It is good and fitting that the cord or belt that is used to close the Sefer
Torah be connected with a clasp or some other device that avoids making a knot.
From the Shulchan Aruch we see that it was once customary that a member
of the congregation was honored with the task of handing the covering and the cord
to the person who closed and covered the Sefer Torah (i.e., the person who was honored
with glilah.) Therefore, the person standing next to him should hand them
to him. The person who is honored with glilah is the one who palaces ornaments
such as the crown on the Sefer Torah.
Even though a father and son (according to some, even a grandson) may not be
called to the Torah one after the other, many congregations have the custom of calling
them up together to lift the Torah and cover it (hagbahand glilah).
During the time of the Rishonim, the honor of glilah was also
given to distinguished members of the congregation. But now the custom is rather
to avoid giving glilah to distinguished members of the congregation.
According to the Gemorah (Brochos 55a), if a person is given the honor of
being called to the Torah and refuses, he will not live a long time, because it
is written in the Torah, “It (the Torah) is your life.” Since the reference is to
the reading of the Torah, it seems reasonable to assume that this does not apply
to hagbah and to glilah. Nevertheless, if a person is called to do glilah, he should comply for the sake of the dignity of the Torah even if
he feels that glilah is not appropriate for a man of his stature.
The person who is sitting and holding the Sefer Torah should place himself
so that he is not directly in back of those who are standing there.
The members of the congregation who are honored with hagbah and
glilah should accompany the Torah back to the aron hakodesh. An individual
is permitted, but not the congregation, to leave the synagogue before the Torah
has been returned to its place.
The curtain that hangs before the aron hakodesh, the covering of the
Torah and the cloth that is placed beneath the Sefer Torah should be made beautifully
and tastefully in accordance with the dignity of the Torah.