Chapter 16: The Torah reading of Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

Buy me on Amazon.com

Chapter 16: The Torah reading of Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

1. Rosh Hashanah:

A. Background of Yom Tov reading:

Moshe Rabbeinu established for the Jewish people that on every Yom Tov one is to read the Torah portion dealing with that Holiday.[1] The Sages of the Mishneh and Gemara chose the exact portion of the Torah that is read on each holiday.[2]

The amount of Aliyos:[3] Moshe instituted that five men be called up for an Aliyah by the Torah reading of Yom Tov.[4] [On Shabbos, one reads 7 Aliyos from the first Torah.]

Haftorah and Maftir: See Chapter 14 Halacha 1!

B. Saying Hashem Hashem:[5]

On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur [when the Ark is opened to remove the Torah scrolls] the 13 attributes [i.e. passage of Hashem Hashem] is recited three times prior to Brich Shmei.[6] [This applies even when [the first day of] Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos. The same applies when Yom Kippur falls on Shabbos.[7]] After the recital of Hashem Hashem one recites the prayer of Ribono Shel Olam[8] [one time[9]]. [Likewise, the verse of Veani Sefilasi, which is recited after the Ribono Shel Olam is only recited one time.[10]] This is then followed by the prayer of Brich Shmei.[11]

C. How many Torah Scrolls are removed?[12]

Two Torah scrolls are removed from the Ark. [The scrolls are to be rolled to their proper places prior to Davening. Doing so is not to be delayed until Kerias Hatorah.[13] If only one scroll is available then the two portions are to be read from the same scroll.[14]]

D. The reading of the first Torah Scroll:[15]

[On the first day of Rosh Hashanah] one reads from the first Torah scroll the portion starting with “And Hashem remembered Sarah” up until the section of the Akeida. This portion is read because [it discusses the remembrance of G-d’s promise to Sarah that she will have a child and] it was on Rosh Hashanah that she was remembered [by Hashem and conceived].[16] [This hints to the idea that we also should be remembered by Hashem for blessing of goodness on this day.[17]]

The Aliyos of the first Torah scroll:[18] Five men are called up for an Aliyah by the Torah reading of the first Torah scroll. When Rosh Hashanah coincides with Shabbos seven men are called up to the reading of the first Torah scroll.[19]

E. Who is to receive an Aliyah?[20]

[The Aliyah’s are to be given to married men of stature out of respect for the day.[21]] Some communities have a custom to give one of the five Aliyos[22] to the Baal Tokeia.[23] Other communities[24] are accustomed in addition to the above to also give an Aliyah to the Chazan of Musaf. The same applies on Yom Kippur.[25] [The above people are considered Chiyuvim in areas that follow this custom. However, this only applies if the Baal Tokeia and Chazan do not take money for their work. However, those Chazanim and Baalei Tokeia that get paid are not considered a Chiyuv at all.[26] Nevertheless some[27] write that it is proper to give them an Aliyah even in such a case. Some Poskim[28] rule that the above law however is only in a case that the Aliyah’s are not sold in the Shul. If, however the Aliyos are sold then there are no Chiyuvim, even for the Baal Tokeia, Baal Tefilla, Baal Yahrzeit, Sandek etc, and all the Aliyos may be sold to highest bidder. See Q&A for further details.]

 

Getting an Aliyah:

It is proper for every G-d fearing Jew to try to get an Aliyah during the High Holidays. If the Aliyah’s are sold then he should try to purchase an Aliyah in accordance to the amount that he can afford.[29] Nevertheless one must beware from this leading towards strife and discord as one should not fight over any Mitzvah and one who compromises to the other person is also meritorious. This applies even if one desires to get an Aliyah on behalf of a deceased relative, as the compromise serves as an even greater merit.[30]

Selling the Aliyos:

Some Poskim[31] write against the custom of selling the Aliyos on Rosh Hashanah as perhaps an unbefitting person will buy the Aliyah.

May one sell the Aliyah’s of Kohen and Levi to the highest bitter?

Some Poskim[32] rule it is permitted to sell to the highest bidder even the Aliyah of Kohen and Levi, as the Kohen only receives precedence when the Aliya’s are not being sold. Other[33] Poskim however forbid doing so. Practically one who desires to do so is to have the Kohanim exit the Shul prior to the Aliyah of Kohen.[34]

 

F. Maftir-The Second Torah Scroll:[35]

[After the above reading and recital of half Kaddish[36]] the Maftir is read from the second Torah from the portion of Pinchas “Ubechodesh Hashevi’i”. [This portion discusses the sacrifices of Rosh Hashanah that were brought on Rosh Hashanah in the Temple.]

 

G. The Haftorah:[37]

The Haftorah is read from the beginning of Sefer Shmuel until the words “Vayerem Keren Meshicho”. [The reason it is read is because it discusses the events of Chana’s pregnancy] as also Chana conceived on Rosh Hashanah.[38]

H. When to return the Torah to the Aron:[39]

The Torah scroll is left out throughout the Shofar blowing and is thus only returned before Musaf. [The prevalent custom amongst Anash is that the Sefer Torah is placed on the Bimah during the Shofar blowing, however in 770 the custom is for it to be held.[40]]

I. Reading on the Second day of Rosh Hashanah:[41]

How many scrolls are removed?[42] Two Torah scrolls are removed from the ark.

Reading of first scroll: On the second day of Rosh Hashanah one reads the portion of the Akeida from the first Torah scroll, starting with “And Elokim tested Avraham” up until the end of the Parsha. This portion is read in order to remind [Hashem] of the Akeida of Yitzchak.[43]

Maftir: The person who reads the Haftorah reads for Maftir [from the second scroll] the same portion of the Torah that was read yesterday [the first day of Rosh Hashanah].

Haftorah: The Haftorah is read from Yermiyahu, starting from the words “Ko Amar etc” until the words “Haben Yakir etc”. The reason for why we read this Haftorah is because it is an obligation to awaken the memory on Rosh Hashanah, and in this Haftorah it states “Zechor Ezkerenu Od Al Kein Hamu Meiay”.[44]

 

General laws and customs

The tune of the Torah reading:

It is a known custom amongst all Israel to read the Torah on Rosh Hashanah in a special tune of the Yamim Noraim. This is also the Chabad custom. Nevertheless in Lubavitch the custom was to read the Maftir from the second scroll in the regular reading tune and not with the tune of the High Holidays.[45] 

The Brachos:[46] The custom is for the person who receives the Aliyah to recite the blessings of Birchas Hatorah in the hymn of the Rosh Hashanah reading. The same applies to reading the Mi Shebeirach. One should not swerve from this custom. [Nevertheless, the blessings of the Maftir and Haftorah are said in the regular tune according to the Chabad custom as explained above.[47]]

 

Mi Shebeirach:

Some Poskim[48] write that one should not recite the words “Lekavod Yom Hadin” being that these are days of mercy. Practically the Chabad custom is to say “Lekavod Yom Hadin”.[49]

Mi Shebeirach for the sick:[50] Upon saying a Mi Shebeirach for the sick it is not necessary to say “Shabbos Hi Milizok” or “Yom Tov Hi Milizok” as today is the day of judgment.

 

The following is the Chabad Nussach for Mi Shebeirach:[51]

 מי שברך אבותינו אברהם יצחק ויעקב הוא יברך את) פב״פ (בעבור שעלה לתורה לכבוד המקום ולכבוד התורה ולכבוד יום הדין, בשכר זה [הקב״ה [ישמרהו ויצילהו מכל צרה וצוקה ומכל נגע ומחלה, ויכתבהו ויחתמהו לחיים טובים בזה יום הדין, וישלח ברכה והצלחה בכל מעשה ידיו עם כל ישראל אחיו ונאמר אמן.

 

 Mistakes in the reading

The fourth Aliyah was read until the end of the portion:[52]

If the reader accidently read until the end of the Parsha by the Aliyah of Revi’i [4th Aliyah] then the 5th Aliyah is to read the next portion, which is the portion of the Akeida. If however one already recited Kaddish after the fourth Aliyah then the Maftir from the second scroll is to count as the 5th Aliyah.

 

Read the portion of the Akeida on the first day:[53]

If the reader accidently read the parsha of the Akeida on the first day then if the last Aliyah [5th Aliyah] did not yet recite the after blessing, the reader is to retract to the beginning of the correct portion, from “Vehashem Pakad Es Sarah”. After the correct portion is read the person of the 5th Aliyah recites the after blessing. If however he already said the after blessing and then they remembered that they read the wrong portion then they are to continue with Maftir and the next day are to read the section that was supposed to be read the previous day, from “Vehashem Pakad..” until the end of the Akeida.

 

Read the portion of the Vehashem Pakad also on the second day:[54]

If the reader accidently read the Parsha of Vehashem Pakad also on the second day then if the last Aliyah [5th Aliyah] did not yet recite the after blessing, the reader is to now read the portion of the Akeida. If however he already said the after blessing and then they remembered that they read the wrong portion then another person is to be called up for a 6th Aliyah and read the portion of the Akeida. This applies even if Kaddish was already recited, in which case a second Kaddish is recited after the reading. This applies even if Hagbah was already performed to the first Torah scroll, in which case they are to read the Akeida from the second scroll and then recite Kaddish and call up the Maftir.

 

Skipped part of the beginning of the portion:[55]

If by the first Aliyah the reader accidently began reading from further on in the Parsha, skipping the section dealing with the remembrance of Sarah, then by the next Aliyah he is to start from the beginning and read up until Shelishi.

 

2. Yom Kippur:[56]

How many scrolls are removed? Two Sifrei Torah are removed from the Ark for the Torah reading of Shacharis on Yom Kippur.

What is read in the first scroll? In the first scroll, the section speaking of the death of the sons of Aharon, and of the Yom Kippur service, is read. This is found in the beginning of Parshas Acharei Mos. 

Second scroll-Maftir: Maftir is read from the second Sefer Torah. The section discussing the sacrifices offered on Yom Kippur is read from Parshas Pinchas.

Haftorah: The Haftorah of “Solu Solu” is read from Isaiah, as it discusses repentance and fasting. 

How many people are called up to the Torah? A total of six men are called up for an Aliyah in the first Torah scroll, unless Yom Kippur falls on Shabbos, in which case seven people are called up. One person is called up to read Maftir.

Chazan of Musaf:[57] Some communities[58] have a custom to give one of the Aliyos to the Chazan of Musaf. [The above people are considered Chiyuvim in areas that follow this custom. However, this only applies if the Chazan does not take money for his work. However, those Chazanim who get paid are not considered a Chiyuv at all.[59] Nevertheless some[60] write that it is proper to give them an Aliyah even in such a case. Some Poskim[61] rule that the above law however is only in a case that the Aliyah’s are not sold in the Shul. If, however, the Aliyos are sold then there are no Chiyuvim, even for the Baal Tefilla, Baal Yartzite, Sandek etc, and all the Aliyos may be sold to highest bidder.]

Being distressed from the deaths of Aaron’s sons:[62] One who is distressed over the death of the sons of Aharon and is brought to tears due to it, is forgiven for his sins, and receives protection that his children will not die in his lifetime.

 

Q&A

May one who is not fasting for medical reasons be called to the Torah?[63]

One who is not fasting may nevertheless be called up for the Torah reading of Shacharis. It is however questionable whether he may be called up for the Mincha Torah reading. Some Poskim[64] however rule he may be called up even for Mincha.

In which tune is the Torah to be read?

During Shacharis, the Torah is read in the same High Holiday Niggun that it is read on Rosh Hashanah. However, by Mincha it is read in the regular Torah reading tone.

 

3. The law if one read the wrong Torah portion on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur:[65]

If the wrong Torah portion was read on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, they do not fulfill their obligation and the correct Torah portion needs to be read with all its Aliyos.

____________________________________________

[1] Admur 488:5; 282/1; M”A 135/1; 535; Rambam Tefila 13/8; Mishneh Megillah 31a

The hint in scripture: The above institution is hinted to in the verse “Vayidaber Moshe Es Moadeiy Hashem El Bnei Yisrael”, from which we learn that Moshe established that each Parsha of the Moadim is to be read at its proper time. [Admur ibid]

[2] Admur ibid; Megillah ibid

[3] Admur 282/1; 488/5; M”A 135/1

[4] The reason: The reason behind the different number of Aliyos [Three during the week; Four on Rosh Chodesh; Five on Yom Tov; six on Rosh Hashanah; seven on Shabbos] is based on the levels of holiness that each day contains over the other days. See 282/1 for further details on this matter.

[5] Siddur Admur

[6] It is not customary to recite the words “Vayavor Hashem Al Panav” prior to saying it being that the Hashem Hashem is recited as a prayer and not as a verse in the Torah. [Halichos Olam brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 584 footnote 16, unlike Mateh Efraim 584:584:16; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 206].

[7] Implication of Admur in Siddur [that by R”H he does not differentiate between the weekday and Shabbos]; Sefer Haminhagim p. 119 [English Edition]; Hayom Yom 10th Tishrei; Hisvadus 6th Tishrei 1970; Shaareiy Teshuvah 488:1; Likkutei Mahrich Pesach based on Ramaz; Custom brought in M”E 584:16; Luach Eretz Yisrael; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 210; Piskeiy Teshuvos 488:3

Other Opinions: Some Poskim write that the 13 attributes are to be omitted when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos. [Hagahos Marsham and Daas Torah 488 in name of Shut Beshamayim Rosh 71 in name of Geonim; M”E 584:16; Shaareiy Efraim 10:65; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 715]

[8] This prayer was established with Ruach Hakodesh by the Arizal. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 584:3; See Kaf Hachaim 134:11; Shaar Hakavanos p. 89] On Rosh Hashanah the words “Umechol Al Kol Avonosaiy” is omitted as we do not mention sin on Rosh Hashanah. [See Siddur Admur; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 205]

[9] Shaareiy Teshuvah 488 [“so is the custom”]; implication of Admur in Siddur [Rav Raskin p. 300]

Other Opinions: According to the Arizal one is to recite the prayer of Ribono Shel Olam three times. [Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Tefilos R”H]

[10] Implication of Admur in Siddur and so is the Chabad custom

Other customs: Some have the custom to recite the verse of Veani Sefilasi three times. [Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar R”H; Siddur Shlah]

[11] Siddur Admur; Ketzei Hamateh 619:48 [so is custom of world] unlike the custom brought in Shaareiy Efraim 10:5 and Mateh Efraim 619:48

[12] Admur ibid

Background behind removing two Torah scrolls: Being that it was instituted to read the Maftir from the portion of Pinchas, as explained below in the footnotes the reason behind this institution, therefore two scrolls must be removed from the Ark. It does not suffice to remove one scroll and then roll it to the next portion of Musafim found in Pinchas as we do not roll the Torah scroll in front of the congregation due to respect of the public. [488:6; see 144:3]

[13] See M”B 144:13

[14] Michaber 144:3; Although the scroll will need to be rolled to the proper place of the second reading, after completing the first reading, nevertheless since there is no other scroll available we allow it to be rolled and differ the “respect of the Tzibur”. [ibid; See M”B 144:16]

[15] Admur ibid

The background of Torah reading:

It was established by Moshe Rabbeinu, that on every Yom Tov one is to read the Torah portion dealing with that Holiday. The Sages of the Mishneh and Gemara chose the exact portion of the Torah that is read on each holiday. [see 488:5]

General laws: The general laws of the Torah reading can be found in Chapter 282. The following are the laws discussed there: May one add more Aliyos? [282:1-4]; Who may get an Aliyah? [282:5]

[16] Admur ibid; Levush; M”A 584:2; M”B 584:6 [Rachel and Chana were also remembered on Rosh Hashanah]

[17] Kaf Hachaim 584:15

[18] Admur ibid

The background of the Aliyos:

It was established by Moshe Rabbeinu that on every Yom Tov there should be five people called up to read the Torah portion dealing with that Holiday. [282:1;488:5; M”A 135:1] The reason behind the different number of Aliyos [Three during the week; Four on Rosh Chodesh; Five0 on Yom Tov; six on Rosh Hashanah; seven on Shabbos] is based on the levels of holiness that each day contains over the other days. See 282:1 for further details on this matter.

[19] 584:7

[20] 584:7

[21] M”A 136:1 in name of Mahril; Mateh Efraim 584:20

[22] Can he receive Maftir? Yes. The reason the Rama records “the five Aliyos” is in order to negate giving him a 6th or 7th Aliyah in those areas that add more Aliyah’s to the reading. [Shaareiy Efraim 2:15; Ketzei Hamateh 584:34]+

[23] Admur 584:8; Rama 584:2 in name of Kol Bo

The reason: As the Torah brings joy to a person and hence the Chazan and Baal Tokeia will be in a joyful mood and not come to make a mistake in the prayer and blowing. [Levush 584]

[24] The community of Pozna. [Levush and M”A 584:6]

[25] Admur ibid; M”A 584:6 ; Levush

[26] Kitzur Shlah; Elya Raba 584:9; Machatzis Hashekel; P”M 584 A”A 6; M”E 584:22; M”B 584:9; Kaf Hachaim 584:24

[27] Alef Hamagen 584:27 based on the reason of the Levush recorded above.

[28] Aruch Hashulchan 584:3; Shaareiy Efraim 2:15 regarding a Baal Yahrzeit and Sandek

[29] Mateh Efraim 584:17; M”B 584:8’ Kaf Hachaim 584:23

[30] Kaf Hachaim 584:23

[31] Mateh Efraim 584:17; Kaf Hachaim 584:22

[32] Maharik brought in M”B 135:18; Shulchan Hatahor Komrana 135:8; Shoel Umeishiv 6:29

[33] See Teshuvah Meahava 90; Avnei Tzedek 9; Maharam Brisk 6

[34] Maharam Shick 59; Kaf Hachaim 135:14; Piskeiy Teshuvos 584:4

[35] The background of Maftir:

Maftir in truth refers to the reading of the portion from Navi formally known as the Haftorah. It comes from the word Petor which means finish, as the reading is completed with the Haftorah. However, the person that reads the Maftir from Navi is required to first read a section from the Torah. [282:10; 488:6] In the times of the Sages of the Mishneh and Talmud the Maftir would read from the Torah as part of the five Aliyos that were read from the portion of that Holiday which was read from the first Torah scroll. [There was hence no second scroll taken out from the ark] However in later generations the Rabanan Savuraiy established, and so was accustomed by the Geonim which followed them, that the Maftir is to read [from a second scroll] the portion of the Musaf sacrifice written in Parshas Pinchas. [488:6] Regarding why the Maftir is read as the sixth Aliyah and is not part of the five Aliyos-see chapter 282:10-13!

The meaning behind reading specifically the Musaf sacrifice for Maftir: The above institution of the Sages to read the portion of the Karbanos of Musaf was based on the following teaching of the Sages: Avraham stated in front of Hashem “Master of the world when the Temple is not in existence the children of Israel do not have on what to find support. What will be with my children when they sin? Perhaps you will do to them as you did to the generation of the Mabul and Haflaga. Hashem answered “I have already established for them the order of the Karbanos. When the Karbanos are read I consider it as if they sacrificed the Korban before me and I forgive all of their sins. [488:6]

[36] See 282:12 for the reason why Kaddish is recited between the five Aliyos and Maftir.

[37] The background of Haftorah:

The reading of the Haftorah was instituted by the Anshei Kneses Hagedola. They instituted that one should read from Navi on every holiday from a portion that deals with the holiday events. The Sages of the Mishneh and Gemara chose the exact portion of Navi that is read on each holiday. [488:5]

The laws of the Haftorah: Laws that relate to the Haftorah can be found in chapter 284 of the laws of Shabbos. The following are the laws discussed there: Amount of verses to read. [284:1]; The blessings [284:2] Can it be read from a Chumash. [284:4] Having in mind the 100 blessings. [46:1; 284:7] Having a Katan read. [284:8] When to begin the Haftorah. [284:11]

[38] This section is read being it discusses the remembrance of Chana by Hashem and her receiving a blessing for children on Rosh Hashanah. This is similar to the section read in the scroll regarding Sarah.

[39] 590:21; Rama 590:9; Tur 591; Levush 591; Kaf Hachaim 585:9

Other customs: The Rambam [Halacha 10] rules that the Torah scroll is to be returned to the Aron prior to the Shofar blowing. [Kaf Hachaim ibid] Regarding those congregations that are accustomed to all immerse in a Mikveh prior to the blowing and what they are to do with the Sefer Torah in the interim-see Piskeiy Teshuvos 585:1 and Poskim mentioned there!

[40] Otzer Minhagei Chabad 240

[41] 601:1; Michaber 601:1

[42] 584:7

[43] Other reasons: It is also read to remember the ram of Yitzchak as it is for this reason that we blow the Shofar using the horn of a ram. [Ran] Alternatively, the reason is because the Zohar [Vayikra 18] states that Akeidas Yitzchak took place on Rosh Hashanah. However in Pirkei Derebbe Eliezer it states that the Akeida took place on Yom Kippur. [Mateh Yehuda 584 brought in Kaf Hachaim 584:16] Some explain that the statement in the Zohar is not to be taken literally and it means to say the level of Gevurah, as Gevurah is called Yitzchak. [Machazik Bracha 2; Shalmei Tzibur 272 brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[44] Admur ibid; Beis Yosef in name of Ran; Levush

[45] Rav Yaakov Landau, Rav Nachman Refael Kahn, Rav Mordechai Shusterman, brought in Otzer Minhagei Chabad 215-216

[46] Mateh Efraim 584:18; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 212

[47] So was the Rebbe’s custom when he was called up for Maftir on Rosh Hashanah. [Otzer 220]

[48] Darkei Chaim Veshalom 715

[49] Otzer Minhagei Chabad 213; See Shaar Hakolel 26:5; Nesivos Bisade Hashlichos 1 p. 312

[50] M”E 584:25

[51] Siddur Torah Or and Machzor Chabad; Otzer Minhagei Chabad 214; however in some later prints of the Chabad Machzorim there are slight differences in Nussach.

[52] Shaareiy Efraim 8:33; brought in M”B 584:8; Kaf Hachaim 584:17; Ruling of Rav in Chasam Sofer 169, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that in such a case one is to always to have the Maftir count as the 5th Aliyah even if Kaddish was not recited. [Chasam Sofer ibid brought in M”B ibid and Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[53] Shaareiy Efraim 8:34; M”B 584:8; Kaf Hachaim 584:18; Toras Hashlamim 12:1-2

[54] Shaareiy Efraim 8:34; M”B 584:8; Kaf Hachaim 584:18; Toras Hashlamim 12:1-2

[55] Shaareiy Efraim 8:35; Kaf Hachaim 584:19; M”B 602:1

[56] Admur 621:1

[57] Admur 584:8; Rama 584:2 in name of Kol Bo

[58] The community of Pozna. [Levush and M”A 584:6]

[59] Kitzur Shlah; Elya Raba 584:9; Machatzis Hashekel; P”M 584 A”A 6; M”E 584:22; M”B 584:9; Kaf Hachaim 584:24

[60] Alef Hamagen 584:27 based on the reason of the Levush recorded above.

[61] Aruch Hashulchan 584:3; Shaareiy Efraim 2:15 regarding a Baal Yahrzeit and Sandek

[62] Admur 621:15

[63] Rav Akiva Eiger 24; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 621:1

[64] Minchas Elazar 2:74

[65] Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:7; See M”B 137:11

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?