Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 147 – G’lila

  1. It is ossur to touch the sefer Torah’s parchment with your bare hands. If it’s necessary to adjust the evenness of the roll, use a tallis or cloth to grab the parchment. (MB1,2)
  2. If you are working to fix the stitching of the sefer Torah or other work that requires bare-handed contact, it is allowed. Still, it’s best to wash your hands first. (MB1)
  3. The poles of the sefer Torah are not included in this issur. Some poskim are machmir on poles as well. If you want to be machmir (in a place that they are maykil) and wrap the poles with your tallis during hagba, be discreet so people don’t notice. (MB2)
  4. There are 3 levels of sefarim:
      1. A sefer Torah may not be touched even after netillas yodayim.
      2. Other scrolls of Nach (e.g. Megillas Esther) may be touched. It’s better to wash your hands beforehand.
      3. Holy books may be touched, but if you know that your hands touched filth you should be machmir to wash first. (MB3,4)
        1. Who should be honored with hagba (he gets reward opposite all of the aliyos) ? Because of darkay shalom give this to anyone including the average man. If there are two yortzeits in shul (and you can’t give sh’lishi to both) give hagba to one of them. (MB7)
        2. Do not give hagba to a person whose hands tremble nor to an old man who is too weak – they’ll sit down right away and you are meant to show the script to everyone so that they can look at it well. If you are weak, refuse the honor. (MB7)
        3. Who should be honored with g’lila? Even children, as long as they know how to treat holy objects – this is to train them in mitzvos. (MB7)
        4. There is a minhag to sell these honors in order to cherish the mitzvah. If no one wants to buy, the gabbai should honor the gadol. (MB8)
        5. Our minhag is to sell the honors of removing the sefer Torah from the aron and putting the sefer Torah back in. (MB8)
        6. Do not use a torn cloth or cover to wrap the sefer Torah with. (Rama1 – MB11)
        7. The person honored with g’lila does not have sole rights to bring the cloth and covers to the sefer Torah. Therefore someone else is allowed to buy the honor of bringing the cloth and covers to the sefer Torah. (ShA2)
        8. Although the chazzan does not have sole rights to take the sefer Torah out from and put the sefer Torah back in the aron, he does have the right to bring the sefer Torah to the bima. (Rama2 – MB15)
        9. Roll the sefer Torah closed in a manner that the stitching will be between the two poles so that if it rips, it will only tear at the seam. (ShA3)
        10. Our minhag is one person lifts up for hagba and another person rolls the sefer Torah closed for g’lila. The side of the parchment that has the writing on it should face the magbiah. (Rama4)
        11. When the golel wraps the sefer Torah with a cloth (wimple), he can start the cloth at any side he chooses – since two people are involved, there is no worry that the sefer Torah will fall down. (MB17)
        12. You should not begin the berachos of the haftara before the golel puts the cover on the sefer Torah. This will give the golel a chance to listen intently to the berachos and haftara. (ShA7 – MB22,23)
        13. On Mondays and Thursdays, the chazzan does not need to wait for the golel to finish g’lila before he begins the customary tefilla “Yehi ratzon…”. (MB22)
        14. On a day that two sifray Torah are read do not remove the first sefer Torah from the bima until the second one is put on the bima. Place the second sefer Torah upon the bima before Kaddish, and after Kaddish do hagba and g’lila on the first one. Do not uncover the second one before the first one is rolled up with its cover. (ShA8 – MB25,27)
        15. On a day that 3 sifray Torah are read, place the second one on the bima when you finish reading the first but don’t say Kaddish yet. Do hagba and g’lila on the first and when you finish the kria of the second sefer Torah, put the third one next to the second one and say Kaddish. Then do hagba and g’lila on the second sefer Torah and then open up the third one and call up the maftir. (MB27)
        16. We may remove 2 sifray Torah from the aron at once. (This will save tircha d’tzibbura – we will not need to take out another sefer Torah when we need it.) Appoint someone (not a young child) to hold the second sefer Torah near the bima until the time for krias Maftir. (Rama8 – MB29 – ShaH30)
        17. The appointee should hold the second sefer Torah over to the side, so that those reading the first sefer Torah will not have their backs to it. (MB29)