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B'Mitzvah Torah Honors & Blessings

Aliyah (literally “going up”) refers to the honor of being called up to the bimah (the raised platform at the front of the sanctuary) to chant blessings before and after a section of Torah is read. 

Who gets called up for an aliyah?
At Dorshei Tzedek, any Jewish adult (aged 13 years or older) can be called up for an aliyah. In addition, non-Jewish spouses/partners are welcome to accompany their partner up to the bimah, with the Jewish partner reciting the Hebrew blessing.
 
What do I do if I have an aliyah?
When it is your turn to be called up, Rabbi Toba will call out your name in both English and Hebrew. We request that those called up wear a tallit (prayer shawl). At the very minimum, one person in a group aliyah must wear a tallit. At the Torah reading table, the reader will point out to you the first word of the reading in the Torah scroll. Touch one corner of your tallit to the first word and then kiss the corner of the tallit. Then chant the beginning of the blessing. The blessing translates as:

Bless Adonai, the blessed One; Blessed is Adonai, forever and ever 
Blessed are You Adonai, Source of Life, who has brought us close to Your service
and given us Your Torah. Blessed is Adonai, Giver of Torah.

After chanting a few verses, the reader will show you the last word chanted, and again you will touch that word with the corner of your tallit and kiss the tallit. Then recite the closing blessing, which translates as:

Blessed are You Adonai, Source of Life, who has given us a Torah of truth, and has planted eternal life within us. Blessed is Adonai, Giver of Torah.

The one change in the Reconstructionist version of these blessings is in the third line, where we substitute “who has brought us close to Your service” for the traditional “who has chosen us from all the nations,” consistent with our rejection of the idea of the Jews as the “chosen” people. You can see and hear the Hebrew Torah blessing at http://www.dorsheitzedek.org/torah-blessings.

Next: A Closing Note 

Tue, June 28 2022 29 Sivan 5782