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The Torah ends with the letter "lamed" - "for all the great might and awesome power that Moshe displayed before all Yisrael" - and begins with the letter "bet" - "Beresheet [in the beginning] Hashem created heaven and earth." These two letters form the word, "lev," or heart. Indeed, the heart is the very essence of the Torah - "Hashem wants one's heart" (Sanhedrin 106b); "For Hashem seeks all hearts" (Divrei Hayamim 1, 28). The heart is the main thing, and it is opened through the study of Torah: "He shall open our hearts - with His Torah."
But we have here yet another allusion, as well, which provides us with a critical lesson. This heart is formed by the final and first letters of the Torah. One who studied the Torah, who knows Torah, must open his heart to the one who is just a beginner; he must descend "from the mountain to the nation" to transmit and convey Torah wisdom.
Let us follow the example set by our father and shepherd, Rav Ovadia Yossef shlit"a, who in the last few months traveled tirelessly from one gathering to another, who devotes his precious time to teach halachah in his shiurim that are heard in hundreds of stations and circulated in this pamphlet, as well, to tens of thousands of readers. Let us follow his path and establish Torah classes, teach, spread the light, and glorify Torah.
Let us open our hearts to our brethren, and "words that leave the heart enter the heart," bringing the heart of the entire nation back to our Father in heaven, who will have compassion on us and bring us our final redemption.
Rabbenu Mordechai Hakohen zs"l, one of the great leaders of Aram Soba in the glorious period of the Bet Yossef, the Ar"i Hakadosh and the Alshich Hakadosh zy"a, asks the following question in his work, "Siftei Kohen." Havah was lured to sin by the snake, who persuaded her to violate Hashem's explicit command. She thought that the fruit possessed spiritual powers and the key to deep understanding - "you will be like G-d." She was quickly shown that the snake had misled her. She did not experience spiritual elevation; she was rather crushed. She suffered a terrible decline, a nose-dive to the lowest depths. Her fall was observed by Adam, who was fashioned by the hand of Hashem, whose spiritual heights extended "from the land to the heavens" and who was attached to the skies. Why did he eat after her? Why did he violate Hashem's command? Why did he knowingly cast himself down, bringing disaster upon all humanity for all generations? The deaths of millions upon millions of his descendants are attributed to him. In fact, the Midrash says that every individual whose soul ascends to the heavens blames Adam for his passing!
The Torah commands us to judge everyone favorably. Certainly, then, we must assess Adam Ha'rishon in this manner. Sure enough, this is how the Siftei Kohen explains:
The Zohar Hakadosh (vol. 1, 221:2) says that when Adam - the king of all creatures, the crown jewel of the universe - was created, all other creatures saw him and were afraid. They followed him as a servant follows his master. He then said to them, "We and you - let us bow and kneel, let us bless Hashem our maker." The Midrash (Beresheet Rabbah 8:10) says that when the Al-mighty created Adam, the angels mistakenly ascribed to him divine power and wished to sing "shirah" (song of praise) before him! However, Adam, who recognized his Creator and his destiny - to direct all of creation to its Creator and increase Hashem's glory, was not misled by this response of the animals and angels. He was a wise man who knew his place, his limitations and his destiny.
At the same time, however, he was a wise man "who could foresee events." He realized that he will ultimately have children and grandchildren, many generations after him, and if the entire world is a "Gan Eden," they will receive an abundance of goodness. If they live eternally without ever having to fear death, they will grow arrogant and declare themselves divine.
In fact, this follows logically. Even when the human being was exposed to the threat of death, Pharaoh, who also experienced illness and plagues, proudly announced, "The river is mine, and I have made it!" (Yehezkel 29:13) - such an illogical and hopeless claim! Certainly, then, were man to have been immortal, protected from all disease, strong as oak trees, how much more likely would it have been for him to reach this absurd conclusion! When Adam foresaw this scenario, he was petrified. He therefore decided, for the honor of heaven, to consent to Havah's offer of the fruit, to partake of it and bring upon all of humanity pain and suffering and death, to cause their banishment from Gan Eden, to require their painstaking labor to acquire food, and to have them exposed to illness and fear death. Maybe this will soften their hearts, maybe then they will not be foolish enough to believe that they are all-powerful and G-dlike, that they determine their fate.
He imperiled himself by triggering Hashem's wrath, submitting himself to divine judgment, in order to prevent from his children arrogance, and to cause them to bow their heads in submission to Hashem's authority.
Did he succeed? Clearly, if not for the sin they would have likely become thousands of times more arrogant. But now, how can man become haughty, when he is but flesh and blood, and his brain consists of nothing but a bag of proteins and countless nerve endings? Would anyone be willing to purchase - even for half-price - a car whose engine is made from foamy proteins?
Sure, this is what logic dictates, but who lends an ear or sensitizes his heart? Human haughtiness continues to inflate, despite its shallowness and vanity. Then, Hashem thrusts a needle into the balloon. Pharaoh the arrogant is beaten with one plague after another until his destruction at sea; Hiram was overthrown by Nevuchadnessar, who himself turned to a beast of prey. And we have seen with our own eyes to where the arrogance of the Six Day War led us. We have also seen what ultimately happened to the Twin Towers.
We must return to our natural size and declare, "Let us bow and kneel, let us bless Hashem our maker"!
"G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it"
The Midrash says that the pasuk, "It is Hashem's blessing that enriches, and no toil will increase with it" (Mishlei 10:22) refers to Shabbat, as it says, "G-d blessed the seventh day." The Hafess Haim zs"l explained that no blessing in the world is complete, as Hazal said, "One who increases his possessions increases his worries," and Kohellet (2:23) likewise says, "All his days his thoughts are grief and heartache, and even at night his mind has no respite." However, the blessing that comes as a result of Shabbat observance is a double berachah: "It is Hashem's blessing that enriches, and no toil will increase with it" - a complete berachah with no anguish and heartache!
"G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it"
The Midrash further cites Rabbi Elazar as commenting that Hashem "blessed Shabbat with the candle." Rabbi Elazar told how this blessing was applied to him, when he once lit candles on Erev Shabbat and they continued burning throughout the entire Shabbat. On Mossa'ei Shabbat, he found the candle burning without any oil missing from its original supply!
Hazal also said, "He [Hashem] blessed it with the light of man's face, and He sanctified it with the light of man's face: a person face all week long does not resemble his face on Shabbat." The Semag (misvah 67) cites a slightly different version of this Midrash: "the faces of Shabbat observers shine on Shabbat"!
Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian zs"l testified about his rabbi, the "Saba" of Kelm zs"l, that he suffered from heart disease and his face thus took on a bleak, white countenance; but from the time Shabbat came in until it left, his face was red and radiated brilliantly - fortunate is the eye that saw this!
"G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it"
What exactly is this sanctity? Rabbenu Yis'hak Aramah zs"l (in Akedat Yis'hak, sha'ar 5) brings the text from our Friday night tefilah, "You sanctified the seventh day for Your Name, the purpose of the creation of heaven and earth." The question, of course, arises, is it really so that the sole intention behind creation was for Shabbat? The answer emerges from an analogy to a wealthy man who entrusted the key to his safe with his wife. Even a golden key is itself worth only several hundred dollars. And should it be embroidered with diamonds - several thousand dollars. Effectively, however, it is worth millions, as it grants access to all the treasures in the safe. Similarly, Shabbat resembles the world to come (Berachot 57b), which teaches us that whoever observes Shabbat properly earns the "day that is entirely Shabbat," the key to Gan Eden. And Gan Eden is, certainly, "the purpose of the creation of heaven and earth."
This explains the Gemara's comment (in Shabbat 10b) that the Al-mighty said to Moshe, "I have a great gift in My treasury, and it is called Shabbat, and I want to give it to Yisrael - go inform them." Moshe was to inform them that as wondrous as it is, it is the key to the treasury - and we must realize that!
"G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it"
The Sefer Hassidim (1147) writes in the name of Rabbenu Meshulam zs"l that although this pasuk does not tell us how Hashem blessed Shabbat, from the curses with which Iyov condemned the day of his birth, we know to conduct ourselves on Shabbat in the opposite manner. Iyov said, "May that day be taken by darkness. it should long for light - but it never comes." We, therefore, light candles on Shabbat and increase the light in our homes. Iyov said, "No joy shall come upon it," and we rejoice on Shabbat with songs of praise!
Rabbi Shimon Lavi zs"l
Rabbi Shimon Lavi zs"l, author of the hymn, "Bar Yohai," is among the glorious personalities of Moroccan Jewry, and towards the end of his life he decided to emigrate to Eress Yisrael and elevate himself to the greatest heights of Torah and fear of heaven. He joined a caravan that made its way through the desert, but he stipulated one condition: that the group stops and rests on Shabbat. On the first Friday, however, the caravan leader informed the rabbi that it was too dangerous to stay in the desert throughout Shabbat, and they would therefore continue their journey. The sadik replied, "You do as you wish, but I am stopping!"
They tried convincing him to join them, insisting that it was too dangerous to stay in the wilderness. The area was overrun by beasts of prey and bands of criminals. Nevertheless, he remained steadfast in his decision to remain. The group continued along the way while he stayed behind. They eventually disappeared from his view in a cloud of dust, and Rabbi Shimon prepared for tefilah. Suddenly, he was gripped with fear: A giant lion approached him. However, when it drew near, it crouched underneath him. The rabbi took his mind off the animal and concentrated on his tefilah. When he finished his prayer, he saw the lion lying their in the dark, with its yellow eyes gazing at the sadik. He recited kiddush and ate with the lion next to him; he sung zemirot, and the lion sat peacefully to his side listening. He rested, and the lion stood guard over him. In the morning, he prayed and ate, learned and sang, and all throughout the lion crouched without moving, staring at him without blinking. When night fell, he recited Arbit followed by havdalah, after which the lion rose and stood with honor and pride. It shook its mane, spread its paws outward, and leaned before the sadik. The sadik then climbed onto the animal's back and took hold of its mane. The lion broke out in a gallop and crossed the desert in the dark. By morning, it stamped along the streets of Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Those who arose early, who went to pray shaharit "vatikin," saw the rabbi descending from the lion's back. The lion then turned around and returned to the desert. They realized that the rabbi was a sacred man of G-d, and they begged him to remain with them and guide them along the paths of Torah and halachah. He agreed and changed his plans - because teaching Torah to others is preferable to personal growth!
A Treasury of Halachot and Customs of Yisrael, Based on the Rulings of Rav Ovadia Yossef shlit"a
by Rav David Yossef shlit"a
The Wine Used for Kiddush, and Kiddush Over Bread
Wine Mixed With Water
One must ensure not to recite kiddush over wine that was mixed with water to the point where it consists mostly of water, even if the mixture still tastes like wine. Even if the majority of the mixture is wine, if the addition of water has altered the taste such that it no longer has such a strong wine taste, one should not use it for kiddush. The Ashkenazim, however, are lenient and allow the recitation of kiddush over wine consisting mostly of water. Sefaradim and Eastern communities should not rely upon this leniency. (They should also recite a "shehakol" when drinking this wine, since there is a dispute as to whether one recites "borei peri hagefen" in such a case.)
Therefore, nowadays, when water, concentrate and food coloring are often mixed with wine, one must confirm that the majority of the wine used for kiddush is, in fact, wine. (One should not rely on the certification of kashrut without clarifying that the certification was issued for the custom of the Sefaradim, who do not rely on the aforementioned leniency.)
A Sefaradi who hears kiddush from an Ashkenazi reciting kiddush over wine consisting of mostly water has fulfilled his obligation, and need not recite kiddush over other wine.
One may recite kiddush over wine that was not diluted with water, even if it is very strong, but he should preferably pour a little water into it.
One may recite kiddush over new wine, even if it was produced only on Erev Shabbat. It is therefore permissible to squeeze grapes on Friday and recite kiddush over the juice that night. Nevertheless, it is a special misvah to recite kiddush over wine that was produced at least forty days earlier.
Boiled or Pasteurized Wine
One may use for kiddush wine that had been boiled, and one recites over such wine the berachah "borei peri hagefen." Therefore, wines nowadays that go through the process of pasteurization or are boiled, may be used for kiddush even "lechatehilah." [If one invites into his home a Jew who publicly violates Shabbat, he should preferably use boiled wine in order to avoid the possibility of the wine becoming forbidden through the guest's contact with the cup. One may rely on modern pasteurization as rendering the wine boiled for purposes of this halachah. This leniency applies only to a Jewish Shabbat violator, regarding which we may add the consideration that he is like a "tinok she'nishbah" (literally, "an infant taken captive" and raised as a non-Jew), who was never trained to observe Torah and misvot. Regarding non-Jews, however, one may not allow a gentile to touch his wine even after pasteurization. If, however, a gentile did come in contact with pasteurized wine and poured it into one's cup, the wine does not become forbidden, particularly if he is a Moslem, who is not considered an idol-worshipper.]
One may use grape juice for kiddush, even "lechatehilah," and even if it is pasteurized. In fact, if one feels that wine would interfere with his ability to learn Torah, it is preferable to recite kiddush on grape juice.
Reb Nahumke (18)
Flashback: Reb Nahumke, who had been through so many wanderings and trials, finally found his place in the tent of Torah. He established his home and became a magnet for Torah students in his town. The great maggid, Rabbi Kalman Lapidot, arrived in his town and heard from the community leaders about the righteous young man who had inspired the community with his piety, brilliance and diligent study. Rabbi Kalman was astonished to meet his former student - the one everybody had spoken about! The two spoke with one another, and Reb Nahumke expressed his sorrow over his inability to contact his elderly mother, Miriam of Beisgelah. Knowing that the maggid travels through many different cities and towns, Nehumke asked if he could possibly track her down; the maggid replied that he would try.
Months passed. The maggid from Pinsk completed his series of lectures in Neishviss, inspiring the hearts of his audiences, correcting the problems that demanded attention, and continued along his way. He traveled from city to city, and everywhere he went he inquired about the old widow from Beisgelah named Miriam. Wherever he asked, nobody had heard of her. His journeys brought him to the city of Karkobina, which lies adjacent to Beisgelah. Due to his limited budget, he checked into an inexpensive, family-run motel; he never sought luxuries or fancy accommodations. He needed only a pillow on which to lay his head and a table at which to study in between his lectures.
Here, however, he could not learn. This inn offered him no privacy and two elderly women spoke loudly nearby. One mourned bitterly, "If only I knew, at very least, that he was alive! If only I knew that he is all right, I could close my eyes peacefully and depart this world in joy!"
Then the second woman tried comforting her: "Do not protest the divine judgment. Are you any greater than Yaakov Avinu, who lost his son and thought that he was torn apart by a wild beast? In the end, his mourning was for naught; his son was a king, ruler over the world! Who knows? My heart tells me that your tears, too, are for naught, and that your Nahumke is alive and well."
The maggid's heart skipped a beat. Nahumke? Did he hear correctly?
"Yes, yes," repeated the old woman, "pray to Hashem, Miriam, and do not lose hope!"
Miriam! Nahumke's mother!
How can he inform a mother that her son is alive and well, respected and revered, aglow in the tent of Torah?! The maggid knew that there is nothing without an allusion in the Torah. On the one hand, Sarah Imenu's soul departed when she was informed with suddenness. On the other hand, Serah, the daughter of Asher, earned eternal life for knowing how to properly inform her grandfather, Yaakov, that Yossef was still alive.
The maggid adopted Serah's approach. He bent his head towards the Gemara in front of him and began humming, "Nahumke, Nahumke, Nahumke is alive, he is alive and happy. "
"About whom is he singing?" the women wondered. The maggid simply continued, "Nahumke, Nahumke. "
"Forgive me, please," they politely asked, "but about whom are you singing?"
The maggid lifted his eyes from his book and said, "I sing about a remarkable young man named Nahumke from Beisgelah." One of the old women fainted.
To be continued
The Incubator of the "Talgal"
As it turns out, the human being is not the only one who came up with the idea of the incubator. There are birds that instead of personally sitting on their eggs, they manufacture an incubator in which they place the eggs. One species of chicken, called the "talgal' in Hebrew, collects in the autumn various rotted materials such as fallen leaves, twigs, grass, hyssops and the like. The male bird labors devotedly day after day, using the powerful legs the Al-mighty provided to shovel the debris until it produces a heap three feet high and around nine feet in circumference. The finished product is filled with moisture - the chicken never works on clear, dry days, waiting instead for rainy days. The twigs and wet leaves continue to rot, generating a level of heat inside the pile that reaches (95 degrees Fahrenheit). The female "talgal" then digs on top of the pile a hole around a foot and a half deep and lays her egg inside, such that its narrow end faces upwards. The hen covers the egg with trash. Every three days the female "talgal" lays an egg in the pile, over the course of a period that lasts for about a month and a half. Around fifteen eggs are laid within this period. The size of these eggs exceeds that of ducks' eggs. The white shell is exceptionally fragile, and were the chicken not to exercise extreme care to firmly place the egg in a tight spot, the weight of the pile would crack the shell. Forty days later the chicks begin hatching one by one, at three day intervals. By the time the last chick comes out into the world, the oldest sibling is already over a month old.
Why must the "talgal" prepare its own incubator? Why can't it sit on the eggs like all other birds? After all, birds lay eggs and sit on them and warm them with their bodies for a certain period of time, depending on the species of bird. Throughout the incubation period, the chicks develop and eventually hatch. Why did the Creator create one peculiar bird that builds its own incubator? Everything Hashem created was for man. Here, too, in case the wondrous phenomenon of the standard incubation methods of birds does not bring man to recognize his Creator, then this aberration comes to teach us this lesson. A chicken builds an incubator, an invention that mankind may have thought resulted purely from his own genius. This opens our eyes to show us that all of nature proclaims that there is, indeed, a Creator.
We currently find ourselves in an "in-between" stage. On Shemini Asseret we prayed for rain and began mentioning in our Amidah Hashem's power of rainfall: "Mashiv haru'ah umorid hageshem." In another week-and-a-half (in Eress Yisrael) we will begin asking for sufficient rainfall in our Amidah. (Outside of Eress Yisrael, we begin adding this request later, in the beginning of December.) We sincerely hope and pray for an abundance of much-needed rainfall in Eress Yisrael this year, that the Kinneret (the lake which provides much of Israel's water) will return to its full capacity, that the reservoirs will once again become filled, that the plague of drought will come to an end, and that we will no longer experience the curse of, "He will withhold the heavens, and there will be no rain." It all depends on us, on our merits and our prayers. We read in our parashah, "No shrub of the field was yet on earth and no grasses of the field had yet sprouted, because Hashem Elokim had not sent rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the earth." Rashi explains: "For what reason had He not sent rain? Because there was no man to till the earth, there was no one to recognize the goodness of rains. When man came and realized that they are needed for the world, he prayed for them and they descended; then the trees and grasses grew."
The question, though, arises, could not the plants manage to survive even without rain? The next pasuk states, "But a mist would well up from the ground and water the whole surface of the earth." This watering was actually far more effective than that provided by rainfall. The Gemara (Baba Messi'a 85a) tells that Rabbenu Hakadosh (Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi) suffered from a terrible illness for thirteen years, to the point where the sailors at sea heard his wailing in Sipori, a town in the Galilee! His suffering protected his generation, and throughout that period the world needed no rain. Rabbah Bar Rav Sheila said that a day of rainfall is "severe like the day of judgment," and if the world had not needed rain the Sages would have asked the Al-mighty not bring any more rain on the earth! Therefore, during the period of Rebbi's suffering, when a vegetable was uprooted in the garden the spot would immediately be filled with water from the underground water supply!
We thus see that the mists coming from the underground water supply is preferable. Why, then, did Adam Harishon pray for rain, recognizing their greatness? Wherein lies this greatness?
The answer that this very point constitutes the immense value of rain. Rather than calmly relying on the mists coming from underground, we must raise our eyes towards the heavens, we must render ourselves deserving of G-d-given water, and we must pray. We then rejoice when our prayers are answered, when Hashem grants our heartfelt request.
Indeed, this is the greatness of Eress Yisrael, its uniqueness and singular quality: "For the land that you are about to enter and possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come. There the grain you sowed is watered by your own feet [through ditches from the Nile River] like a vegetable garden. But the land you are about to cross into and possess is a land of hills and valleys [and thus cannot be irrigated] - it soaks up its water from the rains of heaven" (Devarim 11:10-11). The Nessiv zs"l explains that besides the agricultural needs, even the drinking water in Eress Yisrael requires rains through divine blessing, necessitating prayer. "It is a land which Hashem your G-d looks after, on which Hashem your G-d always keeps His eye, from the year's beginning to the year's end." Other countries have either a warm or cold climate, their soil is rich or hard, they possess this characteristic or another, but their qualities are predetermined. Eress Yisrael is different in that nothing is determined from the outset - not the climate, not the produce, nothing. Everything is determined based on Hashem's constant providence, which requires our merits and prayers.
This is what Adam Harishon wanted; this is what he asked for - the "greatness" of rain!
May it be Hashem's will that we are worthy and merit an abundance of rain, and that this year will be a year of blessing and plenty. Together with the granting of our request for rain, we will also earn our request in the blessing recited immediately thereafter in Amidah- "Blow the great shofar for our freedom," speedily and in our days, Amen!
A Summary of the Shiur Delivered by Rav Ovadia Yossef shlit"a
The Halachot of Hoshana Rabba and Simhat Torah
(The shiur was delivered on Mossa'ei Yom Tov Rishon of Sukkot 5760)
Hoshana Rabba, the fifty-first day from Rosh Hodesh Elul, marks the final seal of our judgment when the "papers" are handed to the angels who will execute that which is decreed. The ne'ilah prayer on Yom Kippur marks the first seal, and Hoshana Rabbah is the final seal. The custom thus evolved to remain awake throughout the night of Hoshana Rabbah and recite special prayers for Hashem's mercy. One should not engage in idle talk during this sacred night, and sitting idly is like sleeping, not to mention that if one stays awake speaking lashon hara and gossip he has lost whatever he gained by staying awake. Preferably, a Torah scholar should lecture to the masses explaining for them the Midrash Vezot Haberachah published in the mahzorim based on the writings of Hazal.
The widespread practice is that one who remains awake throughout the night nevertheless recites birkot ha'Torah at daybreak. One staying awake recites all morning berachot - including birkot ha'Torah - at daybreak, omitting only the berachah, "al netilat yadayim." One nevertheless must wash his hands before reciting these berachot. One should not recite birkot ha'Torah before daybreak.
After hallel on Hoshana Rabba morning, we encircle the bimah - on which the Torah is placed - seven times and we recite many special prayers. This commemorates the encircling of the mizbe'ah in the Bet Hamikdash, when they would walk around the mizbe'ah seven times with the aravot.
We observe the custom instituted by the prophets of hitting the aravah; no berachah is recited over this practice, as it is but a custom. In the introductory "le'shem yihud" paragraph printed in many mahzorim, one should replace the erroneous phrase, "yesod nevi'im" with the correct one - "minhag nevi'im." The Gemara in Masechet Sukkah explains that in the times of the Mikdash the aravah was taken every day, but only in the Mikdash. On the seventh day, they would walk around the mizbe'ah seven times with the aravah, which we commemorate on Hoshana Rabba.
According to Kabbalah, one should take five aravot and hit them five times on the ground, not on a chair or any other piece of furniture or the like. Neither should one hit them on a stone floor. One should hit them softly, since the branches must have their leaves throughout the entire performance. With each hitting one should have in mind one letter of the series of letters, "mem," "nun," "sadi," "peh" and "sadi" (which alludes to Hashem's attribute of "gevurah," power). The first hitting corresponds to the "mem," the second to the "nun," and so on. The Geonim cite early sources as explaining that the aravah symbolizes the mouth, and we hit it on the floor to express our hope that all words of prosecution spoken against us shall be cast to the ground.
On Hoshana Rabba one should read Parashat Vezot Haberachah "shenayim mikra ve'ehad targum" (twice reading, then once with translation) in order to complete the annual cycle. If one did not do so on Hoshana Rabba, he may do so on Yom Tov before the parashah's reading in the Bet Kenesset. The requirement of reading all the parshiyot appears in the Gemara (Berachot 8b) and is codified by the Rambam and Shulhan Aruch (Orah Hayyim 285:1).
On Simhat Torah we celebrate the completion of the Torah, and there is a custom for the one who receives the final aliyah of the Torah to make a party to celebrate the occasion. The highest level is the one receiving the final aliyah of the Torah, then is the one receiving the first aliyah for Beresheet, and then the one receiving the aliyah of the reading of "me'onah."
"Kaddish" is recited three times during the Torah reading on Simhat Torah: after the first Sefer Torah (after the reading of the "hatan Torah"); again after the reading of the second sefer (by the "hatan Beresheet"); and finally after the maftir reading. It is preferable, however, not to recite kaddish after the first Sefer Torah in order to avoid interrupting between the completion and beginning of the Torah. Rather, after the reading of the "hatan Beresheet" both the "hatan Torah" and the "hatan Beresheet" should together recite half-kaddish. Similarly, those accustomed to reciting "hadran alach" after the completion of the Torah should do so only after the reading of the "hatan Beresheet." Then the maftir recites his reading from the third Sefer Torah, followed by half-kaddish. The haftarah then follows. Two kohanim or two levi'im may serve as "hatan Torah" and "hatan Beresheet." If there is only one kohen, he may receive both "kohen" and "hatan Torah," since both readings are from the same Sefer Torah. He should not, however, be called for both "kohen" and "hatan Beresheet." A father and son may be called for "hatan Torah" and "hatan Beresheet."
Luna Bat Miriam and Eliyahu Ben Masudah
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