Temple Adas Shalom

Torah Service Honor Descriptions

 

Use the quicklinks below to go to a section or click here to inquire about these programs.

Opening/Closing Ark

Torah Carrier

Aliyot - Blessings Over The Torah

Torah Reader

Hagbah - Lifting the Torah

G'lilah - Dressing the Torah

Prayer for Peace, Country, and Congregation

 

 

 

 

Opening/Closing Ark    (back to the top)

The recipient of this honor is responsible for opening and closing the ark. At the beginning and/or at the conclusion of the Torah service, the Rabbi/service leader calls for Ark openers and other honor recipients. This is the cue for the Ark opener to ascend the Bimah.

There are usually two Ark openers. Each takes a place on either side of the ark. When signaled, they each slide one of the Ark doors from the middle outward to open it. When the Torah procession moves through the sanctuary, each Ark opener follows one of the Torah scrolls around the sanctuary and back to the ark. Once the scrolls are returned to the ark, the Ark is closed and the Ark openers return to their seats. 

For the return of the scroll(s) used during the service, the Rabbi/service leader will say: “We now rise to return the scrolls to the ark”. The second set of Ark openers ascend the Bimah and open the Ark doors when signaled by the Rabbi/service leader. After the scroll (or scrolls) are returned, the Ark is closed (when signaled). At this time it is customary to shake hands with those on the Bimah then descend the Bimah back to their seats.

Anyone (Jewish or non-Jewish and of any age) can open and close the ark.

 

Torah Carrier   (back to the top)

This honoree is responsible for holding and carrying one Torah scroll during the Torah procession. When the Torah service begins, the Rabbi/service leader calls for Ark openers and other honorees. This is the cue to ascend the Bimah.

The Gabbai will hand the Torah scroll to the Carrier.  It is customary to hold the Torah on the right side, except if one is left-handed. The Torah is held as the Shema and Echad Elohaynu is recited. During "Gadlu l’Adonai", turn and face the Ark and bow slightly. Once complete, turn back around and descend the stairs. During the Torah procession, proceed down the center aisle, moving slowly enough so people can kiss the Torah. At the end of the center aisle, the Torah carriers split, one moving to the right and one to the left, making their way back up to the Bimah. When the carriers ascend the Bimah with the Torah it will be placed back in the Ark by the Gabbai. It is customary to shake hands and descend the Bimah to your seat when you are finished.

            It is customary to wear head covering (optional for women) and tallit when performing this honor. This honor is reserved for Jewish adults.

 

Aliyot - Blessings Over The Torah    (back to the top)

 

The honorees given Aliyot will be called to the Torah by the Ba'al Korah/cantor. There are typically three Aliyot, but there can be as many as seven during a Torah service. Each person (or group of persons) will be told which number Aliyah they are assigned (1-7). The Gabbai will announce the name (s) of those having the Aliyah. The first honor will be called up by “Ya'mod Cohen” (if you are a Cohen) or Ya'mod Rishon. The second honor will be “Ya'mod Levi (if you are a Levi) or “Ya'mod Shayni”. The third will be “Ya'amod Shlishi”. There is not a strict requirement for Cohen and Levi; however, this order is typically followed if Cohen and Levi are present and are offered Aliyot.

 

Aliyah Primer

 

Below are the basic fundamentals of being called to the Torah for an Aliyah at Temple Adas Shalom.  Meaning to “go up” or “ascend,” Aliyah also implies a spiritual ascent.  An Aliyah is considered to be one of the most sacred privileges in Judaism.  Consequently, you must be Jewish and “of age” (i.e., B’nai Mitzvah) to qualify for an Aliyah.  Indeed, the ceremony of Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a celebration of a child’s first Aliyah.

 

Ascending the Bimah for your Aliyah

When called for the Aliyah, ascend the Bimah (or pulpit) and stand to the right of the reader.  He/She will point to the place in the sefer Torah, scroll, where he/she is reading.  Touch that spot with the tzitzit (fringes) of the tallit (prayer shawl), and then kiss the tzitzit.  At this point, recite the b’rachah (blessing). If desired, grasp one of the wooden posts of the scroll as the blessing is recited.

 

The First Blessing

Below is the blessing that is recited in Hebrew prior to the reading of the Torah. This blessing will be on the Bimah in both Hebrew and Transliteration. The first line is recited by the person doing the Aliyah, the congregation responds with the second line, the second line is repeated by the person doing the Aliyah who then continues with the rest of the first blessing.

Bar’chu et Adonai hame’vorach.

The congregation responds, 

Baruch Adonai ham’vorach l’olam va-ed.

You then respond:

Baruch Adonai ham’vorach l’olam va-ed.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam   

asher bachar banu mikol ha-amim     

v’natan lanu et Torohto      

Baruch Atah Adonai Notein ha Torah.     

The congregation responds, “Amen.”

The translation of the blessing is: Praise Adonai, the One to be praised.  Praise Adonai, the One to be praised, forever.  Praised are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, who has chosen us from among the peoples and given us the Torah.  Praised are You, Adonai, the Giver of the Torah. 

 

The Torah Reading

Following the conclusion of the first b’rachah, the reader will chant the selection from the Torah.  When the reader is finished, the b’rachah after the Torah reading is recited.

 

The Concluding Blessing

Following the Torah reading, the concluding b’rachah is offered.  Again, the person offering the blessing will touch the place in the sefer Torah (scroll) with the tzitzit (fringes) of his or her tallit (prayer shawl) and may choose to grasp the posts of the Torah scroll while reciting the blessing.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam  

Asher natan lanu Torat emet   

V’chayei olam nata b’to cheinu.    

Baruch Atah Adonai notein ha Torah.     

The congregation responds, “Amen.” 

Translation: Praised are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, who has given us the Torah of truth and implanted within us eternal life.  Praised are You, Adonai, the Giver of Torah. 

NOTE: There are many websites where these blessings are chanted.  Torah and Haftarah portions and blessings may be found at stephanieshore.com or www.bible.ort.org as well as on Trope Trainer.

 

After the Concluding Blessing

Following the concluding b’rachah, the person(s) who was called to the Torah should move to the reader’s left and remain there until the next Aliyah is concluded.  They then return to his or her seat. It is customary to shake hands with those on the Bima

 

Torah Reader    (back to the top)

When accepting the honor of a Torah Reader the person must be committed to learning and reading their Torah portion correctly with no errors.  This honor is extremely important, as reciting the words of the Torah incorrectly can change the meaning of the word. The person reading the Torah portion points (with the Yad) to the first word they are reading so the person performing the Aliyah can kiss the Torah with his/her tallit. Once the blessing before the Torah is complete, the person reads the Torah portion. When the Torah reading is complete, the reader points to the last word he/she read so the person doing the Aliyah can once again kiss the Torah.  When the blessing is complete it is customary to shake hands with those on the Bimah.

 

Hagbah - Lifting the Torah    (back to the top)

The Hagbah is be called to the Bimah by the B'aal Korah/Cantor. (“Ya'mod Hagbah, Ya'mod G'lilah”). The lifting of the Torah takes place after reciting the MiShebeirach prayer for healing, the prayer for the deployed, and the Kaddish over the Torah. The congregation stands for Kaddish and Hagbah.

Please ascend the Bimah and move toward the podium. The Rabbi or one of the Gabba’im (people standing on either side of the podium during the Torah service) will signal to lift the Torah. To complete the lift, grab one wooden spool with each hand, slightly lift and pull the Torah over the edge of the podium, then press down on the spools for leverage. The top of the Torah will rise--as it does, simply lift straight up (so that hands are about eye level – be careful of the overhead light). If able, turn so the text of the Torah is facing the congregation. Then proceed to the seat directly behind the podium. Hold the Torah as it is being dressed. Once complete, the Rabbi/service leader/Gabbai takes the Torah and place it in the Torah Chair. The Hagbah returns to his/her seat once the Torah is in place and the congregation is directed to be seated. It is customary to shake hands with those on the Bimah.

It is customary to wear head covering (optional for women) and tallit when performing this honor. This honor is reserved for Jewish adults.

 

G'lilah - Dressing the Torah    (back to the top)

The G’lilah is called to the Bimah by the B'aal Korah/Cantor (“Ya'mod Hagbah, Ya'mod G'lilah”). The dressing of the Torah takes place after reciting the MiShebeirach prayer for healing, the prayer for the deployed, and the Kaddish over the Torah.

Please ascend the Bimah and move toward the podium. The Torah is lifted and the Gabba'im (people standing on either side of the podium during the Torah service) assist the G’lilah with rolling and binding the Torah. The Torah is dressed with the cover and mantel. The silver yad (pointer) is hung on the right spindle, and the crowns placed on each spindle. After this is complete, it is customary to shake hands with those on the Bimah and descend the Bimah.

It is customary to wear head covering (optional for women) and tallit when performing this honor. This honor is reserved for Jewish adults.

 

Prayer for Peace, Country, and Congregation    (back to the top)

These honors may be given to anyone. These prayers are usually read after the Haftarah reading. During the Torah service please instruct the readers to listen for the Rabbi/service leader to call for the readers for the prayer for peace, country and congregation. This is the cue to ascend the Bimah.

A prayer book should be taken to the Bimah. The honorees are directed by the Rabbi/service leader when to read the prayer. The reader should move to the microphone and read the prayer. The Rabbi/service leader indicates when the readers should return to their seats.

 


 

Revised Jan 2013