Leaning on a Bimah

Leaning on the Shulchan Hakriah

One should not lean on the shulchan hakriah (table used for reading the Torah) or on the cloth covering the shulchan upon which the Sefer Torah is placed, since it has kedushah (sanctity). Although many poskim say that we may be lenient, nonetheless it is preferable not to do so; if one must lean on the shulchan, they should lean on the wood rather than on the cloth. The ba’al korei (the one reading from the Torah) should not lean on the shulchan hakriah, even on the wood, since it’s not respectful to the Sefer Torah and the reading of the Torah; leaning is considered like sitting. The Magen Avraham writes that even leaning slightly is disrespectful. If the ba’al korei is heavy and it is difficult for him to read the Torah while standing upright, or if he is old, weak or short sighted, he may lean, but only slightly. It is forbidden even for a heavy person to lean to the extent that he would fall if the shulchan were to be moved. The same rule applies to the oleh l’Torah (one who gets the aliyah): he also should not lean on the shulchan, but rather stand upright. #429


Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.