Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sitting during Hakafos


May I sit down while the sifrei torah are being carried around the shul on Simchas Torah?

Normally, one is obligated to stand while a sefer torah is carried within his sight, to show honour. However, some do suggest leniencies during hakafos, particularly in light of their length.

Some authorities permit sitting between hakafos, while the sifrei torah are stationary; others permit sitting after the first circuit of each hakafah; still others permit sitting altogether, contending that a sefer torah carried in a circle is equal to a sefer torah placed on a table. The Chazon Ish was careful to sit only when holding a sefer torah.

It is worth noting that Rav Chaim Brisker would not ask others to take the Torah he had held; out of respect for the Torah, he only gave it away when someone else asked for it.

(Kiddushin 33b; Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 282:1-2; Aruch haShulchan Yoreh Deah 282:5; B'Tzel haChachmah 5:139:2-7; Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 2:319; Yechaveh Daas 6:42; Halichos Shlomo Moadei haShanah Tishrei-Adar 12:9)

Pitka tava,

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