Sefer Torah (VI)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The members of the congregation who are honored with hagbah and
    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.
  8. 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.

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