Sitting during the blessings of Kerias Hatorah

Standing during the blessings of Kerias Hatorah:

Some Poskim[1] rule that everyone [even those who sit during the actual reading] is required to stand upon hearing the blessings of the Torah [i.e. Barchu[2], Birchas Hatorah before and after[3]], as is the rule by every Davar Shebekedusha.[4] Other Poskim[5], however, rule it is not necessary [for the listeners] to stand during the recital of Birchas Hatorah, or even Barchu. Practically, although in general it is proper to suspect for the stringent opinion and stand during a Davar Shebekidusha[6], the custom by Kerias Hatorah is like the latter opinion, not to stand for even Barchu or Birchas Hatorah.[7] Nonetheless, even according to the lenient opinion, in the event that one was already standing prior to the recital of Barchu or Birchas Hatorah, it is good/proper[8] to remain standing, and not sit down, until after it is completed.[9] [Accordingly, those who are stringent to remain standing during the reading, are to remain standing also during the blessings and are certainly to avoid sitting down prior to the blessings completion.]   

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[1] M”A 146:6; Taz 146:1; Masas Binyamin in end of Sefer in Chidushei Dinim Latur O.C. 1, brought in Shiyurei Kneses Hagedola 146:5; Rameh 91; Elya Raba 146:4; Magen Giborim 146:10; Soles Belula 146:7; P”M 146 M.Z. 1; Shaareiy Efraim 4:9; Aruch Hashulchan 146:8; M”B 146:18; So rule regarding all Devarim Shebekedusha: 2nd opinion in Admur 56:5; Rama 56:1; Hagahos Minhagim in name of Yerushalmi [Arizal ibid claims it is misprint in Yerushalmi]; Shiltei Giborim on Mordechai Birchas Hashachar 5; Reishis Chochmah Shaar Hayirah 15:59

[2] Taz ibid; Masas Binyamin in end of Sefer O.C. 1; Rameh 91; Elya Raba 146:4; Aruch Hashulchan 146:8; M”B 146:18

[3] Implication of M”A ibid, in name of Masas Binyamon and Rameh; Shaareiy Efraim 4:9 “One is to be stringent to stand throughout all the blessings”

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is not required to stand for Birchas Hatorah, and is only required to stand during Barchu. He may sit after Brachu is answered by the congregation, even before the Olah repeats it. [Taz ibid as understands P”M 146 M.Z. 1; Implication of Masas Binyamin in end of Sefer O.C. 1 and Rameh 91; Elya Raba 146:4; M”B 146:18 and Shaar Hatziyon 146:20; Ishei Yisrael 38 footnote 54 in name of Rav Chaim Kanievsky; Piskeiy Teshuvos 146:6 footnote 21]

[4] The reason: One can learn this as a Kal Vachomer from Eglon. The verse [Shoftim 3:20] states that Eglon , the king of Moav, stood up on his own from his throne, upon hearing the word of Hashem. [Now, if a gentile got up in honor of Hashem then] certainly we, Hashem’s nation, [should stand up in His honor]. [Admur ibid; M”A ibid] 

[5] So rule regarding even Barchu: Shiyurei Kneses Hagedola 146:5; Ledavid Emes [Chida] 7:4; Kaf Hachaim 146: 20-21 in implication of custom of Arizal and that so is the custom today even amongst Chassidim and Anshei Maaseh; See Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:142 and 3:64; So rule regarding Birchas Hatorah: Taz ibid as understands P”M 146 M.Z. 1; Implication of Masas Binyamin in end of Sefer O.C. 1 and Rameh 91; Elya Raba 146:4; M”B 146:18; Ishei Yisrael 38 footnote 54 in name of Rav Chaim Kanievsky; Piskeiy Teshuvos 146:6 footnote 21; So rule regarding all Devarim Shebekedusha: 1st opinion in Admur ibid, brought also in 53:1; Maharil Tefila 3, brought in Darkei Moshe 56:5; Arizal Shaar Hakavanos Kaddish; Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Hakadeishim 6; brought in M”A 56:4 and Taz 53:1 and 56:2;

[6] Admur ibid; M”A ibid “one is not to be lenient”; M”B 56:8; Aruch Hashulchan 56:9 that the custom is stand only for the necessary Kaddeishim that must be said during the prayer

Other opinions: Many Poskim conclude like the ruling of the lenient opinion and custom of Arizal. [Kneses Hagedola 55:1; Yad Aaron; Shalmei Tzibur p. 81; Kesher Gudal 8:14; Siddur Beis Oved; Chesed Lealafim 56:7; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 13:7; Yifei Laleiv 56:3; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayechi 8; Kaf Hachaim 56:20 that so is custom]

[7] Shiyurei Kneses Hagedola 146:5; Ledavid Emes 7:4; Kaf Hachaim 146: 20-21; Piskeiy Teshuvos 146:6

[8] Admur ibid; M”A ibid does not mention that it is merely “proper” to do so, but simply states that so was the custom of the Maharil; Many of the other Poskim ibid write that one must remain standing and the Kaf Hachaim 56:22 writes it is Mitzvah to remind one who is coming to sit down in middle of Kaddish that he may not sit.

[9] Admur ibid; M”A ibid; Darkei Moshe 56 that so was custom of Maharil; Shaar Hakavanos ibid that so was custom of Arizal; Chesed Lealafim ibid; Ben Ish Chaiy ibid; Many Achronim brought in footnote under lenient opinion

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