Chapter 7: The Seder of getting an Aliyah

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Chapter 7: The Seder of getting an Aliyah

1. Calling up the Olah by his Hebrew name:[1]

The Ashkenazi custom is to call up the person by name. He is called up by his Hebrew name and fathers name. [The Sephardi custom is not to call up the Olah by name, and rather the Gabbai simply motions to him to go up.[2]]

One who does not know his fathers name:[3] If he does not know his father’s name, he is to be called by his grandfather’s name, preferably by the name of his father’s father, although the name of his mother’s father is also valid. If he does not know any of the names, then he is to be called up as Ben Avraham. [Some are accustomed even initially to always call up the person as Ben Avraham if the name of the father is not known.[4]]

A convert, gentile father, adoptive child:[5] A convert is to be called up as Ben Avraham. [A son who was born from a gentile father is to be called up as Ben Avraham, or by his mother’s fathers name. An adopted child is to be called up by his biological father’s name, or as Ben Avraham, and is never to be called up by the name of his stepfather.[6] However, some are lenient in a case of great shame.[7]]

One whose father is a Mumar:[8] One whose father is a Mumar for idolatry is not to have his name mentioned, and his son is rather to be called by the name of his grandfather [i.e. father’s father]. If, however, he already became accustomed to being called up by his father’s name, and only afterwards did his father become a Mumar, then he may continue to be called up by his father’s name. [Practically, majority of non-religious Jews do not fall under this category of Mumar and the sons may be called up by their father’s name in all cases.[9]]

2. Going up for the Aliya:

A. How to go up to the Bimah for an Aliyah:[10]

One who is called up to the Torah for an Aliyah is to walk towards the Bimah in the shortest path available.[11] [This applies whether the shortest path to the Bimah is on one’s right side or left side.[12] One is to quickly walk to the Bimah upon being called.[13]] If there are two available routes of equal distance, he is to ascend through the path which is towards his right.[14]

B. The Dress Code:

Wearing a Yarmulke:[15] One who receives an Aliyah must cover his head [with a Yarmulke, or any other valid head covering] due to respect of the Torah.

Wearing a Tallis Gadol for an Aliya:[16] It is customary amongst many communities for the Olah to wear a Tallis Gadol upon getting an Aliyah.[17] See Q&A regarding blessing! [This especially applies on Shabbos and Yom Tov. However, it is no longer the widespread custom to wear a Tallis Gadol on Mondays and Thursdays, or Shabbos by Mincha.[18] The age old Chabad custom of many generations is not to require one to wear a Tallis Gadol for an Aliya or to read the Torah.[19] Nevertheless, in a Shul which is particular for the Baal Korei and Olah to wear a Tallis, one is to do so.[20]]

 

Is one to say a blessing on the Tallis Gadol when putting it on for the sake of an Aliyah?[21]

Borrowing a friends Tallis: One who borrows a Tallis Gadol from his friend for the sake of [performing a communal service, such as] to read the Torah, then if the lender knows that the borrower [also] desires the Tallis in order to perform the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, then the borrower must say a blessing upon wearing it.[22] If however the lender does not know that the borrower desires the Tallis in order to perform the Mitzvah of Tzitzis, and rather assumes he is borrowing it to wear out of respect for the communal service, then the borrower is not obligated to say a blessing [within the first 30 days of the borrowing] although if he desires to do so, he may recite it.[23] [Practically, the custom is not to say a blessing when borrowing a Tallis for Kavod purposes.[24]]

Borrowing the Tallis of a Shul:[25] The public Tallis of a Shul is considered jointly owned by all Jewry.[26] Thus, one who borrows the public Tallis of a Shul is obligated to say a blessing upon wearing it, just as is the law regarding one who wears a Tallis that he owns.[27] This applies even if he is borrowing it simply to wear out of Kavod/respect, such as for an Aliyah, nevertheless a blessing must be recited prior to wearing it.[28] [Nevertheless, the widespread custom today is not to recite a blessing over a Shul’s Tallis that is worn simply for Kavod purposes.[29] Thus, if one desires to say a blessing and avoid all doubt, he should explicitly intend to fulfill the Mitzvah upon wearing the Shul’s Tallis for Kavod purposes and cover his head with the Tallis.[30] If one does not desire to recite a blessing when wearing the Tallis for Kavod purposes, he is to borrow another person’s Tallis rather than to use the Shul’s Tallis and consequently enter himself into an obligation to say the blessing.[31] Alternatively, he should give up his joint ownership of the Tallis prior to wearing it. Alternatively, the person who donates the Tallis to the Shul should stipulate beforehand that it is not considered owned by the borrowers when they wear the Tallis for Kavod.[32]]

 

May one who is wearing shorts, or a sleeveless shirt, receive an Aliyah?

One whose clothing are torn, and his arms and legs are revealed may not receive an Aliyah.[33] Accordingly, one who is wearing shorts, or a sleeveless shirt, is not to receive an Aliyah unless he puts on a Tallis Gadol which will cover him properly.[34]

 

3. Being shown the area of the reading and kissing the Gartel/Tzitzis:

The Olah is to be shown the text that will be read in the Sefer Torah [prior to beginning the blessings].[35]

Touching the Sefer Torah and Kissing the Tzitzis, Gartel:[36] The custom is to place the Gartel of the Sefer Torah, or one’s Tallis, on the Sefer Torah by the text of the reading and then kiss the Gartel/Tallis. [One is to be very gentle upon contacting the Sefer Torah with the Gartel, or Tallis, making sure that the metal part of the Gartel does not touch the parchment, and to simply touch the words and not rub the material over it.[37] The Chabad custom is to place the Tzitzis/Gartel on the start and concluding area of the reading.[38] The Rebbe was accustomed to place the Tallis on the beginning, end, and then beginning of the reading, and then kiss the Tallis.[39] This is not a directive to the public.[40]]

4. The law if one was shown the wrong text:[41] 

If the Olah was shown the wrong text of the reading in the Sefer Torah and he already recited the blessing, then some Poskim[42] rule that it remains valid, although other Poskim[43] rule that in such a case he must repeat the blessing. [Practically, the Ashkenazi custom is like the latter opinion, to require the blessing to be repeated if one was shown the wrong area of reading.[44] The Olah is thus to say Baruch Sheim Kevod Malchuso Leolam Vaed.[45] Nonetheless, this entire law only applies if the correct area was not at all open before the Olah while he said the before blessing, in which case he must repeat the blessing from the beginning. However, if the correct area was open in front of the Olah, even if it was on a different Amud, the blessing is not to be repeated even though he was not shown the correct text.[46] Nonetheless, in such a case, if he was shown an area of the text that is lower than the correct area, then if it is not already part of the next Parsha, the Baal Korei is to continue reading until he passes the shown area.[47] Furthermore, some Poskim[48] rule that the blessing is only to be repeated if one was unaware of the text of that days reading, however, if one was aware of which text needed to be read that day, then the blessing is not to be repeated even if he was shown the wrong text on a different page. Furthermore, if they rolled the Sefer Torah to the correct area during the blessing, it remains valid.[49]]

 

Summary:

If the Olah was shown the wrong text of the reading in the Sefer Torah and he already recited the blessing, then the blessing is to be repeated unless any of the following apply, in which case a blessing is not to be recited:

1. The correct area of the text was open in front of him, and he was simply shown a wrong area of the text.

2. The Olah was aware of the correct text for the reading, and simply did not pay attention to what he was shown.

3. The Sefer Torah was rolled to the correct area of the reading while he was still in midst of the blessing.

 

Q&A

If the Olah must repeat the new blessing, is he to begin again from Barchu?

Some Poskim[50] rule that he is to repeat Barchu. Other Poskim[51], however, rule that Barchu is not to be repeated. Practically, if the Chazan already began the reading, then the Olah should start again from Barchu, while if he remembered before beginning the reading then Barchu is not repeated.[52]

 

5. The before blessing:

A. The general rule:

The Olah must recite a blessing before and after the Torah reading.[53] This blessing is Rabbinical, and is done out of honor of the Torah, when it is read in public.[54] [It is thus forbidden to publicly read from the Torah scroll without a blessing.[55]]

Must the congregation be Yotzei the blessings:[56] 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 to the blessing while it is being said.[57] [Thus, a Baal Korei may read from the Torah even if he did not hear the blessings of the Olah, such as he walked into the room in middle of the blessing.[58]]

B. Which blessing is recited and the law if a mistake was made:

Prior to the reading from the Torah, the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu Mikol Ha’amim is recited.[59] After the reading from the Torah, the blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu Toras Emes is recited.[60]

One who just finished saying Birchas Hatorah:[61] Even one who just completed saying the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu in Birchas Hatorah of the morning blessing, and was then called up for an Aliyah, must repeat it prior to his Aliyah, as the Sages instituted this blessing to be said out of honor of the Torah when it is read in public.

Mistake in the blessing-The law if one accidentally said the after blessing first:[62] If one accidently recited the blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu instead of Bachar Banu, then if he did not mention Hashem’s name in the concluding stanza of the blessing, he is to go back and recite the correct words of Asher Bachar Banu. If, however he already said Hashem’s name in the blessing, then he is to conclude “Nosein Hatorah” and he fulfills his obligation. In such a case, by the after blessing he is to recite the blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu.

C. Saying Barchu prior to the first blessing:[63]

One is to recite Barchu prior to beginning the blessings over the Torah.[64] The saying of Barchu serves as an introduction towards the blessing of “Asher Bachar Banu”, and is part of the blessing over the Torah that was instituted to be recited by the Oleh.[65] It is said as an introduction in order to remind the congregation that they too are obligated in the reading of the Torah, and they should hence consent to his blessing and reading.[66] [Some are accustomed to say prior to Barchu “Hashem Imachem” and the congregation responds Yivarechicha Hashem.”[67] This is the custom of Sephardi Jewry.]

Out loud: One is to say Barchu out loud, as explained in Halacha F.

 

Q&A

If one forgot to say Barchu prior to the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu, is he to say it afterwards?[68]

No.[69]

 

If an interval was made between Barchu and the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu, is one to repeat Barchu?[70]

Yes.

 

D. Holding onto the handles during the blessing and reading:[71]

One holds on to the [handles[72], known as the Eitz Chaim, of the] Sefer Torah while saying the blessing [and during the reading[73]].[74] While saying the blessing he is to hold onto both handles, holding onto the right handle with his right hand, and the left handle with his left hand.[75] After the blessing, one lets go of the left handle, and remains holding onto the right handle.[76]

How to hold onto the Eitz Chaim, with a Tallis or with one’s bare hands?[77] Some Poskim[78] rule that it is forbidden to hold onto the handles of the Sefer Torah directly, due to the prohibition against touching the Sefer Torah [brought next]. Rather one is to hold onto the handles using a Tallis. Other Poskim[79], however, rule that there is no need to hold onto the Eitz Chaim with a Tallis or other intervening substance, and it is permitted to hold onto it with one’s bare hands, and so is the widespread custom. [Nonetheless, some are stringent like the first opinion to hold onto it with a Tallis[80], and so was the custom of the Rebbe Rayatz, and so is the printed custom in Sefer Haminhagim.[81] Practically, however, this is not the Chabad custom, and was not seen to be done by the Rebbe when he received an Aliyah, and thus we are accustomed to hold onto the handles with our bare hands.[82]]

Not to touch the parchment of the Sefer Torah:[83] It is forbidden to touch the parchment of the Sefer Torah without a cloth. This applies even if one washed his hands.[84]

E. How to say the blessing:

Touching the Sefer Torah and Kissing the Gartel/Tallis: See Halacha 3!

Closing the Sefer Torah:[85] From the letter of the law, there is no requirement to close the Sefer Torah upon saying the before blessing.[86] Nonetheless, the custom of many, as well as the Chabad custom, is to close the Sefer Torah prior to beginning the blessing.[87] The Sephardic custom is to cover the Sefer Torah with a cloth while saying the blessing.[88]

Turning one’s face:[89] While saying the first blessing the custom is to turn one’s face to the left side [which is to G-d’s right[90]], so it does not appear as if one is reading the blessings from the Sefer Torah. [The Chabad custom is to turn the face slightly to the right side.[91] This was likewise the Rebbe’s custom.[92]]

Lifting the Torah:[93] Upon saying the words in the blessing of “Nasan Lanu” one is to slightly shake [i.e. lift] the Torah. [The widespread Chabad custom is to do so upon saying Hashem’s name in the blessing.[94] The Rebbe was seen to lift the Torah several times during the before blessing, including by Hashem’s name.[95] The Sephardi custom is not to lift the Sefer Torah.[96]]

F. Saying the blessings over the Torah out loud:[97]

One is to say Barchu and the blessings out loud. One who says it quietly is making a mistake.[98] [One who says it quietly is considered to be stealing the Mitzvos from the public.[99]] It is to be said loud enough for the congregation to hear and answer “Baruch Hashem Hamevorach Leolam Vaed” [for Barchu, and answer Amen for the blessings[100]].[101] [Initially, Barchu and the blessings are to be said loud enough for the entire congregation to hear.[102]]

Bedieved if said the blessings quietly: Some Poskim[103] rule he must repeat Barchu and the blessings aloud if it was said quietly.[104] [Other Poskim[105] rule it does not have to be repeated. Practically, the blessings are not to be repeated.[106] However Barchu is seemingly to be repeated.[107] From here we learn how great of an obligation it is to say the blessings out loud, as otherwise, some opinions invalidate the blessing.[108]]

Congregation answering Amen if they did not hear the blessings:[109] If one did not hear the person saying the blessing, he may nevertheless still answer Amen together with the congregation.[110]  Furthermore, he is obligated to do so.[111] This applies even if one intended to fulfill his 100 blessings with this blessing.[112] Nevertheless, one does not fulfill his obligation of Meiah Brachos with such a blessing unless he heard the blessing from the person saying it.[113]

Congregation answering Baruch if they did not hear the Barchu:[114] If the congregation [i.e. nine men] did not hear the person saying Barchu, then if they heard the Chazan answering in return, they are not to recite it with him but are to answer Amen to the Chazan’s Baruch. [If, however nine people heard the Chazan say Barchu and are answering Barchu, an individual that did not hear the Chazan may join in and answer Barchu together with the congregation.[115] Due to this, the Oleh is to be warned to say Barchu aloud so at least nine people can hear. Those that don’t do so cause the congregation to sin when they answer Barchu instead of Amen.[116] Bar Mitzvah boys, and those who are weak or sick, are especially to be told to say it aloud, and have nine people gather near them to hear the Barchu.[117]]

G. The congregation answering to the blessing:

Answering to Barchu: After the Olah recites Barchu, the congregation and Olah say Baruch Hashem Hamevorach Leolam Vaed.[118] The Olah is to repeat it after the conclusion of the congregation.[119] [However, according to Admur in his Siddur, one is to repeat it at the same time as the congregation.[120]  Practically, the Rebbe was accustomed to repeat it only after the congregation. Some Ashkenazim are accustomed to answer Amen after Baruch Hashem Hamevorech is said by the Olah.]

Answering Amen:[121] The congregation is to pay attention to the blessings of the Torah and Haftorah and answer Amen afterwards. [The congregation must answer Amen to the blessing of the Olah in close approximation to its conclusion, as is the case with any blessing.[122]]

Congregation answering if they did not hear the blessings: See previous Halacha!

Being Yotzei 100 blessings by hearing the blessings: See Chapter 8 Halacha 1A!

The Baal Korei answering Amen: The Baal Korei must answer Amen to the blessing of the Olah, just like the congregation.[123] The Amen must be answered in close approximation to its conclusion.[124] Nevertheless, the custom is for the Baal Korei to drag out the Amen more than the rest of the congregation, in order to summon their attention to the start of the reading.[125] [It is however forbidden for the Baal Korei to delay beginning the Amen until the congregation concludes its Amen, as it must be in approximation to the conclusion of the blessing, as stated above.[126] Those Baal Korei who are accustomed to answer Amen only after the conclusion of the congregation, are saying an Amen Yesoma, of which the Sages severely warned against.[127]]

6. Laws applicable to the Olah during the reading:

A. Speaking:[128]

After the Olah recites the first blessing, it is initially forbidden for him speak until after the reading and his recital of the after blessing.[129] [Initially, this applies likewise to the Baal Korei.[130]]

Bedieved if spoke between blessing and reading:[131] If the Olah spoke [of matters unrelated to the reading, even if they are words of Torah[132]] after the blessing, prior to the start of the reading, then he is required to repeat the blessing. [This applies even if he only spoke one word, and applies whether it was said in Lashon Hakodesh or another language.[133] However, if the Baal Korei spoke between the blessing of the Olah and start of his reading, then Bedieved the blessing remains valid.[134]

Bedieved if spoke in middle of reading:[135] If he spoke after the Baal Korei began the reading and already read a few verses [or even one verse[136]], then he is not required to repeat the blessing. This applies whether he spoke of mundane matters or of words of Torah.

Bedieved if spoke after the reading, prior to the after blessing:[137] If the Olah spoke after the conclusion of the reading, prior to saying the after blessing, he may nevertheless recite the after blessing. Furthermore, some are accustomed even initially to speak before the after blessing, such as for a Rav to speak Divrei Torah or to make a bid for charity after his Aliyah, prior to the after blessing being said by him.[138] Practically, however, this is not to be done, and if a long interval was made, he is no longer allowed to recite the blessing.[139]

 

Q&A

If the Olah accidentally answered Amen after his blessing is it considered an interval between the blessing and the reading?

Yes.[140] However, if this was done by the Baal Korei after his own Aliyah, then it is not considered an interval.[141]

 

 

B. Reading along:[142]

The Olah is initially required to read along together with the Chazan [word by word].[143] Nonetheless, it is forbidden for him to read along out loud, and rather he should read it in a low enough tone so that others do not hear him.[144] However, he may read it loud enough for his own ears to hear.[145]

One who cannot read:[146] Despite the above requirement, it is permitted to give an individual an Aliya even if he is unable to read along with the Baal Korei, such as one who is blind or is illiterate. See Chapter 6 Halacha 1A!

One who is in middle of Davening: In the event that one was called up to the Torah in the midst of Shema or Birchas Shema, he is not to read at all inside the Torah together with the Baal Korei. If, however, he is in the middle of Pesukei Dezimra, some Poskim rule he may read along with the Baal Korei. See Chapter 6 Halacha 6C!

 

C. Standing:[147]

The Olah must stand during the reading.[148] See Chapter 6 Halacha 1F for the full details of this matter!

Leaning: It is forbidden for the Olah to lean [even slightly[149]] on the Bima [or chair] or wall during the reading. This is with exception to one who is overweight[150] [or sick or very old[151], in which case one may slightly[152] lean on the Bima or another item]. [Likewise, if the Olah is farsighted, or has bad vision, and cannot see the words of the Sefer Torah from a distance, then he may lean on the Bima in order to see the words.[153] Initially, even in the above case of allowance, one is not to place his entire body weight on the Bima or other item, and is rather to lean in a way that if the Bima or item were to be removed from under him, he would not fall.[154] Nonetheless, in a time of need, one may be lenient to completely lean on the Bima or item, if one is unable to stand otherwise.[155] Regarding the general question of whether one may lean on a Bima-See our Sefer “Topics in Practical Halacha” Volume 2 Halacha 25!]

D. Switching Ola’s in middle of the reading if an emergency occurred and he cannot continue:[156]

If in middle of an Aliya, the Olah becomes unable to continue the reading [such as he had a medical emergency], then another person is to take him over and switch him for that Aliya.

From where to continue reading:[157] The Baal Korei must restart the reading from the beginning of that Aliyah, and is not to continue from where he left off.[158] [There is no need to restart from the beginning of the Parsha, and first Aliyah, even if a long interval took place until the new Olah took over and they continue the reading.[159]]

Is a new blessing recited by the new Olah: Some Poskim[160] rule that the Olah is to repeat the blessings of the Aliyah.[161] However, other Poskim[162] rule that it is not to be done.[163] [Practically, the new Olah is to repeat the first blessing.[164] Some Poskim[165] rule that he is also to repeat Barchu. Other Poskim[166], however, rule that Barchu is not to be repeated. If the first Olah needed to be switched prior to the Baal Korei even beginning the reading, a new blessing is repeated by the new Olah even in such a case.[167]]

Switching reader of Haftorah in middle: See Chapter 12 Halacha 14.

 

 

Summary:

If in middle of an Aliya, the Olah becomes unable to continue the reading, another person is to switch him for that Aliya. The Baal Korei must begin again from the start of that Aliyah. The new Olah is to repeat the first blessing.

 

E. Covering the Sefer Torah between Aliyos:

See Chapter 8 Halacha 7.

7. The after blessing:

After the reading, the Olah recites an after blessing.[168]

A. Which blessing is recited and the law if a mistake was made:[169]

After the reading from the Torah, the blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu Toras Emes Vechayeh Olam Nata Besocheinu is recited. The words Asher Nasan Lanu Toras Emes represent the written Torah while the words Vechayeh Olam Nata Besocheinu represent the oral Torah.

Mistake in the blessing-The law if one accidentally said the before blessing instead of the after blessing:[170] If one accidently recited the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu instead of Nasan Lanu, then if he did not mention Hashem’s name in the concluding stanza of the blessing, he is to go back and recite the correct words of Asher Bachar Banu. If, however he already said Hashem’s name in the blessing [i.e. Baruch Ata Hashem] and remembered right away, then he is to immediately continue “Elokeinu Melech Haolam Asher Nasan Lanu.” If, however, he already concluded the blessing then he is to repeat the after blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu from the beginning.

The law if one accidentally said the after blessing first: If by the before blessing of the Aliyah one accidently recited the blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu instead of Bachar Banu, then by the after blessing he is to recite the blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu. See above Halacha 5B!  [If in such a case he did not say the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu, but rather repeated again the blessing of Asher Nasan, then if he already said Hashem’s name in the blessing, he is not to repeat the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu.[171]]

B. How to say the blessing:

Holding onto the handles during the blessing: While saying the blessing the Olah is to hold onto both handles, holding onto the right handle with his right hand, and the left handle with his left hand. See above Halacha 5D!

Kissing the Sefer Torah:[172] The Olah is to kiss the Sefer Torah after the reading [of one’s Aliyah]. [One uses the Gartel/Tzitzis to touch the Sefer Torah and then kisses it prior to the blessing. One is to be very gentle upon contacting the Sefer Torah with the Gartel, or Tallis, making sure that the metal part of the Gartel does not touch the parchment, and to simply touch the words and not rub the material over it.[173] The Chabad custom is to place the Tzitzis/Gartel on the concluding and then beginning area of the reading and then kiss that area.[174] The Rebbe was accustomed to place the Tallis on the end, beginning, and then end of the reading, or beginning, end and then beginning of the reading, and then kiss the Tallis.[175]]

Closing the Sefer Torah:[176] One is to then close the Sefer Torah prior to reciting the after blessing.

Turning one’s face: There is no requirement to turn ones face away from the Sefer Torah while reciting the after blessing.[177] Nevertheless, the Chabad custom is to turn one’s face to the right side also upon reciting the after blessing.[178]

Lifting the Torah:[179] Upon saying the words “Nasan Lanu” one is to slightly shake [i.e. lift] the Torah. [The widespread Chabad custom is to do so upon saying Hashem’s name in the blessing.[180] The Rebbe was seen to lift the Torah three times during the after blessing, the opening and closing of Hashem’s name and by “Toras Emes”.[181] The Sephardi custom is not to lift the Sefer Torah.[182]]

8. Conclusion of Aliyah:

When to leave the Bima: The Olah is not to leave the Bima until the next Olah goes up, in which case one may then leave the Bima.[183] Nonetheless, the custom is to remain by the Bima until the next Olah begins his blessing.[184] Furthermore, those who are meticulous remain by the Bima until after the reading of the next Aliyah, and hence only descend from the Bima between Aliyos of the next Aliyah.[185] [Practically, the widespread custom today is like the latter approach, and hence at the conclusion of one’s Aliyah, one is to remain by the Bima until after the reading of the next Aliya. One may descend from the Bima as soon as the next Aliyah concludes, even before his after blessing.[186]]

Kissing the Sefer Torah before exiting:[187] One is to place his Tallis on the Sefer Torah and kiss it prior to descending.

Taking a longer path back:[188] At the conclusion of one’s Aliyah he is to descend from the Bimah and return to his place in a different and longer path than the path used to ascend to the Bimah.[189] If upon ascending there were two available routes of equal distance, and he ascended through the path which is towards his right, he is to descend from the opposite path.[190]

Yasher Koach/Chazak:[191] After each Aliyah[192], the custom is to bless the Olah with the words “Chazak.”[193] [Practically, the Ashkenazi custom today is to say “Yasher Koach.”[194] However, the Sephardi custom is to say Chazak Ubaruch, and the Olah then replies Chizku Veimtzu.[195] Many are also accustomed to shake the hands of the Olah.[196]]

Chazak Chazak Vinischazeik:[197] The custom is that after the completion of each of the five Chumashim, the congregation stands and recites Chazak Chazak Vinischazeik[198] prior to the concluding blessing being said. [Some Poskim[199] rule that Olah himself is not to recite Chazak and it is to only be said by the congregation. Practically, however, the Chabad custom is also for the Olah to recite it.[200]]

 

Checklist for receiving an Aliyah

  • By an Ashkenazi Minyan, provide your and your father’s Hebrew name to be called up for the Aliyah. If you are unaware of your father’s name, or if one is a convert, simply say Ben Avraham.
  • One who is called up to the Torah for an Aliyah is to walk towards the Bimah in the shortest path available, whether the shortest path to the Bimah is on one’s right side or left side.
  • One is to walk quickly to the Bimah upon being called.
  • One who receives an Aliyah must cover his head with a head covering [i.e. Kipa].
  • Some wear a Tallis Gadol upon receiving an Aliyah. This is not the Chabad custom.
  • The Olah is to be shown the text that will be read in the Sefer Torah, prior to his start of the blessings.
  • One is to place the Gartel of the Sefer Torah, or one’s Tallis, on the Sefer Torah by the text of the reading and then kiss the Gartel/Tallis. The Chabad custom is to place the Tzitzis/Gartel on the start and concluding area of the reading.
  • The custom is to close the Sefer Torah prior to beginning the blessing.
  • One holds on to the handles of the Sefer Torah while saying the blessing and during the reading.
  • One first recites Barchu and then the blessing of Asher Bachar Banu Mikol Ha’amim is recited.
  • One is to say Barchu and the blessings out loud.  
  • While saying the first blessing the custom is to turn one’s face to the left side. The Chabad custom is to turn the face slightly to the right side.
  • Upon saying the words in the blessing of “Nasan Lanu” one is to slightly shake [i.e. lift] the Torah. The widespread Chabad custom is to do so upon saying Hashem’s name in the blessing.
  • The Olah is initially required to read along silently together with the Baal Korei [word by word].
  • It is forbidden for the Olah to lean even slightly on the Bima during the reading.
  • After the reading from the Torah, the blessing of Asher Nasan Lanu Toras Emes Vechayeh Olam Nata Besocheinu is recited.
  • While saying the blessing the Olah is to hold onto both handles, holding onto the right handle with his right hand, and the left handle with his left hand.
  • One uses the Gartel/Tzitzis to touch the Sefer Torah and then kisses it prior to the blessing. The Chabad custom is to place the Tzitzis/Gartel on the concluding and then beginning area of the reading and then kiss that area.
  • One is to close the Sefer Torah prior to reciting the after blessing.
  • The Chabad custom is to turn one’s face to the right side also upon reciting the after blessing.
  • Upon saying the words “Nasan Lanu” one is to slightly shake [i.e. lift] the Torah. The widespread Chabad custom is to do so upon saying Hashem’s name in the blessing.
  • At the conclusion of one’s Aliyah, one is to remain by the Bima until after the reading of the next Aliya.
  • One is to place his Tallis on the Sefer Torah and kiss it prior to descending.
  • At the conclusion of one’s Aliyah he is to descend from the Bimah and return to his place in a different and longer path than the path used to ascend to the Bimah.

 

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[1] Rama 139:3; See Avnei Nezer C.M. 103; Ketzos Hashulchan 85:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:2-4

[2] Chida in Chaim Sheol 1:13; Kaf Hachaim 139:9

[3] See Rama ibid regarding the son of a Mumar, and Assufi

[4] Taz 139; Chayeh Adam; M”B 139:10

[5] Rama ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:4

[6] Tzur Yaakov 33; Minchas Yitzchak 1:136; 2:115; 4:49; Kinyan Torah 1:48

[7] Lev Aryeh 1:55; Nishmas Avraham 5:135 in name of Rav SZ”A; See Shevet Halevi 4:174

[8] Rama ibid

[9] Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:3

[10] Michaber 141:7; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:6

[11] Literally “One who goes up to the Bima is to ascend through the closest available opening from where he is currently situated”

The reason: This is to be done out of respect towards the congregation in order that they do not delay in order for him to arrive. Likewise, it is done out of respect to the Torah, in order to show that the Torah is beloved to him and he rushing to read it. [M”B 141:22 in name of Levush and P”M]

[12] Chasam Sofer 187; Kaf Hachaim 141:38

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to always follow his right side. [Biur HaGr”a 141]

[13] Elya Raba 141; M”B 141:25; Kaf Hachaim 141:39

[14] The reason: As the Sages taught that whenever one turns, he is to turn to his right. [M”B 141:22 in name of Levush and P”M]

[15] Admur 282:6 “When a child goes up for an Aliyah to join [the adults] his head may not be revealed due to honor of the Torah, and certainly this applies for an adult.”; Rama 282:3 “Its forbidden to read with a revealed head”; Darkei Moshe 282:3; M”A 282:8; Or Zarua Shabbos 43; See Basra 2:6, Kama 2:7; Taz 8:3; Michaber 151:6; Admur 25:42; 38:10;

[16] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:9

[17] See Admur 8:15; 14:8; Shaareiy Efraim 3:18; M”B 14:11; Aruch Hashulchan 91:2; Kaf Hachaim 147:4

[18] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[19] See Igros Kodesh 5:91; 9:214; 11:110; 13:227; 16:12 and 97-99; 19:249 [published in Shulchan Menachem p. 199 and 363]

[20] Igros Kodesh 11:110 [published in Shulchan Menachem 1:259]

[21] Admur 14:8 as explained in Kuntrus Acharon 14:3; Based on explanation of Rashal ibid; M”A 14:6; Taz 14:4; See Birchas Habayis 37:14

Other opinions who obligate a blessing: Some Poskim rule a borrowed Kosher Tallis is always obligated in a blessing even if one is borrowing it for the sake of Kavod. [Michaber 14:3; Rosh Tzitzis 2; Baal Haitur; Shivlei Haleket Tzitzis in name of Rabbeinu Tam; Tur; Elya Zuta 14:7 in name of Rokeiach 361; Elya Raba 14:6;] The Poskim however negate this opinion and so is the final ruling. [Admur in Kuntrus Achron 14:3]

Other Poskim who forbid a blessing: Other Poskim rule that a Tallis borrowed for the sake of Kavod is never to receive a blessing even according to the Rosh. [Rashal Kol Habasar 53; Taz 14:5; Chesed Lealafim 14:3; Mor Uketzia; Ben Ish Chaiy Lech Lecha 5; Kaf Hachaim 14:14] In the Siddur of Admur it is evident that there are opinions that rule that one may not say a blessing on a borrowed Tallis unless it was explicitly given as a Matana Al Menas Lehachzir. [See Siddur Raskin p. 67]

[22] The reason: As since the lender knows that the borrower desires the Tallis in order to perform the Mitzvah of Tzitzis therefore he lent it to him for this purpose, for him to say a blessing over it, and it is hence considered as if the Tallis was given Matana Al Menas Lehachzir, and the Tallis is considered actually his. [ibid]

[23] The reason: As since the lender does not knows that the borrower desires the Tallis in order to perform the Mitzvah of Tzitzis therefore we cannot assume that he was given the Tallis Matana Al Menas Lehachzir. [ibid]

[24] Ben Ish Chaiy Lech Lecha 5; Kaf Hachaim 14:14; Birchas Habayis 37:14; Shaareiy Teshuvah 8:16; Piskeiy Teshuvos 14:5; See M”B 14:11 in name of Derech Hachaim that one is to borrow the Tallis with explicit intent to not acquire it, and then not say a blessing according to all.

[25] Elya Raba 14:6 in name of Mordechai 950; P”M 14 A”A 6; M”B 14:7; Birchas Habayis 37:18; Chesed Lealafim 14:6; Derech Hachaim 9; Kitzur SHU”A 9:11; Mateh Efraim 581:14; Aruch Hashulchan 14:10; Toras Chaim Sofer 14:14; Ketzos Hashulchan 7:9; Ben Ish Chaiy Lech Lecha 5; Kaf Hachaim 14:15

[26] The reason: As the congregation purchased the public Tallis for the sake that it be considered the property of each Jew when he wears it. [M”B ibid]

[27] The reason: As the Tallis of a Shul is considered owned by all Jewry, and hence is obligated in Tzitzis by any Jew who wears it, as he owns a part in the Tallis, and it thus similar to a Tallis of joint ownership. [M”B ibid] Thus, a blessing must be recited even if one has intent not to acquire it, as the Tallis is already his. [Har Tzevi 1:17]

[28] All Poskim ibid

[29] So is the widespread custom as can be witnessed, and so writes: Halichos Shlomo 3:12; Mishneh Halachos 9:234; Piskeiy Teshuvos 14:7

The reason: As some Poskim rule one may not recite a blessing when wearing a Tallis for Kavod purposes, as he is not wearing it for the sake of the Mitzvah. [ibid]

[30] Shaareiy Efraim and Biur Halacha ibid; Koveitz Mibeis Levi 6:58; Piskeiy Teshuvos 14:8

[31] Shaareiy Efraim 10:11; Biur Halacha 14:3 “Sheila”; Pashut, as all the Poskim ibid require a blessing to be said on the Shul’s Tallis and hence one should avoid the situation if possible.

[32] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 14:7

[33] Peri Chadash 139:3; Mishneh Megillah 24a “Pocheich”; Kaf Hachaim 139:17

[34] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139 footnote 52

[35] Michaber 139:4; Megillah 32a

The reason: This is done in order so the person knows the area of the reading that his blessing is being said on. [M”B 139:16]

[36] Siddur Yaavetz; Shaareiy Efraim 4:3 that this is an old custom; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:10 that so is custom of almost all Jewry and so was practiced by Tzadikim throughout the generations; Keser Shem Tov Gagin; So rule regarding after the reading: Sefer Chassidim 255, brought in M”A 139:14 and M”B 139:35; For further details, See Ketzos Hashulchan 25:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:10; Chikrei Haminhagim 1:187-194

Other opinions: Some Poskim vehemently negate the custom of placing a Gartel or Tzitzis on the Sefer Torah, due to fear of it erasing letters and damaging it. [Shulchan Hatahor 139:8; Tiferes Banim of Darkei Teshuvah 5; Nimukei Orach Chaim 139 “The humility of Rav Margolis has caused him to destroy many Sifrei Torah”; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 207 that he had a sign placed by the Bima to warn people not to touch the Sefer Torah;] Based on this, some Poskim rule that at the very least one is to avoid touching the letters of the Sefer Torah and is to only touch the blank area of the parchment by the side. [See Makor Chesed on Sefer Chassidim ibid] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid, and Chikrei Haminhagim ibid in length

[37] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Chikrei Minhagim ibid

[38] Sefer Haminhagim p. 13 that so was the customs of the Rebbe Rayatz; Shulchan Menachem 1:260

[39] Seen in videos

[40] As evident from the directive in Sefer Haminhagim; Hiskashrus

[41] See Michaber 140:3; Shaareiy Efraim 4:18; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:6-8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 140:3

[42] 1st opinion in Michaber ibid

[43] 2nd opinion in Michaber ibid

[44] Beir Heiytiv 140:1 in name of M”A, Taz, Mabit, Tikkun Yissachar; M”B 140:9; Kitzur SHU”A 23:18; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:6

Other opinions and Sephardi custom: Some Poskim rule like the first opinion, that the blessing is not to be repeated, and so is the Sephardi custom. [Sheilas Yaavetz 66; Kaf Hachaim 140:15; Yalkut Yosef 140:4; See P”M 140 M”Z 4]

[45] Kitzur SHU”A ibid

[46] Taz 140 [regarding even if showed different Parsha]; Beir Heiytiv 140:1 in name of Perach Shushan 1, Mabit; Radbaz, Tikkun Yissachar [regarding if is same Parsha]; Shaareiy Efraim; M”B 140:9; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:6

[47] M”B 140:9; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:7;

[48] P”M 140 M”Z 4, brought in Biur Halacha 140:3 “Vehizkiruhu”; Daas Torah 140; Orchos Chaim Spinka 140:3; Minchas Yitzchak 7:7; Igros Moshe 1:36; Orchos Rabbeinu 3:214; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that so is custom

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the blessing must be repeated even in such a case. [Derech Hachaim, brought in Biur Halacha 140:3 “Vehizkiruhu”]

[49] Shaareiy Efraim 4:19; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:8

[50] Implication of Elya Raba 140:1; P”M 140 A”A 3; Kaf Hachaim 140:5

[51] M”B 140:3 in name of Elya Raba [however see Kaf Hachaim ibid]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 140:1 and 3

[52] Shaareiy Efraim 4:18; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:7

[53] Michaber 139:4 and 8; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:6

[54] See Michaber 139:8; M”A 139:5

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the before blessing recited by an Aliyah is of Biblical status. [Beir Sheva p. 58, Sotah 41b, brought in M”A ibid; See Elya Raba 139:7; P”M 139 A”A 5] However, some Poskim rule that this only applies if one has not yet said Birchas Hatorah that day. [M”A ibid] Other Poskim, however, rule that this applies even if one already recited Birchas Hatorah in the morning, nevertheless, the blessing recited by an Aliyah is Biblical. [Peri Chadash 139, brought in Pischeiy Shearim 4:22]

[55] Meishiv Davar 16; Igros Moshe 2:35

[56] 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; Igros Moshe 4:40;  Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:8

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

[57] Admur 124:11; 284:7

[58] Har Tzevi 1:72

[59] Michaber 139:8

[60] Michaber 139:10

[61] Michaber 139:8

[62] M”A 139:5 in name of Beir Sheva p. 58, Sotah 41b; P”M 139 A”A 5 “Safek Brachos Lihakel”; Derech Hachaim; M”B 139:15; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:7; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:11

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if one recited the after blessing instead of the before blessing, then he is not Yotzei and must repeat the before blessing. [Maharil Hilchos Kerias Hatorah p.452, brought and negated in in M”A ibid; Elya Raba 140:3; Shaar Efraim; Magen Giborim] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:11

[63] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:12

[64] Michaber 139:6

[65] Rav Poalim 4:8

[66] Raavan [Even Haezer] 73; Radbaz 1:572; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:12

[67] Chesed Lealafim 139:19; Kaf Hachaim 139:35

[68] Rav Poalim 4:8; Beir Moshe 4:18

[69] The reason: Although doing so is not an interval, nevertheless it should not be said, as the institution of the Sages was to recite it as an introduction to a blessing. Furthermore, according to some Poskim, it is forbidden to say Barchu unless one says a blessing afterwards, as it makes the congregation appear like heretics. [Beis Yosef 69; Beis Yehuda 30; Beis David 340; Elya Raba in name of Nachalas Tzvi and Tosafos Yom Tov] Accordingly, one may not say Barchu after the blessing, as there is no other blessing being said after it. [Rav Poalim ibid] However, according to other Poskim, there is no issue with saying Barchu without having a blessing follow it, being that in any event the congregation answers “Barchu Es Hashem Hamevorach”. [Darkei Moshe 69; Elya Raba ibid; Bach; Derisha; opinion of Admur 69:4] Accordingly, it would be permitted to recite Barchu after the blessing. [See Rav Poalim ibid] Nonetheless, it is best not to do so, as perhaps the institution was to say so only before the blessing, as stated Rav Poalim ibid. Likewise, the Chabad custom which does not recite Barchu after Davening leans towards the ruling of the Michaber ibid.

[70] Beis Yehuda 30; Emes Leyaakov 70; Chida in Birkeiy Yosef 139:5 and Ledavid Emes 6:70; Rav Poalim 4:8; Kaf Hachaim 139:36

[71] See Michaber 139:11; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:16; Chikrei Haminhagim 2:180-186

[72] 1st custom in M”A 139:13 in name of Kesavim in Sefer Hakavanos 47b; M”B 139:35; Beis Yosef 139 in name of Yerushalmi

Other customs: Some Poskim write that one is to hold onto the parchment of the Sefer Torah using a cloth, and one is not to hold onto the handles. [2nd custom in M”A 139:13 in name of Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos Inyan Kerias Hatorah Derush 3; Peri Eitz Chaim Kerias Hatorah 2; Kaf Hachaim 139:24] See Shaareiy Efraim 4:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[73] Taz 147:1; Bach 1147; M”B ibid

[74] Michaber 139:11; Beis Yosef 139 in name of Yerushalmi; Taz 139:9; M”A 139:13; Abudarham 1 p. 146; Machzor Vitri 375; Ravayah 2 Lulav p. 394; Mordechai Sukkah 760; Orchos Chaim 19; Hamanhig 1:25; Sefer Haminhagim p. 13; Shulchan Menachem 1:260

The reason: This custom is supported by the verse in Yehoshua “Lo Yamuch Sefer Hatorah Hazeh Mipicha, Chazak Viematz.” [Rama ibid]

[75] M”A 139:13

[76] M”A 139:13

[77] See Kaf Hachaim 147:2; Sefer Haminhagim p. 13; Shulchan Menachem 1:260; Chikrei Haminhagim 2:183-186

[78] M”A 147:1 in name of many Poskim; Bach 147 that it is forbidden to do so and that so is the custom of the scrupulous to use a Tallis; See Maharit 136 and P”M 147 M”Z 1

[79] Taz 147:1 rules there is no requirement to do so, and the custom is not to do so even amongst the scrupulous; Implication of Shev Yaakov 11; Implication of Elya Raba 147:1; Noda Beyehuda Kama 7-8 [Custom to be lenient, no prohibition to be stringent]; See Emes Leyaakov 3:10; Machazik Bracha 147:3; Ledavid Emes 3:10; Kaf Hachaim 147:2 [Brings many Poskim and concludes that it is proper to be stringent]; Chikrei Haminhagim ibid

[80] The following Poskim conclude that it is permitted, and even proper to be stringent: Noda Beyehuda ibid concludes is permitted; Kaf Hachaim 147:2; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 214 that so was custom of Munkatcher; Toras Chaim Sofer 147:1

[81] Sefer Haminhagim p. 13 based on Sefer Mamarim 5708 p. 146 writes this as part of the Seder of the Aliyah and in the footnote the Rebbe writes that so was the custom of the Rebbe Rayatz

[82] Sefer Haminhagim p. 13 in footnote that this was not seen to be done by the other Chassidim; Chikrei Haminhagim 2:186 that the Rebbe’s custom throughout all the years was to hold onto the handles without a Tallis, with exception to Simchas Torah.

[83] Michaber 147:1

[84] Rama ibid

[85] See Chikrei Haminhagim 2:187

[86] Rebbe Yehuda in Megillah 32a; Abudarham p. 147; Setimas Michaber and Rama 139:4, M”A 139:7, Taz 139:4 and 6, Rambam Tefilla 12:5, who all omit ruling of Rebbe Meir and rather rule like Rebbe Yehuda in Megillah 32a; Biur Halacha 139:4 “Veroeh”; See Shaareiy Efraim 4:3; Yalkut Avraham p. 20; See Taz 139:4 in name of Bach that it is even better to leave it open; Halichos Shlomo 12 footnote 68 that Rav SZ”A would leave the Sefer Torah open and Orchos Rabbeinu 1:71 that so was the custom of the Chazon Ish

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is required to close the Torah prior to beginning the before blessing. [Tosafos Megillah 32a; Rebbe Meir in Megillah 32a; Bach 139 explains that according to Tosafos it is is a good custom to do so even according to Rebbe Yehuda ibid]

[87] Biur Halacha ibid concludes that so is custom of some communities, and each is to do like their custom; Yalkut Avraham p. 20 that so is worldly custom [although questions it]; Sefer Haminhagim p. 13; Shulchan Menachem 1:260; Chikrei Haminhagim 2:187; This follows the opinion of Tosafos and Rebbe Meir ibid and Bach 139; So rule regarding the after blessing: Michaber 139:4; M”A and Taz ibid; So rule to cover the Sefer Torah with a cloth during the blessing: Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 2:18; Shaar Hakavanos 4:3; See also Piskeiy Teshuvos 139 footnote 62

[88] Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 2:18; Shaar Hakavanos 4:3

[89] Rama 139:4; See Chikrei Haminhagim 2:190-193; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139 footnote 62

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is not to turn his face away from the Sefer Torah during the blessing and is to leave the Sefer Torah open. [Taz 139:4 in name of Bach; Maharikash 139:6; Piskei Maharash Melublin 67; Nehar Mitzrayim 4; See Aruch Hashulchan 139:13]

[90] M”A 139:8; See Aruch Hashulchan 139:13

[91] Sefer Haminhagim p. 13; Shulchan Menachem 1:260; Regarding why we turn to the right side: See Makor Chaim of Chavos Yair 139, Aruch Hashulchan ibid and Piskeiy Teshuvos 139 footnote 62; Regarding why we turn the head only slightly, this is seemingly a compromise between the two opinions

[92] Chikrei Haminhagim ibid

[93] M”A 139:12; Elya Raba 139:9; Mateh Moshe 1004; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:7; See Chikrei Haminhagim 1:195-197

[94] This custom is omitted from Sefer Haminhagim, although is seemingly based on the Rebbe’s custom and other Poskim brought in next footnote

[95] See Kuntrus Minhagei Melech p. 30; Meorer Yesheinim 26:38; Leket Hakemach Hachadash 5 139:4 who negates the custom of lifting it by Hashem’s name; Chikrei Haminhagim 1:195-197 who defends this custom

[96] Kneses Hagedola 139:7; Kaf Hachaim 139:26; Halacha Berurah [Yosef] 139:18

[97] Michaber 139:6; Hagahos Maimanis Tefilla 12; Mahariy; Rabbeinu Yona; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:13

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the blessings over the Torah [besides Barchu] may to be said quietly. [Mahariy Abuhav in explanation of Tur 139 in name of Rav Yechiel, brought in Beis Yosef 139 and P”M 139 A”A 10]

[98] The reason: As the blessings may only be said in the presence of ten people listening, and when said quietly it is as if he is saying it in private without a Minyan. The same applies to Kaddish. [M”A 139:10; Beis Yosef; Mahariy] Alternatively, it is said aloud in order so the congregation answer Amen. [M”B 139:23]

[99] Sefer Chassidim 254; Kneses Hagedola; Yefie Laleiv 139:8; Kaf Hachaim 139:37

[100] M”B 139:23

[101] Rama ibid; Tur ibid

[102] Kaf Hachaim 139:38

The reason: This is to suspect for the reason that it is said aloud in order to fulfill the obligation of the congregation. However according to the reason that the blessing requires a Minyan, then it is not necessary to say it loud enough for the congregation to hear, so long as ten people can hear him. [Kaf Hachaim ibid] Now, although Admur rules it is not necessary to be Yotzei the blessings of Kerias Hatorah as it is the obligation of the Oleh, nevertheless, perhaps there are people present who desire to be Yotzei their 100 blessings, and hence it should be said out loud for everyone to hear.

[103] Opinion in Michaber ibid; Rabbeinu Yonah brought in Beis Yosef 139; One way of understanding Rosh brought in Tur 339

[104] The reason: In order so the congregation fulfill their obligation with the blessing. [Rabbeinu Yonah ibid, brought in Beis Yosef 139] Alternatively, it is because the blessings must be said in public. [Rabbeinu Yonah ibid; M”A ibid] Alternatively, the reason is in order for the congregation to hear and answer “Baruch Hashem Hamevorach Leolam Vaed” [Rama ibid] This implies that according to the Rama only Barchu must be repeated and not the other blessings. [Elya Raba 139:9; M”B 139:25 and Biur Halacha “Vehabrachos”; Kaf Hachaim 139:41] However, others explain the Rama ibid to mean that since the blessings were instituted to be said in public, therefore they must be repeated. [P”M 139 A”A 10 in explanation of Rama ibid]

[105] Mahariy Abuhav in explanation of Tur 139 in name of Rav Yechiel, brought in Beis Yosef 139 and P”M 139 A”A 10

Does this opinion argue also on Barchu? Seemingly they only argue regarding the blessings and do not argue regarding Barchu, and so rules Elya Raba 139:9; M”B 139:25 and Biur Halacha “Vehabrachos”; Rama ibid. However, see Kaf Hachaim 139:41 who learns from the fact that this ruling of Michaber was omitted from many Achronim, that even Barchu is not required to be repeated. So, rules also Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:13

[106] Elya Raba 139:9; Shaareiy Efraim 4:7; M”B 139:25 and Biur Halacha ibid “Vehabrachos” that Safek Brachos Lihakel; Kaf Hachaim 139:38 that so is implication of many Poskim who omit the above ruling of Michaber ibid, such as: Levush 139; Chida in Ledavid Emes 6:60; Chayeh Adam 31:12; Derech Hachaim 4

[107] Rama ibid; Elya Raba 139:9, M”B 139:25; However, see Kaf Hachaim 139:41 who learns from the fact that this ruling of Michaber was omitted from many Achronim, that even Barchu is not required to be repeated. So rules also Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:13

[108] Biur Halacha ibid

[109] Admur 124:11; Yerushalmi Sukkah 5:1; Kaf Hachaim 139:40

[110] The reason: As 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. [Admur ibid]

[111] Admur 215:2

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is not obligated to answer Amen for a blessing that one did not hear at all and it is merely voluntary to do so. [Kaf Hachaim 124:47 and 139:40; Biur Halacha 215 “Chayav” based on Taz and Mamar Mordechai, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 215:3] Based on this some Poskim rule it is best not to answer Amen to such a blessing. [Kaf Hachaim ibid] If, however, one heard some of the words of the blessing then he must answer Amen. [Kaf Hachaim ibid; Michaber 215:2]

[112] Admur 46:1; M”A 46:8; Peri Chadash 46:3

The reason: The reason for this is because the obligation of Meiah Brachos is different than the obligation of other blessings, and thus is permitted to answer Amen even if one did not hear the blessing, even according to the first opinion in 124:11. [P”M 124 M”Z 4]

[113] Admur 46:1; M”A 46:8; Peri Chadash 46:3

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one fulfills his obligation of Meiah Brachos with answering Amen over the blessing even if he did not hear the blessing, so long as he knows which blessing it was. [Beis Yosef 46; P”M 124 M”Z 4]

[114] Rama 139:6; Beis Yosef in name of Orchos Chaim and Kol Bo; P”M 57 A”A 1; M”B 57:2 and Biur Halacha 57:2 “Veonim”; Kaf Hachaim 57:1; 139:42; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:13

[115] Admur 124:11; 2nd opinion in Admur 57:2 regarding Barchu and Admur concludes like this opinion; Rama 124:11; Orchos Chaim brought in Beis Yosef 124; Elya Raba 139:9; Elya Zuta 139:3; P”M 57 A”A 1; Siddur Beis Oved Barchu 1; Kitzur SHU”A 15:8; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayigash 17; Derech Hachaim; M”B 57:2; Kaf Hachaim 57:1; 139:42; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:13

Other opinions in Admur regarding Barchu: Admur 57:2 states as follows: Some Poskim rule that if the Chazan said Barchu quietly then all the people who did not hear the Barchu from him may not answer to his Barchu. Rather, if they heard the congregation that is around the Chazan answering after the Chazan “Baruch Hashem” they are to answer Amen after them. [1st opinion in Admur 57:2; M”A 57:1 [In contradiction to M”A 124:18, Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol-Kuntrus Achron 57:1]; Brachos 49b; Hagahos Hatur; Mamar Mordechai 57:1; Soles Belula 57:1; Shalmei Tzibur p. 89; Chayeh Adam 30:8; Chesed Lealafim 57:3; See Beis Yosef 139 “Kasav Rabbeinu Yechiel” who implies that whoever did not hear the Barchu may only answer Amen.] However, there is an opinion who says that if there are nine people who heard the Barchu from the Chazan and are answering Amen afterwards then the entire congregation may answer with them being that there are ten people saying a Davar Shebekidusha. [2nd opinion in Admur; Rama 124:11 and 139:6 who writes “if the congregation did not hear”; Orchos Chaim brought in Beis Yosef 124; Elya Zuta 139:3] Practically, the main ruling follows the latter opinion, as ruled in 124:11 and in the M”A there. [Admur ibid] The reason for this is because so rules Rav Haiy Gaon, and so is proven from the Gemara in Sukkah 51b regarding the Alexandrian Shul, and this Gemara has no other explanation. Now, the M”A himself brings this Gemara in 124:18 and thus contradicts his ruling here, Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol. [ Kuntrus Achron 57:1]

The reason: Although some Poskim rule that any blessing that one is obligated in, he does not fulfill his obligation with answering Amen unless he hears the words of the blessing. Nevertheless, in this case, even they agree that he may answer without hearing the words. The reason for this is because he is not considered obligated in answering for the Barchu regarding this matter, as only those matters that one is obligated to recite even privately are included in the above stringency, and Kaddish/Kedusha/Barchu one is only obligated to say with a Minyan. [Admur 124:11; M”A 124:18]  This is proven from the shul of Alexandria who would answer Amen to Kaddish and Kedusha based on the waving of a flag. [M”A ibid; See Sukkah 51b]

[116] Biur Halacha 57:1 “Veonim”

[117] Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:13

[118] Michaber 139:7

[119] Michaber 139:7

[120] Siddur Admur regarding Barchu; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:7; Sefer Haminhagim p. 10; See Siddur of Rav Raskin p. 88 and Miluim 13

[121] Admur 284:7

[122] Admur 124:1; Michaber 124:8; Brachos 47a

[123] See M”B 141:17 in name of Elya Raba and Shaar Efraim

[124] Admur 124:1; Michaber 124:8; Brachos 47a

[125] M”B ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:9

[126] Admur 124:1; Michaber 124:8; Brachos 47a

[127] See Admur ibid; Brachos ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139 footnote 70

[128] See Michaber 140:2; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 140:2

[129] See Ledavid Emes 6:61; M”B 140:7; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[130] See Rav Poalim 3:42; Birchas Habayis 44:26; Rivivos Efraim 1:102; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[131] Implication of Michaber ibid; M”B 140:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; See Admur 432:6

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that he does not repeat the blessing even if he spoke between the blessing and reading. [Mur Uketzia 140; Peri Chadash 140; Kaf Hachaim 140:11; See ; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 6]

[132] See M”B ibid; Admur ibid

[133] M”B 140:6

[134] Rav Poalim 3:42; Birchas Habayis 44:26; Rivivos Efraim 1:102; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[135] Michaber ibid

[136] M”B 140:6

[137] Ledavid Emes 6:61 [However if is a long Hefsek, then he can no longer say blessing]; Birchas Habayis 44:26; Yabia Omer 1:9; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[138] See Ledavid Emes ibid; Nachlas Yaakov 48

[139] Ledavid Emes ibid

[140] See M”B 215:1 in name of P”M and M”B 140:6

[141] Shevet Halevi 8:92; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139 footnote 70

The reason: As his elongated Amen can be considered for the need of the reading, in order so the congregation be aware that the reading is About To begin. [Poskim ibid]

[142] Michaber 141:2-3; Rama 135:4; Tzemach Tzedek 35; Sefer Haminhagim p. 13; Shulchan Menachem 1:260; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 141:2

Other opinions: Some Poskim learn based on the Zohar Vayakhel 202 that the Olah is not to talk at all during the reading and is thus not to read along with the Baal Korei. [Nezer Yisrael; Shulchan Hatahor 139; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 5]

[143] The reason: In order so his blessing is not in vain. [Michaber ibid]

[144] Michaber ibid

[145] Rama 141:2; Darkei Moshe 141:2

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that he must read it very silently to the point that his own ears do not hear him. [Michaber 141:2; Zohar Vayakhel 202]

[146] Rama 139:3 in name of Maharil; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:6

[147] Michaber 141:1; Rambam Tefilla 12:7; Megillah 21a; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 141:1

[148] The reason: As when Moshe heard the Torah from Hashem he would stand, and hence certainly the Jewish people are to stand in front of Hashem, who is giving it. [Levush 141; M”B 141:1]

[149] M”A 141:1; M”B 141:2

[150] Michaber ibid

[151] Shaareiy Efraim 3:42; M”B 141:4

[152] M”A 141:2; M”B 141:4

[153] Shaareiy Efraim 3:42; M”B 141:5

[154] M”A 141:2; M”B 141:4

[155] M”B 141:4

[156] Michaber 140:1 regarding previous times when the Olah Letorah who would read from the Torah and there was no set Baal Korei, and Rama ibid that the same applies today when there is a set Basal Korei that if the Olah cannot continue, then he is to be switched and have the Baal Korei restart from the beginning [See Taz 140:2, Beis Yosef 140 in name of Rabbeinu Yonah and Kaf Hachaim 140:6]; Ran; Admur 284:10 “If the Maftir became unable to continue reading in the middle of the Haftorah, then the law follows the same law as Kerias Hatorah, in which case we rule that the person who switches him is not to begin from the area where the previous reader stopped, but rather he must return and re-read from the beginning of that Aliyah.”; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 140:1; 284:10

[157] Michaber and Rama ibid; Admur ibid; Tur 140 in name of Yerushalmi

[158] The reason: As if the new Olah begins from where the previous Olah stepped down, then it ends up that what was read by the previous Olah did not contain an after blessing. [M”A 140:1; Taz 140:1; Beis Yosef 140; Tur 140 in name of Yerushalmi; Kaf Hachaim 140:1] This applies even today when the Olah is no longer the Baal Korei [Rama ibid] as when the Baal Korei reads we consider it as if the Olah is reading and hence the Olah is considered like the Baal Korei, and the same law applies. [Taz 140:2; Beis Yosef 140 in name of Rabbeinu Yonah; Kaf Hachaim 140:6] Meaning, that since the Olah did not have in mind to be Motzi the public or the Baal Korei when he said the before blessing, and the reading of the Baal Korei is considered like his reading, therefore the next Olah must begin from the start of his Aliyah, otherwise the reading of the previous Aliyah would not have received a valid after blessing. [See M”A 140:1-2 and Machatzis Hashekel ibid]

[159] M”A 140:2; Maharam Mintz 85; Kneses Hagedola 140; Kaf Hachaim 140:2; [unlike explanation of Machatzis Hashekel ibid, Chayeh Adam 23 and Kerem Shlomo who changed the Nussach in M”A due to not having seen the origin in Maharam Mintz. See Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[160]  1st and Stam opinion in Michaber ibid, referenced to in Admur ibid; Sefer Adam Vechavah p. 19; Shibulei Haleket; Tanya; M”A 284:4 in name of Rivash 40 regarding Haftorah

[161] The reason: As the Olah did not have in mind to be Motzi the public when he said the before blessing and if a new before blessing is not said then it would end up that the reading of the second Olah did not contain a valid before blessing. [M”A 140:1-2 and Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Taz 140:1; Levush 140; Olas Tamid 140:2; Beis Yosef 140; Tur 140 in name of Yerushalmi; M”B 140:3; Kaf Hachaim 140:1 and 4]

[162] Opinion of Rambam Tefilla 12:6, brought in Michaber ibid, M”A 284:4; P”M 284 A”A 4, brought in M”B 284:9; So rule regarding if a Hefsek was made between the blessing and the reading [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 284:5]: Peri Chadash 140; Mor Uketzia 140; Yifei Laleiv; Kaf Hachaim 140:11; Shulchan Hatahor 140:4

[163] The reason: As the first blessing of the previous Olah counts likewise for the second Olah, and hence does not need to be repeated. [M”A 140:3]

[164] Elya Raba 140:1; Chayeh Adam 31:23; M”B 140:4 [unlike his ruling in 284:9]; Kaf Hachaim 140:5

[165] Implication of Elya Raba ibid; P”M 140 A”A 3; Kaf Hachaim 140:5 [unlike his ruling in 140:11]

[166] M”B 140:3 in name of Elya Raba [however see Kaf Hachaim ibid]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 140:1

[167] Levush 140; M”B 140:1; Kaf Hachaim 140:3

[168] Michaber 139:4 and 10

[169] Michaber 139:10; See Kaf Hachaim 139:15; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:15

[170] Derech Hachaim; M”B 139:15; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:12; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:11

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that if one recited the before blessing instead of the after blessing, then he is Yotzei and is not to repeat the after blessing. [Shaareiy Efraim 4:23; Toras Chaim Sofer 139:6; Misgeres Hashulchan 2; Kaf Hachaim 139:49; Az Nidbaru 5:30; Mishneh Halachos 8:17]

[171] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 66

[172] M”A 139:14; M”B 139:35; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:6; Sefer Chassidim 255; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:10; Chikrei Haminhagim 1:187-194; See Halacha 3!

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is not to kiss the Sefer Torah. [See Other Poskim in Halacha 3; Kneses Hagedola 139 writes he has not seen this to be the widespread custom]

[173] See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Chikrei Minhagim ibid

[174] Sefer Haminhagim p. 13; Shulchan Menachem 1:260

[175] In some videos the Rebbe is seen to touch the beginning, end and then beginning also by the after blessing.

[176] Michaber 139:4; M”A 139:7, Taz 139:4; Rambam Tefilla 12:5; See Megillah 32a; Biur Hagr”a 139:15; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:6

[177] Rama ibid emphasizes to turn the face by the before blessing hence clearly implying that by the after blessing it is not necessary. Likewise, the entire reason for turning one’s face by the before blessing is due to the Sefer Torah being open and people coming to think that the blessings are written in the scroll. [See M”B 139:17-18] However, by the after blessing in which the Sefer Torah is closed there is no need to do so at all.

[178] Sefer Haminhagim p. 13; Shulchan Menachem 1:260

[179] M”A 139:12; Elya Raba 139:9; Mateh Moshe 1004; Ketzos Hashulchan 25:12; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139: 10; See Chikrei Haminhagim 1:195-197

[180] This custom is omitted from Sefer Haminhagim, although is seemingly based on the Rebbe’s custom and other Poskim brought in next footnote

[181] https://www.chabad.org/therebbe/livingtorah/player_cdo/aid/2969753/jewish/Torah-Reading.htm

[182] Kneses Hagedola 139:7; Kaf Hachaim 139:26; Halacha Berurah [Yosef] 139:18

[183] Rama 141:7; Darkei Moshe 141:3; Maharil Kerias Hatorah 455

The reason: This is due to Kavod Hatorah, in order not to leave the Sefer Torah alone. [M”B 141:26; Kaf Hachaim 141:43]

[184] M”A 141:8; Elya Raba 141:9; Emes Leyaakov and Ledavid Emes 5:41; Shaareiy Efraim 4:1; M”B  141:26; Aruch Hashulchan 141:11; Kaf Hachaim 141:41

[185] M”A ibid; Elya Raba ibid; Emes Leyaakov and Ledavid Emes ibid; Shaareiy Efraim ibid; M”B  ibid; Aruch Hashulchan ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid

The reason: As if they walk from the Bima after the blessing of the next Olah, they will be unable to concentrate on the reading. [M”A ibid]

[186] So is implied from Poskim ibid; To note that even accoridng to the original custom, one would descend from the Bima after the start of the blessing, and not wait until its conclusion

[187] Sefer Haminhagim p. 31 [English]; See Chikrei Haminhagim 1:187-194; Seemingly, this is based on the ruling of: Sefer Chassidim 255; M”A 139:14; M”B 139:35

[188] Michaber 141:7

[189] The reason: This is to be done out of respect to the Torah, in order to show that the reading of the Torah is not a burden upon him. [M”B 141:24 in name of Levush]

[190] The reason: This is based on a verse in Yechezkel that states “Do not return through the gate which you entered.” [M”B 141:25 in name of Levush and Gr”a]

[191] Rama 139:11; Beis Yosef 139 in name of Orchos Chaim; Hamanhig 56; Perisha 139:14 in name of Midrash Raba; See Tzelusa Deavraham p. 361; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:17; See Chikrei Haminhagim 2:208; See Sefer “Amiras Chazak Veyasher Koach” of Rav Yaakov Spiegel p. 344-371 for a thorough analysis on this subject with quotes of all the Poskim and Rishonim

[192] So seems to be the interpretation of Rama ibid who writes “every time,” however it is possible that the intention is to say this only at the end of the Sefer. See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid and Sefer “Amiras Chazak Veyasher Koach” ibid in great length

[193] The reason: This custom is supported by the verse in Yehoshua “Lo Yamuch Sefer Hatorah Hazeh Mipicha, Chazak Viematz.” [Rama ibid]

[194] So is the Ashkenazi custom. See Mahariy Mintz 85 that so is custom to tell Chazan Yasher Koach; Keser Shem Tov [Gagin] 1:289; See Sefer “Amiras Chazak Veyasher Koach” ibid; Vetzaruch Iyun why Ashkenazim do not follow the custom of the Rama to say Chazak, although seemingly the reason is because we understand the intent of the Rama ibid to only be referring to the end of a Sefer. See previous footnotes

[195] Abudarham; Kneses Hagedola 139; Yifei Laleiv 139:15; Kaf Hachaim 139:56

[196] Halacha Berurah [Yosef] 139:18

[197] Levush 669; Abudarham Seder Shacharis Shel Shabbos; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:13; See Rama ibid; Mahariy Mintz 85; Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:17; Sefer “Amiras Chazak Veyasher Koach” of Rav Yaakov Spiegel p. 344-371 for a thorough analysis on this subject with quotes of all the Poskim and Rishonim

[198] Poskim ibid

Other customs: Some say the Nussach is Chazak Chazak Chazak. [Aruch Hashulchan 139:15; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid] Others say one simply says the word Chazak. [Mahariy Mintz 85; Possible interpretation of Rama ibid]

[199] Ketzos Hashulchan 84:13 footnote 22; Shevet Halevi 7:22; Beir Moshe 3:28; Mishneh Halachos 7:22; 8:18; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[200] Hayom Yom 23rd Tishreiy; Sefer Haminhagim p. 61 [English]; Igros Kodesh 4:14, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:93-94; Chikrei Haminhagim 2:208

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