Being Called to the Torah
You are being called for the Honor of Blessing the Torah.
The Torah service begins about midway through the service. After the Torah has been removed from the Ark, brought forward and unrolled on the center table of the bimah (the raised pulpit area), the rabbi will speak briefly to the congregation. The cantor will then call the people forward in turn. The rabbi will announce each person’s English name. When the rabbi calls your name, please come forward promptly, approaching the bimah on the rabbi’s side. Take your place next to the person reading the Torah on his/her right-hand side.
Men and women are both strongly encouraged to wear a tallit when called for an aliyah at Beth Am (tallitot are available at the entrance to the sanctuary). If you wear a tallit, you may wish to follow the traditional practice of touching the open Torah (at the place where the reader will begin) with one of the tzitzit (the fringes at the corners of the tallit), then kissing the fringe. The Blessing before the Reading of the Torah is then recited. You need not bring a copy of the blessings up to the bimah with you as there is a copy on the table, in large type, in both Hebrew and transliteration. However, if you are more comfortable doing so, you certainly may. We strongly encourage those who do not recite the blessings regularly to practice them ahead of time in order to reduce nervousness. Feel free to ask a friend, a family member, one of the rabbis, or the cantor for a refresher on the words or melody.
When you finish the blessing after the reading, please shake hands with the rabbi, then move to the other side of the reading table and stand next to the cantor. Remain there until the next person completes the blessings and comes to that spot. Shake hands with that person and return to your seat unless you have the final aliyah. In that case, please remain where you are until the Torah and its covering have been carried away. Then return to your seat.
Mazal tov and thank you for helping make the service a beautiful and meaningful one.
TORAH BLESSINGS for Before and After Reading from the Torah
The texts instructions below are also available as a downloadable pdf: Torah Blessings download
Blessing for BEFORE Reading from the Torah (Audio)
This audio file is in mp3 format and should be playable in any media player. If you're having difficulty, you can download QuickTime.
Each person called up to the reading of the Torah touches it with tzitzit (the fringes of the tallit), kisses the tzitzit, holds the handles of the Torah and says:
Reader: Ba-r’chu et Adonai ha-me-vo-rach!
Congregation: Ba-ruch Adonai ha-me-vo-rach l’o-lam va-ed.
Reader: Ba-ruch Adonai ha-me-vo-rach l’o-lam va-ed.
Ba-ruch a-ta Adonai, Eloheinu meh-lech ha-o-lam,
a-sher ba-char ba-nu mi-kol ha-a-mim, v’na-tan la-nu et to-ra-to.
Ba-ruch a-ta A-do-nai, no-tein ha-to-rah!
Praise Adonai, to whom our praise is due!
Praised be Adonai, to whom our praise is due, now and forever!
Blessed are You, Eternal One, our God, who has chosen us from all peoples by
giving us the Torah. Blessed are You, Adonai, Giver of the Torah.
Ba-ruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu meh-lech ha-o-lam,
a-sher na-tan la-nu to-rat eh-met, v’cha-yei o-lam na-ta b’to-chei-nu.
Ba-ruch ata Adonai, no-tein ha-to-ra.
Blessed are You, Eternal One, our God, Sovereign of the world, who has given us a Torah of
truth, and planted in our midst eternal life. Blessed are You, Eternal One, who gives the Torah.