Standing with One’s Back to the Sefer Torah
The Mishnah Berurah (69) says one who is standing by the bimah (i.e. for an aliyah, or while reading the haftorah) should be careful not to stand with his back to a sefer Torah being held by someone sitting near the bimah. This is common on Yom Tov when two seforim are taken out, and the person holding the second sefer is sitting directly behind the oleh. Nonetheless, the custom is that one may stand with his back to the sefer Torah(70) since the oleh is standing in the correct place, and the sefer Torah is not in its proper place.(71)
Standing during an Aliyah
In most places, one who receives an aliyah stands in between the ba’al koreh and the gabbai.(72) Only three people are required at the bimah while the laining is taken place (gabbai, oleh, ba’al koreh).(73) However, the custom of many places is for a fourth person to stand on the other side of the ba’al koreh (gabbai sheini).(74)
One is required to stand throughout his aliyah (75) to demonstrate fear of Hashem.(76) A person who is weak or heavy may lean on the bimah.(77) Furthermore, one who is confined to a wheelchair may receive an aliyah while sitting.(78) The one who is laining should also stand.(79) Many times, in order for the ba’al koreh to show the oleh where he is up to, he has to bend over to show the place with the yad. This practice is permitted. (80)
Many say one should not lean on the cover of the bimah because it serves as a tashmish d’kedusha.(81) However, many poskim say the minhag is to be lenient in this regard.(82) For this reason, some say one can place seforim, etc on a bimah.(83)
(69)147:29, see Pri Megadim M.Z. 141:3. (70) Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 12:footnote 21. (71) Halichos Shlomo ibid. (72) Refer to Sharei Rachamim 3:12, Mishnah Berurah 141:16, Aruch Ha’shulchan 141:7, Kaf Ha’chaim 141:10, 22, Ketzos Ha’shulchan 25:11, Minhag Yisroel Torah 141:2, Halacha Berurah 141:7. (73) Chai Adom 31:7, Mishnah Berurah 141:16. Some say his is not me’achev (Halacha Berurah 141:7). (74) Shulchan Hatohar 141:3. (75) Rambam Hilchos Tefilla 12:11, Bach beg of 141, Pri Megadim M.Z. 146:1, Levush 1, Magen Avraham 141:2, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 23:5, Aruch Ha’shulchan 141:1-2. (76) Magen Avraham ibid, Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 2, Ben Ish Chai ibid:20, Kaf Ha’chaim 4, Darchei Chaim V’sholom 202, see Moadim V’zemanim 2:182. (77) Magen Avraham ibid, Aruch Ha’shulchan 3, Kaf Ha’chaim 7. A heavy person cannot lean if he will fall if the object he is leaning on is removed (Be’er Heitiv 2, Mishnah Berurah 2-4) Others say a complete leaning is permitted (Shar Ha’tzyion 4). (78) Bais Avi 4:57, Piskei Teshuvos 141:footnote 2, Yalkut Yosef 141:2. (79) Tur 141, Bais Yosef, Rama 1, Sharei Ephraim 3:11. (80) Sharei Ephraim 3:11, Halacha Berurah 141:2. (81) Refer to Bais Yosef 154, Be’er Heitiv 141:2, Mishnah Berurah 141:4, 154:10, Shar Ha’tzyion 8, Ginzei Hakodesh 5:footnote 42 quoting the opinion of Horav Korelitz Shlita, see Rama 154:8. (82) Oz Nedberu 3:49, see Biur Halacha 154 “v’i.” (83) Refer to Piskei Teshuvos 154:27:footnote 162, Ginzei Hakodesh 5:15:footnote 44. See ibid:page 268:90.
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Halachically Speaking is a bi-weekly publication compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits, a former chaver kollel of Yeshiva Torah Voda’ath and a musmach of Horav Yisroel Belsky, shlit”a. Rabbi Lebovits currently works as a Rabbinical Administrator for Kof-K Kosher Superivison.
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