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Chapter 78:1
Torah Reading on Shabbos

1. On Shabbos, [it is permissible to add to the seven prescribed "Aliyos" (1)]. One may call a Kohen (priest) or Levi (Levite) for the final Aliyah ("Acharon"), since the requirement for calling up seven men has been fulfilled, and it is the last of the main Aliyos besides Maftir (2).

Similarly, a Kohen or a Levi may be called for Maftir. Even if a Kohen was called as an Acharon (final Aliyah), another Kohen may be called for Maftir, since the saying of Kaddish serves as an interruption between the two.

On Simchas Torah, when three Torah scrolls are taken out (3), it is permissible to call a Kohen as Chasan Torah (the concluding Aliyah in the Book of Deuteronomy), another Kohen as Chasan Bereishis (the opening Aliyah in the Book of Genesis), and a third Kohen as Maftir, since each reads from a different scroll.

This does not apply, however, when Rosh Chodesh Teves (first day of the Hebrew month Teves) occurs on Shabbos, even though three scrolls are taken out at that time as well. A Kohen may not be given the final Aliyah in the first scroll - even if eight people are given Aliyos from this scroll - since the Torah portion is not concluded until the Rosh Chodesh portion (describing the sacrifices brought in the Temple on the first day of each month) is read from the second scroll. He may, however, be given the Rosh Chodesh Aliyah. Similar principles apply should Parashas Shekolim and Parashas HaChodesh [see Chapter 140] occur on Rosh Chodesh (4).


(1) Being called up to say the blessing which precedes each public reading of a section of the Torah scroll, is called an "Aliyah." On Shabbos, the weekly Torah portion is split into 7 sections and a different person is called up to say the blessing before each section is read. It is permissible to split the Torah portion into more than seven sections on Shabbos, and thus go on to call up more than seven people. If there is a Kohen in the Shul, he gets the first Aliyah, followed by a Levite.

(2) After the reader has read the entire weekly portion (usually completing it with the seventh Aliyah), another person is called up and the last few verses of the portion are repeated; this final Aliyah is called Maftir.

(3) The Festival of Simchas Torah marks the completion of the yearly reading cycle of the Torah scroll (one portion per week). Three scrolls are taken out: one for the completion of the final weekly portion of the Torah, the second for the beginning of the new yearly cycle of reading from Genesis, and the third for reading the section of the Torah describing the sacrifices brought in the Temple on the Festival.

(4) During the four weeks leading up to Passover, we read an extra paragraph from the Torah scroll on Shabbos besides the regular weekly portion - each from a different scroll. One of them is the paragraph describing the obligatory donation of money to the Temple each year, called "Parshas Shekalim," and another is a paragraph describing the Mitzvah of sanctifying the new moon, called "Parshas HaChodesh."

Torah Reading on Shabbos
Paragraph 2
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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2001 Project Genesis, Inc.



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