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Honoring The Sefer Torah

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Kissing The Sefer Torah 📜

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Is there a custom to kiss the Sefer Torah?


It is customary to kiss the Torah when it is passing by in the synagogue, it is also praiseworthy for one to bring his children to kiss the sefer Torah as it is passing by.[1] However, when carrying the sefer torah, one should not lower it for children to kiss, or go out of one’s way in order that the congregants can kiss the Torah.[2] Some people have the custom to specifically kiss the sefer Torah with their mouth and not just by touching it with their hand and kissing their hand.[3]

Similarly, one is obligated to stand when the sefer torah is being taken to the bimah, and when it is being put back in the hechal. [4]

If possible, it is a praiseworthy for everyone present to follow behind and escort the sefer Torah from and to the hechal. [5] If following the sefer torah by the congregants will cause a disturbance, then one does not have to escort the sefer torah. [6]


[1]. Rama 149:1; Kaf HaChaim 149:7 brings that the custom of the Arizal was to kiss the sefer Torah as well.

[2]. Tzitz Eliezer 12:40.

[3]. Rama 149:1; Halichot Shlomo, Tefillah, chap. 12, footnote 68; Piskei Teshuvot 149:2.

[4]. Shulchan Aruch, Y.D. 282:2.

[5]. Shulchan Aruch and Rama 149:1; see Aruch HaShulchan 149:3; Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 81. See also in Kaf HaChaim 147:10 who states that one only needs to escort the sefer Torah slightly.

[6]. Piskei Teshuvot, siman 149, footnote 3.

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