This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer
Buy me here or on Amazon.com
The reading of the Torah:
Moshe Rabbeinu established for the Jewish people 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.
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.
The 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 also required to first read a section from the Torah. 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. This institution 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 Karban before me and I forgive all of their sins. [Regarding why the Maftir is read as the sixth Aliyah and is not part of the five Aliyos-see chapter 282/10-13!]
Two Torah scrolls: Being that two different sections of the Torah need to be read on Yom Tov, therefore, one is initially required to remove two Torah scrolls; one for the Holiday reading, and the second for the Maftir. It does not suffice to remove only one Torah scroll and then roll it to the Parsha of Musafim [for Maftir]. [The scrolls are to be rolled to their proper places prior to Davening. Doing so is not to be delayed until Kerias Hatorah. If only one scroll is available then the two portions are to be read from the same scroll.]
The recital of Akdamos:
Yud Gimmel Middos-Hashem Hashem:
When the Shalosh Regalim fall on a weekday the 13 attributes [i.e. passage of Hashem Hashem] is recited one time when the Ark is opened to remove the Torah scrolls, prior to Berich Shmei. If Yom Tov falls on Shabbos, the Yud Gimmel Middos [and Ribono Shel Olam] is not recited. After the recital of Hashem one recites the prayer of Ribono Shel Olam [one time]. [Likewise, the verse of Veani Sefilasi, which is recited after the Ribono Shel Olam is only recited one time.] This is then followed by the prayer of Berich Shmei.
First day of Shavuos: On the first day of Shavuos, after reciting Hallel, two Torah scrolls are removed from the Aron. The Torah scroll is to be rolled to its proper section before Davening in order to prevent delay for the congregation. By the first scroll, five men are called up for Aliyos and [a portion from] the Parsha of Yisro is read. One reads from the words “Bachodesh Hashlishi Latzei until the end of the Parsha. [After the above reading the second scroll is placed on the Bima which is followed by half Kaddish. Hagba is then done to the first scroll. The Mi Shebeirach for the ill is recited after Hagba. One may not open the second scroll until the first scroll is rolled up and placed in its Meil. When the scrolls are being returned to the Aron, the scroll of Maftir is taken first.]
Second day of Shavuos in Diaspora: On the second day of Yom Tov two Torah scrolls are removed from the Aron. By the first Torah scroll one calls up five Aliyos and reads the Parsha of “Kol HaBechor”. [After the above reading the second scroll is then placed on the Bima which is followed by half Kaddish. Hagba is then done to the first scroll. The Mi Shebeirach for the ill is recited after Hagba. One may not open the second scroll until the first scroll is rolled up and placed in its Meil. When the scrolls are being returned to the Aron, the scroll of Maftir is taken first.]
Standing for Aseres Hadibros: The custom is to stand facing the Torah scroll during the reading of the Aseres Hadibros.
Who is to be called up for the reading of the ten commandments? Some communities are accustomed to call up the Rav of the community for the Aliyah of Aseres Hadibros. [This is not the Chabad custom. Nevertheless, if lack of doing so will be seen as a form of disrespect to the community Rabbi, one is to be meticulous to give him the Aliyah.]
Having all men, women and children come to hear the reading of Aseres Hadibros:
It states in the Psikta that G-d told the Jewish people “When you read the Ten Commandments each year, I consider it as if you were standing on Mount Sinai accepting the Torah.” For this reason, all members of Jewry are to attend the Torah reading of the Aseres Hadibros. This includes men, women and children of all ages, including even infants who were just born; just as was the case by Matan Torah.
Q&A relating to Mivtza Kerias Hatorah of Shavuos:
May one remove a Sefer Torah from a Shul in order to read for others in a different area?
No. One is to arrange that people come to Shul for the Torah reading. It is forbidden to remove the Sefer Torah and bring it to the area the people are found, unless one prepares an Aron for the Sefer Torah in its new location and it is brought there some time prior to the reading, and the Sefer Torah will remain there for 1-2 days, and one will read from at least on three different occasions.
How many people are needed for a Minyan?
One may not read from the Torah [with its blessings] with less than ten adult men above the age of Mitzvos. Many Poskim rule that if at least six people amongst the ten have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei, one may perform Kerias Hatorah with its blessing.
May six people who already heard the reading join for the Minyan if they had in mind to not be Yotzei?
Yes. One who has in mind to not be Yotzei is considered still obligated to hear the reading. They can also make a stipulation that if they will be needed for another Minyan then they have in mind to not be Yotzei.
When making another reading must the Maftir and Haftorah also be read?
If there are six people present who did not yet hear the Maftir/Haftorah, or who heard but had in mind to not be Yotzei, then it is to be read.
The punctuation for the reading of the Aseres Hadibros:
In the Ten Commandments, there are two forms of reading melodies. The readings differ in their stop points within the verses and in their vocalization.
First method: In the first method each command is read as a single verse. This applies whether the command is long [i.e. split to many verses] or short [the verse includes many commands]. This means that the verses of Anochi, Lo Yihyeh Lecha, Lo Saseh Lecha, lo Sishtachaveh and Oseh Chesed is all read as one verse. Likewise, the verses of Zachor, Sheshes Yamim, Yom Hashevi, and Veki Sheses are all read as one verse. Likewise, the two words of Lo Tirtzach is one complete verse. Likewise, the two words of Lo Tinaf is one complete verse. The same applies for the words Lo Tignov. [In this method, the words Tirtzach, Tinaf and Tignov are recited with a Taf and not a Saf.]
Second method: In the second method, each verse is read as a single verse [even if they only contain part of the command or contain more than one command]. Thus, the verse of Anochi is one verse, and the verse of Lo Yihyeh Lecha is a second verse. Likewise, Zachor is read as one verse, and Sheshes Yamim as a second verse. Likewise, the words Lo Tirtzach, Lo Tinaf, Lo Tignov, and Lo Seaneh is all read as one verse.
Final practice: On Shavuos, the custom is to read for the congregation like the first method, to read each command as a separate verse. Furthermore, there are those who are accustomed to read like the first method for the congregation even on Shabbos Parshas Yisro and on Shabbos Parshas Vaeschanan, and only a private individual who reads the verses to himself reads it in the second method.
For Maftir of both days of Shavuos one reads from the second Torah scroll the portion of “Ubeyom Habikkurim” found in the Parsha of Pinchas. After Maftir, one performs Hagba to the second scroll and reads the Haftorah.
First day: The Haftorah of the 1st day of Shavuos is read from the Merkavah of Yechezkal. The custom is to conclude with the verse “Vatisaeini Ruach”, even though it is not written at all by the Merkavah.
Second day: The Haftorah of the second day is read from “Tefilah Lechabakuk” until the words “Lamnatzeiach Beniginosaiy”. Some places are accustomed to begin the Haftorah from the words “VeHashem Beheichal Kodesh”, [and so is the Chabad custom].
Standing for the reading of the Haftorah: Throughout all the Haftorahs of the year, the person reading the Haftorah aloud must initially stand when doing so out of honor for the congregation. In addition, [on the 1st day of Shavuos] some have the custom for all those who read the Haftorah of Merkavah Yichezekel, along quietly with the reader, to stand during the reading of. [However, those who do not read along quietly with the reader, there is no custom for them to stand. Practically, the Chabad custom is to always read a Haftorah quietly along with the reader, although it is not necessarily our custom to stand even for the Haftorah of Shavuos. Each community is to follow the directive of their Rav regarding this matter.]
Wishing Mazal Tov:
It was customary amongst the original Chassidim to wish each other Mazal Tov on Shavuos. At first, this wish was given during the Torah reading, however due to the Halachic issue of making an interval, it was therefore delayed until after the Torah reading. Later, it was pushed off until after Davening. The Rebbe Rayatz concludes “I remember that the elderly Chassidim in Lubavitch would wish each other Mazal Tov.”
 Admur ibid; 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]
 Admur ibid; Megillah ibid
 Admur 282:1; 488:5; M”A 135:1
 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.
 Admur 488:5
 Admur ibid; Sefer Hamachria 31 in name of Rabbeinu Tam that it was instituted by Ezra
 Admur 488:6
 Admur 282:10; 488:6
 Admur 488:6; Michaber 144:3
 One must read from the Parsha of the Holiday, as per the institution of Moshe Rabbeinu, and one must also read the Karbanos from Parshas Pinchas, as per the institution of the Rabanan Savuraiy.
 The reason: As one may not roll a Sefer Torah in front of the congregation due to respect of the congregation. [Admur ibid]
 See M”B 144:13
 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]
 Admur 494:7
 When is the Akdamos recited? Some have the custom to recite Hakdamos after the Kohen reads the 1st verse in the Torah reading. One should not protest against those who do so, even though they are making an interval during the reading with a matter that is not relevant to the reading, as they have upon whom to rely. However, in a place where there is no custom, it is best to say the Akdamos before the Kohen begins the blessing over the Torah reading. The same applies for the Piyut of Yatziv Pisgam. On the second day of Shavuos it is best to recite the Akdamos prior to the blessings of the Haftorah, and so is the custom today in many places. [Admur ibid]
 Hayom Yom p. 59; Sefer Haminhagim p. 87 [English]; Igros Kodesh 18:427 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 3:40]; Letters and Sichas in Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 302-304; This is also the custom of the Sefaradim [Igros Kodesh ibid]
Custom of the Rebbe: The Rebbe was accustomed to say the Akdamos quietly to himself on Shavuos. It was said before, and between, the Aliyos, of the Torah reading. [Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 303]
 Siddur Admur
 Admur ibid; Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar 20:3
It is not customary to recite the words “Vayavor Hashem Al Panav” prior to saying it being that the 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].
 Darkei Chaim Veshalom 715; Siddur Rav Raskin footnote 72
 Implication of Admur in Siddur; Shaareiy Efraim 10:5 See Sefer Haminhagim p. 119 [English Edition]; Hayom Yom 10th Tishrei; Hisvadus 6th Tishrei 1970; Shaareiy Teshuvah 488:1; Likkutei Maharich Pesach based on Ramaz; Custom brought in M”E 584:16; Luach Eretz Yisrael; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 210; Piskeiy Teshuvos 488:3
 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]
 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]
 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]
 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
 Admur 488:5
 Admur 494:4
 Pashut as this is the entire reason for why we are to take out two Sifrei Torahs.
 The reason: As this Parsha discusses the matters that occurred on Shavuos, which is the giving of the Torah. [ibid]
 See 282:12 for the reason why Kaddish is recited between the five Aliyos and Maftir.
 Michaber 147:8; Kol Bo; Elya Raba 147:9; Kaf Hachaim 147:42
 See Shaar Efraim 10:41; Piskeiy Teshuvah 150:4
 See 282:12 for the reason why Kaddish is recited between the five Aliyos and Maftir.
 Michaber 147:8; Kol Bo; Elya Raba 147:9; Kaf Hachaim 147:42
 See Shaar Efraim 10:41; Piskeiy Teshuvah 150:4
 Hayom Yom p. 59; Sefer Haminhagim
 M”A 428:8
 The Magen Avraham ibid writes that the custom in some places is to only call up the Rabbis of the community, or a great scholar for the reading of the Ten Commandments. However, the Alter Rebbe does not make any mention of this here. The Rebbe in 5746 emphasized that this custom is to certainly be practiced in a scenario that there are those which despise and try to undermine the Rabbinical leader, and thus in order to emphasize the Rabbis authenticity he is to be called up for the Aliyah, even if the above is not the usual custom of the community.
 See Likkutei Sichos 23:251; 256; 28:315; Toras Menachem 5784 3:1833
 Michaber 135:14; 584:3; based on Yerushalmi brought in Beis Yosef 135 “In all places we say one must go to the Sefer Torah and not have the Sefer Torah come to him”;
 See Rama 135:14 [one to two days]; M”A 135:22 [Makom Kavua]; Aruch Hashulchan 135:32 [three times]
 Michaber 143:1
 Michaber ibid; Rambam Tefila 2; Ketzos Hashulchan 26:14
 Biur Halacha 143:1 “Bepachus” based on Ran; Ashel Avraham 69; Maharsham 1:175; 2:97; Lev Chaim 2:25; Levushei Mordechai 1:39; Ketzos Hashulchan 26:14; Keren Ledavid 16; Har Tzevi 1:52; Shaareiy Teshuvah 566:4 in name of Machazik Bracha regarding Taanis Tzibur that 6-7 people fasting suffices; See Yabia Omer 8:14; Mishneh Halachos 3:17
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one may only perform Kerias Hatorah with its blessing if at least ten people have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei. [Chayeh Adam 31:11 questions this matter; Aruch Hashulchan 69:14; Binyan Shlomo 35; Igros Moshe 1:38] Other Poskim rule that one may perform Kerias Hatorah with its blessing if at least seven people have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei. [Kaf Hachaim 143:3 in name of Lev Chaim 2:25] Other Poskim rule that by a reading of three Aliyos, such as on Monday, Thursday, and Mincha of Shabbos, it suffices to have three people who have not yet heard Kerias Hatorah and still need to be Yotzei. [Peri Hasadeh 2:97; Shaareiy Rachamim 7:18; Toras Yekusiel 51; Daas Sofer 1:8; Daas Torah 69 although concludes with Tzaruch Iyun; Mahariy Asad 51; So rule regarding a fast: Bach in name of Aguda; Meiri Megillah 2a; Orchos Chaim [Lunil]; Leket Yosher 114 in name of Terumos Hadeshen; Aruch Hashulchan 566:7; Maharsham 2:97; Daas Torah 69; Sdei Chemed 1 Klalei Haposkim 13:7; Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 26; Piskei Dinim 566; Shut Tzemach Tzedek Shaar Hamiluim 8, brought in Shaar Hakolel 9:17; Igros Kodesh 16:313; Luach Kolel Chabad; Hiskashrus 1024 footnote] Other Poskim imply it suffices to have even one person who did not yet hear the Torah. [Implication of Maharil end of Shabbos that he once missed Kerias Hatorah and read it to himself after the Minyan. See Daas Torah ibid] Other Poskim rule one may repeat the reading even if everyone already heard the Torah. [See Noda Beyehuda Tinyana O.C. 15; Birkeiy Yosef, brought in Daas Torah ibid]
 The reason: As whenever majority of a Minyan is obligated in a matter we allow the recital of a Davar Shebekedusha. [See Admur 55:3; 69:4-5]
 Noda Beyehuda Tinyana O.C. 15; Daas Torah 69; Toras Yekusiel 51; Levushei Mordechai 1:19; Piskeiy Teshuvos 143:3; unlike Aruch Hashulchan 69:8
 See Admur 46:9 in parentheses; 489:12; Michaber 489:3 as explained in Taz 489:6; M”A 489:7 according to opinion that Mitzvos need Kavana; M”B 489:16; See Birchas Habayis 46:15 footnote 41; Piskeiy Teshuvos 489:13 footnote 62; Piskeiy Teshuvos 296:17
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that making a Tnaiy is useless, as one cannot questionably join the fulfillment of a Mitzvah. [Taz 489:6] It is thus questionable whether he has fulfilled his obligation even if he made a Tnaiy and remembered later on. [P”M 489 M”Z 6]
 Admur 494:8-11; See M”A 494; Masas Binyamin 6; Elya Raba 142:1; Chizkuni Shemos 20:14
 Admur 494:8
 The reason: The reason for this custom is because they follow the way the commands were written in the Torah [I.e. Kesiv], in which each command was written as its own Parsha. From Anochi until Lo Sisa is one Parsha Setuma, and one command, and it is therefore read as a single verse. Likewise, from Zachor until Lo Tirzach is a single Parsha Setuma. However, Lo Tirtzach until Lo Tachmod is written in four Parshiyos Setumos, as they are four commands, and therefore they are read as four verses. [494:10]
 The reason: As Anochi and Lo Yihyeh Lecha were said simultaneously. It is for this reason that the Nun of the word Panaiy is vocalized with a Patach and not a Kamatz, as there is no stop [Asnachta or end of verse] by it. [Admur ibid]
 The vocalization: It is for this reason that the Chaf of the word “Chol” which is in proximity to the word “Veasisa” is Refuyah and not Degusha. [Admur ibid]
 The vocalization: It is for this reason that the Tzaddik of the word Tirtzach is vocalized with a Kamatz, being that there is a conclusion of verse at this area. Likewise, the Taf is Degusha being that the word Lo is vocalized with a Mafsik, which is a Tafcha. [Admur ibid]
 The vocalization: It is for this reason that the Taf of Tinaf is Degusha and the Alef is vocalized with a Kamatz being that there is a conclusion of verse at this area. [Admur ibid]
 The vocalization: It is for this reason that the Taf of Tignov is Degusha. [Admur ibid]
 Admur 494:9
 One reads the verses as they have been allocated to be read from the Torah [i.e. Keri]. Thus, at times a single verse includes many commands, and at times the same command is read in many verses.
 The vocalization: According to this method, the Nun of Panaiy is vocalized with a Kamatz, being that it represents the end the verse. [Admur ibid]
 The vocalization: According to this method the Chaf of the word “Kol” is Degusha. [Admur ibid]
 The reason: The reason for this custom is because they follow the way the verses are to be read according to Kri, as from Lo Sirtzach until Lo Sachmod there is only one verse. The reason for why this custom does not allow one to stop in middle of the verse and read it in accordance to the commands is because it is forbidden to completely stop in middle of a verse, even when one is reading the verse in private, as all the stop marks in the Torah are a tradition to Moshe from Sinai, and it is forbidden to stop in an area that Moshe did not make a stop in accordance to his tradition from Sinai. Now, since it is forbidden to make a complete stop in middle of these four small Parshiyos [from Lo Sirtzach to Lo Sinaf], therefore, when they are read in one setting they are read in a continuous melody which connects them into one verse, being that they are in truth one verse, as there is no verse in the entire Torah that contains less than three words. Likewise, from Anochi until Lo Sisa and from Zachor until Lo Sirtzach, there are various verses in the reading. Accordingly, a private individual may make a complete stop in the middle of the Parsha of Anochi and Zachor, so long as he does so at the end of a verse. Furthermore, even when reading in public there is no prohibition to stop in these areas due to stopping in middle of a verse, but rather due to those who enter and exit during the reading, as explained in 138:1. Therefore, they are read in a melody that makes a break between them, in order to turn them into many verses, being that in truth they are considered many verses regarding the number of verses they contain. [Admur 494:11; M”A 494; Masas Binyamin 6; Chizkuni Shemos 20:14]
The vocalization: It is for this reason that the Taf of Sirtzach, Sinaf, Signov, Seaneh is Refuyah and the Tzaddik of the word Sirtzach is vocalized with Patach, and the Alef of Sinaf is vocalized with a Kamatz, being that it has an Asnachta. [Admur ibid]
 Admur 494:11; M”A 494; Masas Binyamin 6; Elya Raba 142:1; Chizkuni Shemos 20:14
 The reason: As on Shavuos the Ten Commandments were given and therefore it is read in accordance to the way they were given, which is each command as a different verse. [Admur ibid]
 Admur 494:4 and 12
 Admur 494:12
 Admur 494:5; Chok Yaakov 494:5
 The reason: This custom is hinted to in the ruling that we do not expound on Maaseh Merkavah unless the student is a great scholar and has great understanding of his own. [Admur ibid; See Mishneh Chagiga 11b]
 Admur 494:4
 The reason: The reason why this Haftorah is read is because it discusses matters similar to the revelation of G-d by Sinai, with hundreds of thousands of Shinan. [Admur ibid] Some explain Shinan refers to a type of angel. [Radak]
 Admur 494:12
 Admur 494:6; Brought in Luach Kolel Chabad; Elya Zuta 494; Chok Yaakov 494:5
 The reason: This is done out of honor for the Haftorah of Merkava Yichezkal. [ibid]
 See Admur 284:11
 Sefer Hasichos 1940 p. 121; See Sichas Shavuos 5713; Nitei Gavriel Shavuos