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Chapter 78:2
Torah Reading on Shabbos

2. When an [additional] Kohen or Levi is called to the Torah (by mistake) as one of the first seven Aliyos (1) (that is, after a Kohen and Levi have already been called up for the first two of the seven respectively) (2), another individual should take the Aliyah in his place. He should remain by the platform and receive Maftir or the final Aliyah, after the prescribed seven Aliyos have been allotted (3).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Being called up to say the blessing which precedes each public reading of a section of the Torah scroll, is called an "Aliyah" (originally, the person called up would not only say the blessing but actually read the section from the Torah scroll). 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 (because there is a Mitzvah to give honor to a Kohen), followed by a Levi, and then five people who are neither Kohen or Levi.

(2) This requires a little background information which was actually supposed to go into yesterday's footnotes. There is a rule that we are not supposed to give Aliyos to two Kohanim consecutively because we are concerned that observers will think that the reason we had to call the second Kohen is because the first Kohen was found to be disqualified from the Kehuna ("Priesthood"). The Shulchan Aruch 135:10 writes that the custom is that once we've called up a Kohen, Levi, and Yisroel (a Jew who is neither Kohen or Levi) for the first 3 of the 7 Aliyos, we may call up other Kohanim (Priests) as long as a Yisroel is called in between. The reason for this is that observers would conclude that if the first Kohen was disqualified, people would have complained before the next Aliyah; once the Yisroel has been called up after the first of the additional Kohanim, the calling up of the second additional Kohen after the Yisroel would not lead to doubts about the first Kohen's status. Furthermore, the fact that a Kohen is being called up for an Aliyah which is usually given to a Yisroel, will not lead people to question his validity, because the one who calls him up declares explicitly that the person is a Kohen. The same rules apply to giving Aliyos to Leviim (Levites).

The Rema, however, brings another opinion which rules that one may only call up additional Kohanim or Leviim after the required 7 Aliyos. The Mishna Berura 135:36 adds that according to most Acharonim (later Halachic Authorities), even when we are adding more Aliyos to the required seven, we should only call up a Kohen or Levi for the final Aliyah of the reading or for Maftir (as we saw in yesterday's Halacha).

(3) If it is not possible for the Kohen or Levi to receive the final Aliyah or Maftir, we can rely on the opinion brought by the Shulchan Aruch that an additional Kohen or Levi can be called even as part of the first seven Aliyos. If this happens, the Mishna Berura 135:37 writes that we should precede as if we were beginning the order of Aliyos again, that is, after the additional Kohen, we should call up a Levi, and then a Yisroel.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2001 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

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