(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 21:43:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Standing While Reading The Torah

<  <  I wonder if one must stand during the Torah reading in public by the Baal
Koray (Reader). I have seen many people stand up in my Ashkenazic
community, but I wonder if it is sufficient. The problem is that one day
you can't stand anymore that long (when I would be very old Bezrat Hashem).
Or is it just standing with the blessings? Is it Sephardic to stand? Can
anyone help me out?>  >

I heard an explanation of this from the Rav, Rabbi Joseph Baer
Soloveitchick. The Rav said that it depended on how you view the Torah reading.

If the Torah is read so that we may learn then it is permissible to sit
since Torah may be learned sitting. But if the Torah is read as a
reenactment of Mount Sinai then we should stand since we stood at Mount Sinai.

The Ravs own custom was to stand--the Rav also explained that this is why
the Torah is read on an elevated platform--the platform resembles the
mountain. Needless to say if you CANNOT stand then it is permissible to sit
and the Torah reading becomes a fulfillment of learning.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; RHendel@Towson.Edu
Moderator Rashi is Simple, http://www.shamash.org/rashi/