Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Is Carrying the Torah Around the Shul Appropriate?

Another interesting yershualmi (which also involves the Resh Geluta, the Exilarch) occurs in yerushalmi Sotah 33a (perek 7 halacha 6)

ברכת כהן גדול כיצד
חזן הכנסת נוטל ספר התורה ונותנו לראש הכנסת
ראש הכנסת נותנו לסגן
והסגן נותנו לכהן גדול
כהן גדול עומד ומקבל וקורא
The blessing of the High Priest - how?
The Chazan HaKnesset takes the Sefer Torah and gives it to the Head of the Knesset.
The Head of the Knesset gives is to the Sgan (assistant to the High Priest)
And the Sgan gives it to the High Priest.
The High Priest stands and accepts it and reads while standing.

בכל אתר את אמר הולכין אצל התורה. והכא את אמר מוליכין את התורה אצלן.
אלא על ידי שהן בני אדם גדולים התורה מתעלה בהן.
והא תמן מויבלין אורית' גבי ריש גלותא.
אמר רבי יוסי בי ר' בון על ידי שזרעו של דוד משוקע שם אינון עבדין לו כמנהג אבהתהון
Everywhere else you say they go after the Torah. Yet here you say they bring the Torah to them!?
Rather, since they are great people, the Torah is elevated by them.
Q: But over there {in Bavel} they bring the Torah to the Resh Geluta (Exilarch}?!
Rabbi Yossi son of Rabbi Avun said: since the seed of David is settled there {they are descendants of the house of David} they do to him in the custom of their fathers.

Based on this gemara, is seems that the sefer Torah should not be brought, out of its way, all around the shul so that every person can kiss it - such may be disrespectful to the sefer Torah.

Rav Schachter said something similar a few years ago in shiur. He said that (if I recall correctly) the Rav was not happy with the taking of the Torah out of its way, around the shul, saying: Why are they treating the sefer Torah like a Sotah? Rather, they should bring the Torah to the bima, and if people want to intercept it to kiss it, they can.

Please note: please don't take this as a psak halacha.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin