Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who enters first?


When two people approach a doorway together, does halachah care who enters first?

There are several halachic reasons to have someone else enter a doorway first, including honour of the Torah, honour of kohanim, and chesed for those in need. The following is a partial list of priorities, with the highest priority listed first:
  • A person in need of assistance;
  • A Torah scholar;
  • One who is actively engaged in performing a mitzvah, such as collecting tzedakah for the needy;
  • A kohen who is not a Torah scholar;
  • One who is holding a Sefer Torah, tefillin, or a text containing Torah.

The Torah scholar, individual involved in a mitzvah and kohen may forgive their honour, requesting that another person proceed first.

(Gittin 59b; Kiddushin 32a, 33a; Maharil Likutim 80; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 167:14; Taz Yoreh Deah 361:2; R' Akiva Eiger to Yoreh Deah 265:1; Chashukei Chemed to Succah 5b; Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 1:538; Meir Oz 25:2:7)

Have a great day,


  1. What about a king, chattan etc.? I realize you said this was a partial list but I'm curious about special cases. Such as a non-Jew who is either performing a mitzvah or carrying a mitzvah item. Same question regarding a minor.

  2. Very good questions, but beyond the scope of the time I can put into these posts, unfortunately...