Facing the Sefer Torah During Leining

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  • #589960

    Heshy
    Member

    Hi All,

    I asked a “Baal Halacha” this past Shabbos if he knew the source for the halacha that you should face the sefer Torah during leining. He said there is no such halacha. I am almost positive that I learnt it once. Can anyone shed some light on this? Thanks.

    #649352

    cherrybim
    Participant

    The Mishna Brurah advises making a brocha facing the open Torah, but to close the eyes while doing so (open link below):

    hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14164&pgnum=42&hilite=

    #649354

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    Heshy:

    I remember that too, that one shouldn’t sit with his back to the torah.

    lemme look it up before, to make sure.

    #649355

    feivel
    Participant

    who should face the Sefer Torah? everyone in the Shul? those at the Bimah? the one who has the Aliyah?

    #649356

    Heshy
    Member

    I wasn’t referring to the one being called up. I meant the kahal listening from their various places in shul.

    #649357

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I always face the Sefer Torah during laining. But then again, I’m always talking loudly during laining too… 🙂

    The Wolf

    #649358

    feivel
    Participant

    certainly seems like proper Derech Eretz and Covod’l Torah to me,

    but i never heard of it as Halachah.

    hopefully someone will be able to clarify the matter here.

    #649359

    cherrybim
    Participant

    A little further down from the earlier halacha, the Mishnah Brura says that although you can’t normally have your back to the Torah, when it’s being leined on a Bima, it’s ok since the Bima is in it’s own R’shus (see below):

    hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14164&pgnum=47&hilite=

    #649360

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    Hesh, sorry didnt get a chance yet.

    WolfishMusings: I take it your a baal korah then?

    #649362

    onlyemes
    Member

    Sefardic batei knesset, and also many Ashkenazic shuls from old time Europe were designed so that all the seats faced the bimah. Obviously, that way all were facing the Torah. The sefardim do have a practice to never have their backs to the sifrei torah. I have a (sefardic) friend who in an ashkenazic shul is careful to sit behind the bimah so he never has his back to the sefer.

    #649363

    cherrybim
    Participant

    bein_hasdorim: Didn’t you see the m’kor in the Shuchan Aruch with a discussion in the MB on the link above? Copy and paste link below to the address bar for SA and MB text:

    hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14164&pgnum=47&hilite=

    #649364

    @azi:

    No, there is no requirement to stand during leining, but I know several people who have that minhag. The reasoning is that we all stand for Kriat Aseret HaDibrot, but the entire Torah is from the same holy source as the Aseret HaDibrot, therefore why should the Aseret HaDibrot receive more kavod than the rest of the Torah?

    Possibly that minhag extends to the direction one faces during kriah. I should ask one of my friends who holds by it.

    #649365

    squeak
    Participant

    cherrybim: Shuls that are built in the style of a Beis Knesses have a Bima on a platform which is indeed in its own reshus as the platform is 10 tefachim off the ground. Shuls that are built in the style of Beis Medrash have a Bima on the floor level and are probably not in a separate reshus.

    #649366

    azi
    Participant

    jewishfeminist02,

    you made an important point. It is true that the whole torah is equal and it is not proper to only stand for the aseres hadibros as if its more importnant then other parts. that is why R’ Avodia Yosef paskens that s’fardim should not even stand for that part of laining. He writes that those who are in a shul of ashkenazim and ashkenazim themselves if they choose to stand during the aseres hadibros should stand from the begining of the aliya intil the end in order not to show any deference to one part over the other.

    #649367

    azi
    Participant

    squeak

    That is why it isnt necessary either to stand when a aron is opened, since the sifrei torah are in a different reshus. It is just our own choice to show kovod by standing then but it isnt required. The only times during the laining process that there is a reequirent to stand is as the torah is being carried from the aron to the bima.

    #649368

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Squeak: A tefach is only 4 inches and most Bimas are at least 40 inches high, so even without the platform, the Bima is probably in it’s own reshus.

    Azi: Rav Moshe also holds that we do not get up for special leinings, such as the Aseres HaDibros, since the entire Torah is of equal importance.

    #649369

    feivel
    Participant

    azi

    isnt there a requirement to stand for each Brocha before the laining?

    #649370

    azi
    Participant

    feivel,

    yes, sorry, you are correct. the only thing the mishna berura says one should stand for is the brochos. and the stading for a moving sefer torah is kovod sefer torah.

    #649371

    mepal
    Member

    Not really following here, but do you have to stand for the brachos before the aliyah only or also the ones said after the aliyah?

    #649372

    PM
    Member

    Only for Borchu before the aliya, and even for that Sefardim do not stand.

    #649373

    mepal
    Member

    Thanks for clarifying.

    #649374

    squeak
    Participant

    cherrybim – does the average bima have sufficient surface area to be considered its own reshus (not makkom p’tur, remember this is not hoitza’ah, we’re talking about rea; reshuyos)? Height is not the only requirement.

    #649375

    cherrybim
    Participant

    squeak: It’s not my p’sak; just quoting the MB. It seems the MB wasn’t bothered by it.

    hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14164&pgnum=47&hilite=

    #649376

    squeak
    Participant

    I understand. I haven’t looked at the MB just yet but I was wondering if he is referring to a bima on a platform (as was the norm).

    #649377

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Yes he was, but then the Shulchan would probably be permitted to be lower than ten tefachim. Once the shulchan is higher than 10 tefachim, it creates its own r’shus, even without a Bima platform (implied from MB).

    #649378

    squeak
    Participant

    Once you say “implied”, I reserve the right to argue with your statement directly. So next time, don’t try to hide behind a wall of “It’s not my p’sak; just quoting the MB.” That’s sheker.

    #649379

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Squeak: M’gosh, I’m so hurt.

    “It’s not my p’sak; just quoting the MB.” refers to the Pri M’gadim brought down by the MB regarding a Bima (platform) creating its own r’shus. NOT IMPLIED.

    The “(implied from MB)” concerns the height of the Shulchan as gleaned from other Rabbonim/poskim who “implied from MB” since they quote from the source which I have supplied the link twice, yet you say that you hadn’t seen it.

    I accept your apology in advance.

    #649380

    PM
    Member

    If you have a question in Halacha the best thing to do is to ask a Rav, not a blog. If it is easier to ask on the computer than in person, there are websites that have responsible Talmidei Chachomim answering sheilos such as Revach.net.

    #649381

    cherrybim
    Participant

    PM – “If you have a question in Halacha the best thing to do is to ask a Rav, not a blog.”

    Unless of course it’s PM who is doing the blogging. A quick look into CR archives under PM will reveal numerous PM opinions in Halacha, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    If the title is RAV PM, then I do apologize.

    #649382
    #649383

    poverty
    Member

    Maybe it is Rav Pm Zatzal, the Rosh hayeshiva of Mesivta Yeshiva Torah Vodaath who brought so much kindness to the world. The Rosh Hayeshiva showed so much humility. Most RY’s sit in from of the Beis Medrash. Rav Pam sat in middle to show that he was like anyone else. And his close talmid Rav Yisroel Reisman Shlita does the same.

    #649384

    cherrybim
    Participant

    I can only try: Although I did apologize in advance; it was an “asmachta”. Why? Because any RAV who spends time in the CR, is no Rav in my book.

    Also, we’re not talking “shvere sugyos” halacha here, the Mishna B’rura was quite clear concerning our discussion.

    And from my read, a number of CRers seem to hold up quite well when it comes to halachic topics, including PM.

    While the Internet is no substitute for intensive halacha textual learning with a Rav, PM is right in that there are a number of pretty good Internet sites with renowned Rabbonim and Poskim providing discussions and p’sak halacha on various questions and topics.

    #649386

    cherrybim-

    That’s a unique pshat on “asmachta” 🙂

    (although if your offer included “and buy him a coke”, you’d probably be correct)

    And from my read, a number of CRers seem to hold up quite well when it comes to halachic topics, including PM.

    Agreed. I often am impressed at the halocha seforim, piskei halocha, and meforshim posters seem to have at their fingertips.

    I don’t know for sure, but I’d imagine that “asmachta” that is not koneh requires two things; that the person assumes the occurrence won’t happen and that he is unhappy when it does.

    To make up a case – suppose someone’s living-room a/c dies an hour before a Shabbos which is forcast to be 95 degrees and humid, and he offers his repairman neighbor a $50 reward (on top of his standard fee) if he can get it working before Shabbos, expecting that it is impossible to fix it that quickly. If the a/c unit is fixed, although he was somech on it not being done, he is quite happy with the results and it is well worth the extra $50. Is he chayav to pay the extra $50?

    #649387

    cherrybim
    Participant

    I can only try: Facinating S’aila. This week’s Daf Yomi in Baba Metzia deals with the (sometimes overlapping) issues of Ribis and Asmachta.

    For anything complicated in Ribis and Asmachta, you must have a competent Rav decide (ya hear PM) and ideally with both parties involved.

    #649388

    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    I find it hard to believe that everyone should sit facing the Torah, since in many shtiebels the tables have people on both sides, some sit facing forward, and some facing backwards. There is no way they could all be facing the Torah unless half were standing and turning around.

    But if one is walking by the Torah, probably one should try to face the Torah, as it says achoreihem el heichal hashem. For this reason I believe many shuls read haftarah on the side of the bimah. You don’t want to have your back to the sefer torah which someone is sitting and holding, and also don’t want to have your back to the aron in front.

    #649389

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Pashuteh Yid – good ha’ara, but what happens when there are multiple Sifrei Torah on Yom Tov or Shabbos; the bal k’riah and amud ha’torah have their backs to the Torah?

    Many shuls are set up with tables so that the mispallalim’s backs are to the Aron or Shulchan but it’s not l’chatchila. It needs (or at one time needed) to be done because of space issues. The problem is that, in time, many b’dee’eveds become l’chatchilas, and the b’dee’eveds are not corrected when the opportunity presents itself.

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