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Why does one receiving an aliyah stand at the bimah until the next aliyah is over?
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How was it determined where every aliyah should start and end?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Shabbat » Reading of the Torah » Torah Reading | Subscribe | What is RSS?


a. Every Torah portion has seven sections (aliyahs).

b. Every one of these sections must end and begin on a positive note.

c. A section cannot end if there are less than three verses between the end of the section and a space-break in the Torah (in either direction).

Every one of the seven sections of Torah reading must end and begin on a positive note
d. Obviously, we don't want to end a section right in middle of an idea.

Based on all these rules, we are pretty limited on where we can end a section. And for (at least) hundreds of years, it has become standard procedure exactly where to stop for each of the aliyahs.

There are a few places in the Torah where there are different customs where to stop.


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Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.