah to a private home for the sake of an Adam Chashuv, as brought in B. [Poskim ibid]

[128] Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 176

[129] Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:27 that so is implied from all Poskim ibid and from Biur Halacha 135:14 “Ein” who only permits bringing a Sefer Torah for a Minyan if they are Annussim!

[130] Yuma 70a regarding that people would bring their private Sifrei Torah from their homes to the Beis Hamikdash on Yom Kippur, and read from it to show people its beauty; Pnei Aaron 14, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 135; Chikreiy Leiv Y.D. Hashmatos 2:6; Torah Lishma O.C. 58; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 212 that so was custom of Rebbe of Munktach; Kaf Hachaim 135:82, 178, 180; Har Tzevi 71; Tzitz Eliezer 18:6; Vayivarech David 26; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:24

[131] Vayivarech David 26; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[132] Kaf Hachaim 135:178

[133] Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:27; See Tzitz Eliezer 17:12; Yabia Omer 7:56

[134] Michaber 135:14; 584:3; Yerushalmi Yuma 7:1, brought in Beis Yosef 135 “In all places we say one must go to the Sefer Torah and not have the Sefer Torah come to him”; Mordechai Rosh Hashanah 710; Maharam Merothenberg 23; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:26

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if one cannot make it to Shul for reasons against his will [such as he is sick] then he may have a Sefer Torah brought to him and have it read if a Minyan will be present. [Darkei Moshe 135; M”A 135:23 in name of Or Zarua] Practically, one may be lenient by Parshas Zachar. [M”A ibid; M”B ibid]

[135] M”A 135:23; Elya Raba 135:17; Shaareiy Efraim 9:43; M”B 135:46; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[136] Michaber ibid

The reason: Although one desires to read the Torah with ten people on behalf of the prisoners or other people that are unable to hear the reading, and hence merit them with the Mitzvah, nevertheless one may not bring them the Sefer Torah as it is considered a belittlement to the Torah to bring it to others. Rather they are to come to the Torah. [M”B 135:47]

[137] Parshas Zachar and Parah: If an individual is physically unable to come to Shul for the Torah reading, such as if he is sick or is incarcerated in a prison, then if there will be a Minyan present for the reading, it is permitted to bring him a Sefer Torah to hear Parshas Zachor or Parshas Para. [M”A 135:23 based on Oar Zarua [regarding Zachor]; M”B 135:46 [adds even Parah]; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:26] Some Poskim extend this allowance also for the other Parshiyos. [Aruch Hashulchan 135:31]

[138] M”B 135:47; Biur Halacha  “Ein Mavin”

The reason: As in such a case they are exempt from Kerias Hatorah, as an individual is not obligated to read the Torah. [Biur Halacha ibid]

[139] Elya Raba 135:17; M”B 135:47; Biur Halacha  “Ein Mavin”; See Kaf Hachaim 135:73 and 81

The reason: As a Minyan is obligated in hearing the Torah and since they are unable to make it to Shul due to reasons beyond their will, then there is no belittlement involved in bringing them a Torah scroll. [Biur Halacha ibid]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even if there are ten people who cannot make it to Shul for Kerias Hatorah, one may not bring the Torah on their behalf. [Kitzur SHU”A 23:30; Kaf Hachaim 135:73 in his understanding of M”A 135:21]

[140] Rama 135:14; Darkei Moshe 135:10; Hagahos Ashri Brachos 7; Or Zarua Kerias Shema 9

[141] M”B 135:50 in name of Gr”a

[142] Shaareiy Rachamim 9:23; Peri Hasadeh 4:15; See Biur Halacha 135:14; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:26

[143] M”B 135:51

[144] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:26 footnote 168

[145] M”A 135:23 and Darkei Moshe 135 in name of Or Zarua; Ledavid Emes 4:10; Implication of Gr”a 135; Shemen Lamaor; Opinion in M”B 135:50; Kaf Hachaim 135:84

[146] Implication of Michaber 135:14, as understands Eidus Behosef 44 and Kaf Hachaim 135:84; M”A 135:23 in name of Hagahos Ashri; Elya Raba 135:19; Opinion in M”B 135:50; Shaareiy Efraim 9:44 concludes that if he is slightly sick, or is a temporary guest in the city, then one may bring him a Sefer Torah.

[147] M”B 135:50

[148] Shaareiy Efraim 9:44 and Pischei Shearim ibid

[149] Rama 135:14; Darkei Moshe 135:10; Maharam Padvah 88; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25

[150] Any closet suffices to serve as an ark so long as it is respectful and clean of any other items. It does not have to specifically be an ark used for a Torah scroll. [See P”M 135 A”A 22; Kaf Hachaim 135:83; Vayivarech David 1:26; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25]

[151] M”A 135:22 “The main point is that the Torah has a Makom Kavua”; M”B 135:49 in name of Achronim

[152] This means that initially it is to be set up for two days, although in a time of need one may be lenient to have it there for one day. [Ashel Avraham Butchach 135; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25] Some, however, say it means 24 hours. [Imrei Emes Likkutim Mishpatim]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it suffices to return it to its original area even that same day, after it was returned to the Aron of its temporary location. [Elya Raba 135:18; P”M 135 M”Z 12 based on Taz 135:12 who questions the source of Rama; Daas Torah 135 in name of Perisha C.M. 1; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 149]

[153] M”B 135:49 in name of Achronim

[154] See M”A 135:22; M”B 135:49; P”M 135 A”A 22; Kaf Hachaim 135:83; Vayivarech David 1:26; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25

If one will be reading from the Torah for three readings: Some Poskim suggest that if one will read from the Sefer Torah for three readings, then it does not need to have a closet which it rests in. [Toras Chaim Sofer 135] Practically, we do not rule like this opinion. [Yalkut Avraham, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 161]

[155] See Kaf Hachaim 135:74 in name of Zohar; Tzedaka Umishpat 16 footnote 20 that perhaps according to Zohar this Heter of Rama does not apply; Yeshuas Moshe 2:85; Yabia Omer 7:56; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25 and 27

The following matters are considered justified reasons: One is sick; incarcerated; old and unable to walk; an Avel; a Minyan that Davens another Nussach etc. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

[156] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25 and 27 that perhaps according to the Zohar transporting a Sefer Torah in the above method offered by Rama is forbidden, and hence it is to only be used in a time of need. Vetzaruch Iyun as to his sources for such an understanding in the Zohar!

[157] Yad Aaron on Tur 136 in name of Eidus Biyehosef; Emes Leyaakov 1:11; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 584:26; Tzitz Eliezer 13:16; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25

[158] Aruch Hashulchan 135:32; Toras Chaim Sofer 135:16; Siach Yitzchak 1:77 that so was custom in Preshburg; Menuchas Moshe 16 that so is custom; Toras Yekusiel Tinyana 87; Igros Moshe 5:2-13; Pnei Baruch 10:24 that so is custom; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 97:2 footnote 5; See Shulchan Menachem 5:153 footnote 17 for different accounts of the Rebbe regarding Aveilus and that the Rebbe gave an option of how to circumvent the issue of the three readings; In Toras Menachem 1988 1:349 this custom of reading the Sefer Torah on three occasions is mentioned, however not with regards to Beis Havel; See Chikrei Minhagim 4:120

[159] Yalkut Avraham 135; Shaareiy Rachamim on Shaar Ephraim 9:22; Kinyan Torah 4:18; Nitei Gavriel 97:2 that from the letter of the law it is not required; There is no source in the Poskim [earlier than the Poskim mentioned in next footnote] that require reading from the Sefer Torah on three different occasions-Shaareiy Rachamim 9:24; Halichos Shlomo 12:38 in name of Rav SZ”A

[160] Aruch Hashulchan ibid; Rivivos Efraim 3:95 in name of Igros Moshe; Mara Deshamsa 46; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25

[161] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25

[162] See Halacha A and Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:91; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23 and 25!

[163] Tzedaka Umishpat 16 footnote 3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:25; There is no known source for this custom, but as is evident it has been done for many generations

[164] Yeshuos Moshe 1:28

[165] Beis Shlomo 34

[166] See Rikanti 43; Emes Leyaakov Hotzas Sefer Torah 12; Ledavid Emes 3:12; Ikarei Hadaat 34:13; Ashel Avraham Butchach 135; Kaf Hachaim 135:74

[167] Yabia Omer 7:56 based on Michtam Ledavid 16

[168] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23

[169] Mateh Yehuda 584:3; Ramatz 16; Beis Shlomo 34; Har Tzevi 71; Ashel Avraham Butchach 135 that so is the custom, and so he rules in Daas Kedoshim 282; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23 footnote 139

The reason: As when it is all within the same building there is no belittlement to the Torah scroll when it is maneuvered.

[170] Maaseh Rav 129 “He would go to the room of the Sefer Torah and would not have it carried to another room, and certainly not to another house.”; Mor Uketzia 135 based on Zohar ibid; Darkei Chaim in name of the Divrei Chaim of Tzanz, that one time they Davened in a side room due to the fierce cold, and the lack of heat in the Beis Midrash, and he did not allow the Sefer Torah to be brought from the Heichal to their room, even though it was in the same building. Rather, the Minyan went to the Heichal and rea the Torah there despite the extreme cold; Nehar Afarsamon 29 regarding bringing from downstairs to upstairs; Salmas Chaim 146; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 136

[171] Kinyan Torah 4:16; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23

[172] See Salmas Chaim 146 that it is proper for the Minyan to wait until they can read the Torah in the room with the Heichal. If, however, one will need to wait a long time and it will be Tircha Detzibura, then it is permitted. [Eretz Tzevi 1:38]

[173] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[174] See Ashel Avraham Butchach 135; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[175] See Ikarei Hadaat 34:13; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[176] So rules Mateh Yehuda ibid

[177] Tzitz Eliezer 11:16

[178] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[179] Kinyan Torah 4:16; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; See Maharsham 6:3; Yabia Omer 4:15

[180] Meishiv Halacha 2:178; Igros Moshe 1:34; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:27

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is forbidden to bring a Sefer to a Chasan Minyan. [See Imreiy Yosher 2:197] However, see Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 171 for an explanation of his ruling

[181] The reason: As a Chasan is considered like a king and hence falls under the Heter of an Adam Chashuv, as rules Tashbeitz, brought in Biur Halacha 135:14. [Igros Moshe ibid]

[182] See Chikrei Minhagim 4:120 for a lengthy discussion on this subject; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:27

[183] Mor Uketzia 135 based on Michaber Y.D. 344:18 “The entire city is to Daven in the home of the Avel, both during the week and on Shabbos, with exception to Kerias Hatorah of Monday’s, Thursday’s and Shabbos, which is read in Shul.”; Machazik Bracha 135:6; Kaf Hachaim 135:75; Orchos Chaim 135 in name of Meorei Or

[184] The reason: As people do not treat the Sefer Torah properly, and the Michaber ibid rules that even when a Nasi passes away one is to go to Shul for Kerias Hatorah. [ibid] See however Poskim in next footnote who deflect the arguments of the Mor Uketzia.

[185] Mor Uketzia ibid that so is custom despite his disapproval; Toras Chaim Sofer 135:16; Magen Giborim 135; Binyan Shel Simcha 5; Even Yaakov 54; Dudaei Hasadeh 47; Kitzur SHU”A 207:5; Yagel Yaakov 14; Binyan Shel Simcha 5; Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:61-13; Yeshuos Moshe 1:28; Kinyan Torah 4:18; Pnei Baruch 10:24; Nitei Gavriel 97:1; Yalkut Yosef Kerias Hatorah 135”12

[186] Poskim in previous footnote; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Pnei Baruch 10:24; Nitei Gavriel 97:1; Yalkut Yosef Kerias Hatorah 135”12

[187] Rama 135:14; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[188] See Toras Menachem Tziyon 1:97; Shulchan Menachem 5:153 footnote 17

[189] Yalkut Avraham 135; Shaareiy Rachamim on Shaar Ephraim 9:22; Kinyan Torah 4:18; Nitei Gavriel 97:2 that from the letter of the law it is not required; There is no source in the Poskim [earlier than the Poskim mentioned in next footnote] that require reading from the Sefer Torah on three different occasions

[190] Aruch Hashulchan 135:32; Toras Chaim Sofer 135:16; Siach Yitzchak 1:77 that so was custom in Preshburg; Menuchas Moshe 16 that so is custom; Toras Yekusiel Tinyana 87; Igros Moshe 5:2-13; Pnei Baruch 10:24 that so is custom; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 97:2 footnote 5; See Shulchan Menachem 5:153 footnote 17 for different accounts of the Rebbe regarding Aveilus and that the Rebbe gave an option of how to circumvent the issue of the three readings; In Toras Menachem 1988 1:349 this custom of reading the Sefer Torah on three occasions is mentioned, however not with regards to Beis Havel. See Chikrei Minhagim ibid

[191] M”B 135:48

[192] Elya Raba brought in M”B ibid; Aruch Hashulchan 135:32 “Although they do so to receive an Aliyah, nevertheless by doing so they are transgressing an Aveira, and of all days on the High Holidays. Therefore, it is proper to protest their actions and decree against them doing so.”

[193] M”B ibid; not mentioned in Aruch Hashulchan ibid

[194] Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:91; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23

[195] Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:91; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23

[196] See Yad Aaron on Tur 136 in name of Eidus Biyehosef; Emes Leyaakov 1:11; Tzitz Eliezer 13:16; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:23; 28

[197] Ledavid Emes 4:17; Kuntrus Achron on 4; Machazik Bracha 669:9; M”B 669:9; Kaf Hachaim 669:28; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 138

[198] The reason: As it is forbidden to bring a Torah scroll for temporary residence. See our corresponding Sefer “The Laws of Rosh Hashanah” Chapter 1 Halacha 12 for the required conditions

[199] Opinion in Chida ibid, M”B ibid, and Poskim ibid; Mor Uketzia 135; Shaareiy Efraim 9:46; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:28

[200] Yaskil Avdi 6 Hashmatos

[201] Chida in Ledavid Emes 4:17; Maharikash; Emes Leyaakov Hakamas Sefer Torah 17; Mishnas Avraham 40:6; Kaf Hachaim 135:80; Igros Moshe 1:34; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:27

[202] Yabia Omer 7:56; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:28

[203] See Betzel Hachochma 4:142; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:29; Nitei Gavriel Hachnasas Sefer Torah chapter 28

[204] Chikreiy Lev Y.D. 2:6; Pesach Havdvir 135:11; Lev Chaim 2:22; Kaf Hachaim 135:74; Chelkas Yaakov 1:45 [See there regarding a time of need it can be well packaged and sent through the mail and does not need to have its sewing undone]; Tzedaka Umishpat 16 footnote 9; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:29; See Imrei Yosher 2:71 who questions this custom, as it demotes the Sefer Torah from its holiness; See Nitei Gavriel Hachnasas Sefer Torah chapter 28 for full details [although omits the idea of undoing the sewing]. Vetzaruch Iyun!! See Igros Kodesh 12:407, printed in Shulchan Menachem 5:132, that “the custom is to send the Sefer Torah in a disassembled state, thus making its carrying much more lenient.”

[205] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[206] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; See Chelkas Yaakov 1:45 that in a time of need one can send the Sefer Torah as is, and does not need to undo the sewing, so long as it is well packaged and can be trusted to be treated properly and with care; See Nitei Gavriel ibid who omits the requirement to un-sew the pages

[207] See Betzel Hachochmah ibid and Igros Kodesh ibid that it is to have at least two coverings.

[208] See Igros Kodesh ibid in a reply to an individual who treated the package with the Sefer Torah as a regular package that while from the letter of the law it may be treated like regular luggage and packages, nevertheless as a Hiddur one is not to do so, and if he did so is to make an atonement for the act. The Rebbe suggested that the person donate a new Meil and covering for this Sefer Torah and fast Taanis Bahab until midday and give charity.

[209] Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:28

[210] Michtam Ledavid 15; Ikarei Hadaat 8:28; Beis Shearim 49; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:28

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is forbidden to remove an old Sefer Torah from the Aron even for the sake of dancing with it by a Hachnasas Sefer Torah. [Birkeiy Yosef 135:13 that the Sages protested against this being done] Other Poskim rule one may remove the Sefer Torah from the Aron and dance with it inside the Shul, but may not remove it from the actual Shul to outside. [Shaareiy Efraim 9:46]

[211] Pischeiy teshuvah Y.D.282; Chinuch 179

[212] Ikareiy Hadaat 8:28 in name of Pachad Yitzchak and Shivcheiy Todah; Mishnas Avraham 40:5; Kaf Hachaim 135:79; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:28

[213] Derisha and Perisha 270, brought in Shach 270:5, Taz 270:4; See Nimukei Orach Chayim 669:2 towards end; Shut Marsham 175; Likkutei Sichos 23

[214] Mishneh Halachos 5:33; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 10

[215] Elya Raba 143:2; Makor Chaim 143 of Chavos Yair; Shaareiy Efraim 7:38; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:1

[216] Admur 285:4; M”A 285:1; Radbaz 3:529; See Taz 285:2; No leniency may be learned from this law regarding reading from a Sefer Torah without due reason. See Shach Yoreh Deah 270:5; Nemukei Orach Chayim 669:2 towards end; Shut Marsham 175

The custom of the Arizal: The Arizal would have a student read him the Targum and he would then repeat it after them. [Peri Eitz Chaim 18:3; Shaar Hakavanos Inyan Leil Shishi]

[217] Meaning that he knows by which word each verse ends. [Ketzos Hashulchan 72 footnote 1, derived from Admur’s additional word “Piskeiy Taamim”] The reason for why one must know the end of each verse by heart as a condition to read from the Torah is because it is forbidden for one to stop in middle of a verse that Moshe did not stop by [494:11], and if one does not know the end of each verse certainly he will end up stopping in middle of some of the verses.

[218] This was the custom of the Arizal [Shaar Hakavanos] and of the Taz [Taz 285:1]. The Taz [ibid] rules that each person should read the Mikra at least one time from a Kosher Sefer Torah, as from a mere Chumash one does not properly fulfill his obligation.

[219] Hisvadyus 1988 Vol. 2 p. 167; Likkutei Sichos 24 p. 214 footnote 59; letters printed in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2:189

[220] Hisvadyus 1988 Vol. 2 p. 167; Likkutei Sichos 24 p. 214 footnote 59; letters printed in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2:189

[221] As he will not know by which word to end each verse. See previous footnotes

[222] See Torasecha Leyisrael chapter 14 p. 55

[223] Sefer Chassidim 533; Kneses Hagedola 282:23; Beis Lechem Yehuda Y.D. 282:7; See Torasecha Leyisrael ibid Biurim 35

[224] See Michaber Y.D. 282:9 [who omits gentile]; Mayim Rabim 2:51-53; Mur Uketzia 349 in understanding of Taz 349:1; Kesav Sofer O.C. 37; Chashukei Chemed Yuma 4a

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that it is permitted for a gentile to hold a Sefer Torah. [Rambam Sefer Torah 10:8, omitted by Michaber Y.D. 282:9]

[225] Radbaz, brought in Beis Lechem Yehuda ibid; Pischeiy Teshuvah Y.D. 282:1; Kesav Sofer O.C .37; Maharsham 3:198

[226] See Seridei Eish Y.D .79

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