|HOW TO HAVE AN ALIYAH AT CONGREGATION KOL SHOFAR —Rabbi Chai Levy
It is an honor to be called up to the Torah, but it can also feel a little intimidating if you aren’t sure what to do! We created this video to help you. Please also see these links for instructions on how to have an aliyah and for a view of the blessings that you will find on the card at the bimah. Please feel free to be in touch with me if you have any questions.
After the first blessing, the Torah reader will read a portion from the Torah. Keep holding the right handle or etz hayim. When the Reader completes the reading, touch the Torah with your tzitzit again, take hold of the left handle or etz hayim, roll the two sides of the scroll together, and recite the second blessing.
After you complete the second blessing, another person is called up to the Torah. Remain at the bimah until the person who receives the aliyah after you completes the second blessing. Now is the proper time to step away from the bimah and return to your seat.
Yasher Koach! (May you be strengthened!)
The Ritual Committee has recently discussed this ritual activity and wants to make you aware of its desires re: setting some basic standards for the way Hagbah is done at Kol Shofar, specifically:
1) Scrolls should be opened on the table first, to at least most of one column, but no more than three columns.
2) Once scrolls are up in the air, they should be left the way they are, without any further adjustment.
The reasons for setting these standards are:
b) Dropping a Torah scroll, while a rare occurrence, has extremely serious consequences for observant members of the congregation who are present – specifically, some people would feel obliged to do a 40-day (daylight) fast. Having had some “near misses” in the past, we want to do our best to assure that this will not happen in the future.
c) The raising of the Torah scroll is intended to call people’s attention to the Torah itself, and the traditional view is that exposing three panels are sufficient to accomplish this. To hold the Torah open wider can begin to look instead like a public display of the lifter’s prowess, calling people’s attention and admiration to the skills of the lifter instead of the scroll, and is therefore antithetical to the whole purpose of raising the Torah.
Thank you in advance for complying with these procedures. If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to either Ron Brown or Gail Dorph, the co-chairs of the Ritual Committee.
Resources for Celebrating Shabbat at Home
Compiled by Rabbi Susan Leider
Congregation Kol Shofar
2013 – תשע”ג
Friday Night – Melodies Around the Shabbat Table
All sound files below coordinate with the following page numbers from the following Shabbat bentscher (blessing booklet)
Shiovitz, Jeffrey, New B’Kol Echad USY Songster
The bentschers cost $2.75 each and are available for purchase at: