Petichah - Opening The Aron Kodesh On Shabbat

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Petichah - Opening The Aron Kodesh On Shabbat📜


״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)


Question:

What are some customs regarding opening the Aron Kodesh On Shabbat?


Answer:

It is customary in many communities to sell the aliyot and other merits such as petichah and hagbah for the benefit of the synagogue or in order to support a mitzvah. [See footnote 1 for which Aliya is the most important]


When opening the hechal, some have the custom to open the parochet from left to right, and some begin from right to left. [2]


It is customary to recite the paragraph of Berich Shemei on Shabbat, before taking out the Torah. [3]

Similarly, many communities have the custom to open the sefer Torah, while they are reciting Berich Shemei. [4]


It is a segulah for an easy birth if in the ninth month, a husband opens the hechal and takes out the Torah. When doing the petichah, the husband should add at the end of the Berich Shemei prayer that in this merit his wife should have an easy birth. According to most opinions the segulah is accomplished by only doing it once in the ninth month. [5]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 306:6; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 218; Ibid., vol. 6, p. 27; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 168; Yechaveh Daat 2:41. See also in Torat HaMoadim, Yamim Nora’im, p. 51 and Yalkut Yosef, Yamim Nora’im, p. 221 & pages 278–280.

Regarding which Aliyah is considered a greater merit: The Arizal, Shaar Hakavanot 49a, Ben Ish Chai, Toldot, 2:17, Kaf HaChaim 135:19 state that the order, from most important to least, is as follows: On Shabbat - Shishi, Shelishi, Kohen, Levi, Revii, Chamishi, Shevii. On Yom Kippur – Shishi is the most important.

On Yom Tov – Chamishi is the most important. See also in Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 133.

[2]. See Piskei Teshuvot, siman 139, footnote 53 who brings several customs.

[3]. The source of this teffilah is brought in the Zohar, Parashat Vayakhel. See also in Ben Ish Chai, Toldot,

2:15 and Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 109.

[4]. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, book 1, vol. 4, p. 293.

[5]. Chidah in Moreh Ba'Etzbah 3:90; LeDavid Emet 2:3; Chessed LaAlafim 134:16; Kaf HaChaim 134:12; Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 80. Rabbi Chaim Palagi in sefer Chaim 1:5 states that the husband should also be particular to close the hechal as well, and not let someone else close it for him.


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