Who May Receive an Aliyah

Updated: Jan 5

The Daily Halacha Moment - Who May Receive an Aliyah 📜


״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:

Who may receive an Aliyah to the Sefer Torah?


Answer:

Preferably, one should not give an Aliyah to a person who does not know how to read.[1]

Similarly, one should not give an Aliyah to someone who is blind.[2]If such a person needs to receive an Aliyah, then one should add another Aliyah to the keriat hatorah and call up a person who can see and knows how to read.[3]


A person may be called to the Torah for an Aliyah even if he commits sins. If he is a public Shabbat violator, then he should not be called for one of the seven basic Aliyot, but an extra Aliyah may be added for him to receive an Aliyah. One may even answer to his berachot that he recites on the Aliyah. [4]


A minor who is above the age of six can receive an Aliyah to the Torah, and can even be counted as one of the seven Aliyot or for maftir. [5] Therefore, if there is no other Kohen, other than a Kohen who is a minor, then the minor should be called to the Torah. However, if there is a Torah scholar present then the Aliyah of Kohen should be given to the Torah scholar instead of a Kohen who is a minor.[6]


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 260; Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 164 and in Otzrot Yosef, §3.

[2]. Yabia Omer, vol. 9, O.C. 83:7; Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 167.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 260. The Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 164 adds that if possible, the baal koreh should re-read the words from the Aliyah as well. However, one should only do so if one will not cause fights or insult the person who had the Aliyah.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 239; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 121. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, book 1, vol. 4, p. 328 suggests that if one is afraid that the person will be embarrassed if he is not given a regular Aliyah, then the Baal Koreh may recite the berachah of the Aliyah quietly along with the person who is mechallel Shabbat instead of adding another Aliyah. In any case, even if one did not add any Aliyot, and one of the main seven Aliyot was given to a person who does not keep Shabbat, one has fulfilled the obligation of reading the Torah in the synagogue, and one does not have to read it or hear it again somewhere else. Refer also to Halachah Berurah, vol. 7, p. 135.

[5]. Yechaveh Daat 4:23. However, if the community has a particular custom to not give a minor an Aliyah, then they should continue to abide by the custom of the community. See also in Chazon Ovadia, Purim, p. 27 who states that a minor should not receive the Aliyah for Parashat Zachor or Parashat Parah.

[6]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 249.


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