There is a relatively new custom to point at the Torah while singing "V'zot haTorah . . ." This tradition is has it's roots in the salute to Caesar but our tradition of modesty is that we do not point with our whole hand, rather, we use the smallest (aka "pinky").

HOWEVER, the salute to Caesar was also copied by the Nazis (yamach sh'mo) as "Seig Heil".

In 2014, Neo Nazi sympathizers and other travellers of the same road began to use a modified arm motion known as the "Quenelle" which has been banned in much of Europe. Strange that we, the descendents of those most persecuted have begun to use a symbol of those who sought our destruction.

The raising of our hands to the Torah is a recent tradition and knowing where and how the symbolism of the action has been perverted in the last century, it behooves us to cease using this gesture in our Torah service.

Hagbah and Gelilah

Rabbi Shefatya cited Rabbi Yochanan: If one rolls closed a sefer Torah, he should leave it on the seam, so that if it tears, it tears on the seam.
And Rabbi Shefatya cited Rabbi Yochanan: If one rolls {here, assuming to get to another place} a sefer Torah, he should roll the outer roll and should not roll the inner one, and when he tightens it, he should tighten the inner roller and not the outer roller.
And Rabbi Shefatya cited Rabbi Yochanan: If ten read {in a minyan}, the most prominent among them rolls {hagba or gelila} the sefer Torah.
For Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: If ten read from the Torah, the one who rolls {hagba/gelila} gets the merit of all of them.
The merit of all of them, do you think {such that they do not have any merit themselves}? Rather, Abaye said: He takes merit equal to the merit of all of them combined.

After the completion of the Torah reading, two people are chosen for the honors of hagbah (lifting up the Torah) and gelilah (rolling and dressing the Torah). The Talmud (Megillah 32a) tells us that hagbah carries a reward equal to that of all the aliyot combined. (It says “the one who rolls the Torah,” but in the time of the Talmud, hagbah and gelilah were performed by the same person. The Mishna Brurah makes it clear that this refers to what we call hagbah.)

One has put together this booklet as a teaching guide for all those who seek to attempt the most physical of all aliyot, Hagbah and it's close associate, Gelilah. The booklet explains the mitzvah and helps you to perform it properly. Every Hagbah should be a perfect 10!

How to score a perfect 10

1The ApproachIf you're not on time, you loose a point. Be a boy scout - be prepared and ready!
4The LiftThis is the pass/fail point. A good clean lift involves your entire body. You'll dip by bending your legs and your back and shoulders should remain vertical. When you begin to arise, the torah must be vertical.
2Number of columnsYou get full 2 points for 3 full columns.
Deduct 1/2 point for every column more than 5 or less than 3. Example: 6 columns is a 1.5, while no columns gets just .5
1Torah TwistYou've got to do the twist, show the peeps in the seats the script!
1Torah vertical during the walkKeeping it vertical as you walk. No wavering.
1The WrapKeep it vertical, making pithy comments to Gelilah as they tie can be a reason for additional points. Judging is not always honest!
Total = 10Yasher Koach!

Get the booklet here!

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