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					                         How to have an Aliyah to the Torah
                               Prepared by Rabbi Sarah Niebuhr Rubin
                                    Congregation Ahavas Achim




WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?

An Aliyah is an honor! The word literally means "to go up." It is is used to refer to a particular
reading from the Torah as well as to describe the person and event of being called to bless the
Torah before and after that reading. (It also refers to immigration to Israel.)

In the Torah Service, we recreate the moment at Mt. Sinai when the Israelites received the
tablets and the oral traditions that are at the core of Judaism. Think of this moment: you are
standing at the base of a mountain - a storm rumbles at the top, but all you hear is the silence of
the aleph that is the first letter of the first word of the Ten Commandments - ‫ אנוכי‬Anochi - "I." It
is a moment of awe and reverence.

When you are called for an Aliyah, you are called to honor—
  1. the Torah scroll and its teachings (with blessings before and after it is read,
  2. Torah in the sense of Jewish tradition,
  3. Shabbat, or the Sabbath day, a time of rest and celebration,
  4. the community in which you are praying,
  5. particular celebrants of life cycle events (most often, Bar/Bat Mitzvah or bride and
      groom).

At Ahavas Achim we ask that all Jews who are called to the Torah wear a Tallit. Men must
also wear a kippah, though women may choose not to. Non-Jews are often invited to
accompany Jews to the Torah; they are aske not to wear a Tallit, though men should wear a
kippah and women may choose to.




WHEN DO I COME FORWARD and WHERE DO I STAND?

You will be told in advance what number your Aliyah is. There are generally eight aliyot on
Shabbat morning. When your English name (or grouping) is called, please proceed to the Torah
reading table. You will be asked to stand to the right of the Torah while reciting the blessings
and while the Torah is being read.

On the reverse side of this page you will find the blessings for before and after the Torah
reading. The Gabbai and Rabbi are available to help you with any questions while you stand
there. Remember that you are being given an honor, and that in coming up you honor our
community. Do not worry if you don't get things perfect. We are all learners!
                                        Torah Blessings
                                Prepared by Rabbi Sarah Niebuhr Rubin
                                     Congregation Ahavas Achim

Bless the Torah before the Reading
The reader will point, with the yad, to where s/he will begin reading. At least one member of the
Aliyah group (Jewish and wearing a Tallit) takes the tzitzit (corner fringes of the tallit) and
touches them to the word the reader points out, then kisses the tzitzit. The reader then closes
the scroll; it is customary for the person reciting the blessings to hold onto at least one of the
eitzim (the wooden rollers) of the scroll while reciting the blessings.

(Please note: in the transliteration, the underlined H is a gutteral, like a cat spitting)
You say:                                                                                          :‫העולה‬
BAREHU ET ADONAI HAMEVORAH.
                                                                                :ְ‫בָּרְכוּ אֶת יְיָ הַמְּבוֹרָך‬
Congregation responds:                                                                             :‫הקהל‬
BARUH ADONAI HAMEVORAH LE'OLAM VA'ED.                                 :‫בָּרוּךְ יְיָ הַמְּבוֹרָךְ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד‬
You say:
BARUH ADONAI HAMEVORAH LE'OLAM VA'ED.
                                                                                                 :‫העולה‬
                                                                     :‫בָּרוּךְ יְיָ הַמְּבוֹרָךְ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד‬
BARUH ATA ADONAI ELOHEYNU MELEH                                ,‫בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם‬
HA'OLAM
ASHER BAHAR BANU MIKOL HA'AMIM
                                                                        ‫אֶשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ מִכָּל הָעַמִים‬
VENATAN LANU ET TORATO.                                                         :‫וְנָתַן לָנוּ אֶת תּוֹרָתוֹ‬
BARUH ATA ADONAI NOTEYN HATORAH                                        :‫בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, נוֹתֵן הַתּוֹרָה‬
(Bless Adonai who is blessed! Blessed is Adonai who is blessed, now and for ever! Blessed is Adonai
our God, sovereign of the universe, who has chosen us from all peoples by giving us the Torah. Blessed
is Adonai, Giver of the Torah.)


The Reader Reads
While the reader reads, you may be asked to hold one of the eitzim, to keep the scroll open.
You are invited to share in the honor of seeing into the scroll while the reader reads.


Blessing the Torah after the Reading
When the reader has finished reading, take the tzitzit in your hand, touch them to the end of the
reading (the reader will guide you with the yad), and kiss them. Then recite this blessing:

BARUH ATA ADONAI ELOHEYNU MELEH HA'OLAM                        ,‫בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם‬
ASHER NATAN LANU TORAT EMET                                               ,‫אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לָנוּ תּוֹרַת אֱמֶת‬
VEHAYEY OLAM NATA BETOHEYNU.
BARUH ATA ADONAI NOTEYN HATORAH
                                                                             :‫וְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם נָטַע בְּתוֹכֵנוּ‬
                                                                       :‫בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, נוֹתֵן הַתּוֹרָה‬
(Blessed is Adonai our God, sovereign of the universe, who has given us a Torah of truth, implanting
within us eternal life. Blessed is the Lord, Giver of the Torah.)

				
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