Av 5762 – Davening During Krias Hatorah

1 Av 5762

L’chvod HaRav:

Hi, I have a question regarding davening on shabbos. Every time I go to shul I get there in between torah reading. I see people around me doing things differently. Either they daven in between the aliyahs, or I see people davening straight through. I don’t know what to do. I was wondering why people doing things differently, and what I should be following.

Thank you for your time.

Name & Seminary withheld

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Dear Name Withheld,

Thank you for your important and interesting question. According to Halacha, since Krias HaTorah is an obligation on the congregation (Tzibbur), and the person who are being called up and are Laining are being Motzi the Tzibbur, it is definitely not proper to do anything during Krias HaTorah other than listen to the Kriah, and this applies in between Aliyos also (Bein Gavra L’Gavra). However, there are opinions that one may learn in between Aliyos, and the same would apply to “catching up” of Davening. If there are ten men who are listening to the Kriah, the Shulchan Oruch (Orach Chaim 146:2) states that as long as it is not causing disrespect for the Torah, one may learn during the Kriah, if he is a Talmid Chochom (Toraso U’mnoso). This would only work if he started learning before the Kriah started, so it doesn’t look like he is bored with the Kriah and is looking for something else to catch his interest. It seems to me that the same rule can be applied to women Davening during this time, if it doesn’t indicate to others a lack of Kovod HaTorah, they may Daven even during the Kriah, if it is absolutely necessary. Of course, the best thing would be to listen to the Kriah and come on time.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler