Correcting the Baal Korei

When to correct a Baal Korei for making mistakes in the reading:[1]

*This Halacha only discusses mispronunciations and mistakes in the Taamim. For missed words or letters-See Halacha 2!

Mistake in vowelization or tune; Mistakes that change the meaning of the word:[2] If the Baal Korei mispronounced a letter or word, then if it changes the meaning of the word, he must repeat it. [This applies even by the weekday readings.[3]] If it does not change the meaning of the word, [the Ashkenazi custom[4] is that] he is not to repeat it. The same applies if he read the word in the wrong tune [i.e. Trup], he is not required to repeat it [even according to the Sephardim[5]]. Nonetheless, he is to be [quietly[6]] reprimanded [and be made aware of his mistake].[7] [Practically, some are accustomed to have the Baal Korei go back even for a slight mispronunciation, or change of tune, and so was the custom of the Alter Rebbe.[8] This, however, is not a directive to the public.[9] According to all, if the Baal Korei realizes, or is made aware, of the mistake right away, then he may repeat it correctly even if it was a mistake in mere vowelization or tune, and the above law only applies if he already continued reading and would be required to go back and repeat.[10]]



If the Baal Korei mispronounced a letter or word, then if it changes the meaning of the word, then he must repeat it and thus be made aware of the mistake. If it does not change the meaning of the word, then he is not to repeat it, and is not to be publicly reprimanded. If the Baal Korei realizes, or is made aware, of the mistake right away, then he may repeat it correctly in all cases.


Examples of invalidating mistakes [i.e. must repeat]:[11]

· One said Chalav instead of Cheilev.

· One said Yaaseh instead of Yeiaseh.

· One said Yosheiv instead of Yashav.

· If the Baal Korei read the Kesiv instead of the Keri he is to be corrected.[12]


Examples of non-invalidating mistakes [i.e. not required to repeat]:[13]

· One said Eis instead of Es.

· One said Mitzruyim [Kamatz] instead of Mitzrayim [Patach].

· One read a Hei without the Mapik Hei.

· Read a Sheva Nach instead of a Sheva Nah.


Read Milira instead of Mili’il or vice versa:

If one read Milira [emphasis on end of word] instead of Mili’il [emphasis on beginning of word], or vice versa, he does not need to be corrected if it simply changed the tense from future to past or vice versa.[14] However, if it changed the actual meaning of the word, then it is to be repeated.[15]



May one who is in the midst of Davening correct the Baal Korei if no one else did?[16]

One who is in middle of Davening [excluding Shemoneh Esrei] may stop to correct the Baal Korei if the congregation did not pay attention to the mistake, and it is a mistake that changes the meaning of the word. If possible, however, it is better to simply grunt at the Baal Korei and then show him the mistake in the Chumash, rather than to talk.


From where is one to repeat the mispronounced word? Must one repeat from the start of that verse? What is the law if one did not remember right away?

Whenever a word needs to be repeated, then if the Baal Korei remembered right away, he is only to repeat the word which was mispronounced and continue reading from there.[17] If he did not remember right away, then he must go back to the start of that verse, and continue reading from there.[18] If he only remembered many Aliyos later, then by the next Aliyah he is to read from the start of that verse until the end of the current Aliyah.[19]

Mistake in verse with Hashem’s name: If he mentioned Hashem’s name in the verse that contain the mistaken word, then he is to repeat from the start of that verse.[20] Many are accustomed in such a case to first finish the verse and then repeat it from the beginning.[21]


If one only remembered the mispronounced word after finishing Kerias Hatorah, must the Sefer Torah be removed and have the mistaken verse be re-read?

If the mispronounced word was only discovered after Kerias Hatorah, then some Poskim[22] rule that it is not necessary to take out the Sefer Torah again and repeat the reading for the mistaken verse.[23] Other Poskim[24] rule that one is to remove the Sefer Torah and repeat the verse with the mistake, together with another two verses, without a blessing.


Not to embarrass the Baal Korei and shout across the room:[25]

If the Baal Korei makes an inconsequential mistake [i.e. vowelization or Trup], only those who are near him, and can inconspicuously correct him, are to do so. However, to scream at him across the Shul is to put him to shame in public and is not to be done.[26]


How is the name Yissachar to be pronounced?[27]

Some are accustomed to reciting Yisaschar, emphasizing the two Shins. Practically, however, the widespread custom of the world is to say Yissachar with one Shin, and so is the Chabad custom.[28]



[1] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:1-6; Yalkut Dinei Kerias Hatorah p. 1339; Hiskashrus 340 p. 18; 566 p. 16 and 570 p. 14

[2] Rama 142:1; Admur 64:2; Terumos Hadeshen 181; Peri Chadash 142:1; Emes Leyaakov and Ledavid Emes 7:1; Chayeh Adam 31:31; Kaf Hachaim 142:5; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:9; See Besamim Rosh 321; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:1 footnote 1

Other opinions-Custom of Sephardim -Always correct: Some Poskim rule that if the Baal Korei mispronounced even one letter, he is to repeat it even if the meaning does not change as a result. [Michaber 142:1; Beis Yosef 142; Rambam Tefilla 12:6, brought in Tur 142; Yalkut Yosef 142:1 that so is the Sephardi custom; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:3; See Peri Chadash ibid and Kaf Hachaim ibid that even according to this opinion, a mere mistake in Taamim or Nekudos does not require repetition. Vetzaruch Iyun as to what then is the exact dispute between the Michaber and Rama, if a mere mistake in Nekudos one does not repeat for.]

Other opinions-Never correct: Other Poskim rule that even if one made a complete mispronunciation, such as he said Haran instead of Aaron, he is not required to repeat it, as it is forbidden to embarrass a Jew in public, and the Midrash states that one is Yotzei Bedeived even if a gross mistake was made. [Tur 142 in name of Baal HaManhig; Bach 142; Brought in Chayeh Adam 31:31; Kaf Hachaim 142:5]

[3] Setimas Haposkim; See Biur Halacha 142:1 “Machzirin” who debates this matter and concludes with a Tzaruch Iyun; See Halacha 2b for the law regarding if a verse was skipped, that by weekdays we do not require repetition.

[4] Sephardi custom: See previous footnotes!

[5] Peri Chadash 142:1; Emes Leyaakov and Ledavid Emes 7:1; Kaf Hachaim 142:5

[6] Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:147; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:2

[7] Rama ibid; Some understand this to mean that one is to mention this to him only after the reading, in order not to shame him in public. [Hiskashrus 566 p. 16] However, the simple understanding of the Rama and Terumos Hadeshen ibid is to mention this during the reading, and so understands Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:147; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:2. However, see Hiskashrus 570 that one time the Rebbe Rashab reprimanded Rav Yaakov Landau who was the Baal Korei only after the reading, even though his mistake caused a change of the meaning.

[8] Sefer Hasichos 5696 p. 52, Likkutei Dibburim 2:456 that the Alter Rebbe would correct and make the Baal Korei repeat the word even for the wrong Trup; Sichas 5704 p. 25 that the Tzemach Tzedek directed the Baal Korei to repeat the word due to the Taamim; Custom of Rav Yaakov Landa and Rav Marlow [see Hiskashrus 566 p. 16 and 570 p. 14]

[9] Hiskashrus 340 p. 18

[10] Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:147; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:2

[11] M”B 142:4

[12] See Michaber 141:8

[13] See Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 142; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:2, 4-5

[14] Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 142; Rav SZ”A in Halichos Shlomo; Piskeiy Teshuvos 141:5; Article of Rav Asher Weiss

[15] Hiskashrus 566

[16] Lev Chaim 3:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 84

[17] So is proven from the custom to simply repeat the word Zeicher, Zecher, and not return to the start of the verse; See Hiskashrus 340

[18] See Admur 64:2 “From the start of that verse”; Poskim in next footnote; See Kaf Hachaim 64:7

[19] M”B 142:2; Kaf Hachaim 142:5; However, from the letter of the law, one only needs to repeat that verse plus another two verses with it, and may then skip to the area of the current Aliyah. [Shaar Hatziyon 142:3; Implication of Chayeh Adam 31:31; See also Admur 282:20; Michaber 137:3; 282:7 regarding a skipped word.

[20] Chayeh Adam 5:2; Chesed Lealafim 215:10; Shaarei Rachamim 3:18; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:1

[21] Tzitz Eliezer 12:40; Piskeiy Teshuvos 142:1

[22] Chayeh Adam 31:31; Kaf Hachaim 142:5

[23] The reason: As some Poskim rule that Bedieved one is always Yotzei even with a completely mispronounced word. [See Poskim in previous footnotes]

[24] Implication of Biur Halacha 142:1 “Machzirin” in how he learns the Chayeh Adam ibid, to only negate saying a blessing

[25] Piskeiy Teshuvos 137:2-3; See Hiskashrus 566 who argues that no one should correct him, as its all considered “in public”

[26] See Tur 142 in name of Manhig

[27] See Efraim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 141:7; Toras Menachem 4:156, 5712 9th Kisleiv, printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:93

[28] See Rebbe ibid

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