Protocols when getting an Aliya

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    Hi, pardon my newbie ignorance on this topic. When you get an Aliya, especially on Shabbos, what is generally expected as far as protocol?

    After the Aliya are you expected to offer a donation? If so, how much is minimal or typical? Does it differ whether you’re a regular of the shul or if you’re a guest that week? I hear some people saying “matana”; what does matana entail? Can you decline to offer any donation? If so, how do you so indicate that to the Gabbai?

    Regarding Misheberachs, does the Gabbai usually expect you to have a list of who you want to give to? Can you not give any Misheberachs or is that tacky? When giving Misheberachs, who do you normally name? Your parents, grandparents, children, wife, neighbors, people sitting next to you in shul, friends, the Rov and the Gabbai? Do you sometimes give a Misheberach to people not in shul then or only for people in shul?

    When leaving (or coming to) the Bima is their a correct path to take to/from the Bima? Does the person getting the Aliya uncover/cover the Torah? Open the Torah? Scroll it ahead during leining if moving to the next column?

    Before starting the Bracha (the first and the second?), how where do you kiss the Torah? I’ve seen some use the Talis to kiss the side and some kiss directly on the words.

    Are you supposed to (quietly) read along inside with the baal koreh?

    When done are you supposed to say shkoyach to the Gabbai and shake his hand just before walking away (or just after your Misheberachs)? After getting an Aliya do other people give you shkoyach? Verbally only or with a handshake? Or only those you gave a Misheberach to? Are you supposed to stop by the Rov before sitting back down? How do you respond to those saying shkoyach?

    On a similar note, when getting Hagba is the correct procedure to open the Torah so that multiple leafs from the Torah is visible, move the Torah halfway off the Bima to pick it up, and then make a 180 degree turn to the right followed by a 360 degree turn to the left and another 180 to the right before sitting down?

    I’ve been getting flustered with some of these points when getting an Aliaa. Shkoyach!


    Depends on the type of shul you are in. Young Israels usually do not do a “mi shenadar”. Some shuls have a minimum for a matana – look on the bimah. I know a shul that has a piece of paper stating the minimum for a matana (and it is less than $18). If you do not want this extra mi shebayrach you just let the gabbai know.

    If you want to name people during the mi shehbeyrach try to have their names ready. Usually one does his wife and children. Some add on their parents and in-laws.

    When leaving (or coming to) the Bima is their a correct path to take to/from the Bima?

    One takes the shortest route to the bima. One takes the longer route away from the bima.

    Does the person getting the Aliya uncover/cover the Torah? As a Baal Koreh I prefer to uncover the Sefer Torah when I am ready to show the person the place.

    Open the Torah?

    Yes, the Baal Koreh should open the Sefer Torah and show you the place. Some people place their tallis on the word and some on the side so they don’t rub the ink. According to the Shulchan Aruch (Siman Kuf Lamed Tes Sif daled (139:4)), you leave the Sefer open and make the first brocha. You close the Sefer before making the second brocha. The Ramah adds that you should turn your head to the left when making the first bracha so that the khal shouldn’t think that the brochos are written in the Torah. See the Mishna Berurah Sif Koton Tes Zayin – Yud Tes).

    Scroll it ahead during leining if moving to the next column? As a Baal Koreh I prefer that person wait until I start unrolling the side I am holding since if you roll first you may start covering the words before I actually say them.

    For Hagbah, you should put your hands as close to the round part of the atzei chayim as you can (for better leverage). Unroll so that 3 columns are showing, lbend your knes slightly as you start to slide the sefer off the bimah and then lift up. Lchatchilah you are supposed to make a 360 degree turn and then sit down.



    Do some shuls not do Misheberachs for women?



    To Lowerourtuition2010.

    Shakoyach on a concise and very accurate set of responses to a lot of questions….your points on the preferences of the baal koreh are espeically appreciated since too many receiving an alyiah inadvertently end up making the reader either lose his place or c’v damage the sefer. The inyan of a “shenadar” is also problematic and more shuls are correctly moving away from this custom of a “standard price” for an aliyah and simply leaving it up to the person receiving a kavod to make the offer. As to lengthy lists of those mentioned in the mi sheberach, its rare these days in most shuls to go beyond the immediate family (wife, kids and sometimes parents) but when it happens, it always seems to be on the shabbos with the longest parashas and the person with the aliyah seems to have memory issues with the in-laws name etc.


    Thank you GH.



    I noticed some people don’t give all their children’s names (maybe just not the girls?) when getting a Misheberach after an Aliya.



    slonimer: I don’t have a good reason for that but I have seen two misheberachs – one for the boys in the family and one for the girls.



    iacisrmma: You mean some people make one Misheberach for all their sons and one Misheberach for all their daughters?

    Is it typically done this way at the choice of the person getting the Aliya or is it based on the Shul’s policy?

    Have you also seen people only make Misheberachs for their male family members (and is that common in some shuls)?

    Do they usually make a Misheberach only for those sons in shul or also for his sons not in Shul (married, away in yeshiva, too young to come to Shul, etc.)?

    Is whether it is necessary to make a public donation based on how many Misheberachs you make?


    Slonimer and iacisrmma: There is no one answer or correct way. Sometimes it depends on the shul; sometimes on the person. I have seen and heard combinations of all of what you mention. Most people I know do one mi shebeyrach for the whole family (boys and girls). Others do separate. I personally do not mention each child individually but say my wife’s name “vkol sheyotzel meichalatzeha” except if I receive an Aliya on the yomim noraim. Then I do give the names of each child.



    I cannot think of one single area of the davening where minhagim vary so considerably among shuls, even within the same chassidus or litvish shuls within close proximity….In many cases the practices stem from how the Rav, baal koreh and gabbai doing the misheberachs do things. One of the most prevalent trends is to make
    “shenadars” less frequent and less blatant while always assuring that someone called for an aliyah has the option of doing so.



    I don’t think a donation is mandatory anywhere.

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