Volume 54 Number 26
                    Produced: Thu Mar 15  5:21:55 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

KiTisa (13)
         [David E Cohen, Art Werschulz, Daniel Geretz, Shimon Lebowitz,
Ken Bloom, SBA, Michael Poppers, Akiva Miller, Mark Symons, Ben
Katz, Perets Mett, Irwin Weiss, .cp.]
KiTisa & Megilla Rolling
         [Michael Mirsky]
KiTisa and Megillas Esther
         [Alex Heppenheimer]
Megilas Esther (2)
         [Batya Medad, Dr. Josh Backon]
Several Items
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 14:20:26 +0200
Subject: RE: KiTisa

I've heard (though I can't remember where) that since the Leviyim did not
participate in the cheit ha`eigel (sin of the golden calf), we want to read
that entire story in the Levi's `aliyah.


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 11:11:10 -0500
Subject: KiTisa

.cp. <chips@...> writes:
> why are the sizes of the aliyas so out of whack?

This causes Golden Calf episode to be within the Levi aliyah.  Since the
Levi'im were not participants in same, a Levi would not be embarrased to
be called up for the reading of this epsiode.

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
Internet: agw STRUDEL cs.columbia.edu

From: Daniel Geretz <dgeretz@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 10:47:32 -0400
Subject: KiTisa

The rabbi of the shul that I attended this past Shabbat, Rabbi David
Bassous, touched on this in his drasha (any deviations from what he
meant are solely my fault).

The reason that he gave is that since Shevet (the tribe of) Levi was the
only Shevet that was not involved in the Chet HaEgel (Sin of the Golden
Calf), the entire incident is related in the Aliya (portion) given to a
Levi, so that the incident of the Egel does not reflect poorly on the
Oleh (person called up to the Torah.)

This reasoning is similar to (not exactly the same as) the reasoning
used for giving the Aliyah containing the Tochacha (warning/curse) to
the Ba'al Koreh (Torah Reader) than another individual.

Danny Geretz

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 15:52:05 +0200
Subject: Re: KiTisa

To ensure that the maase ha'egel (the story of the golden calf incident)
is read specifically by(to) a Levi.  This is based on a rule that we do
not give an aliya to someone who will potentially be personally
embarassed by the content of that aliya. (source anyone?)

Since the tribe of Levi did not participate in the worship of the calf,
they can be called up for that portion.

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@...>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 08:51:53 -0600
Subject: Re: KiTisa

So that the Chait haEgel is given to the Levi whose tribe wasn't
involved in the sin, rather than someone whose tribe was involved in the

Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.

From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 01:18:02 +1100
Subject: KiTisa

So a Levi - and not a Yisroel - is called up for the story of the making
of the eigel hazahav.


From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 12:05:16 -0400
Subject: Re: KiTisa

I assume the question really is "Why are the first two aliyos so large
(such that the remaining aliyos only extend for at most one parshiyah)?"
The answer is that b'nei Leivi didn't participate in the Eigel haZahav
activities...until Moshe Rabbeinu proclaimed, "Mi laH' eiloy!" and they
gathered around him to receive the command to 'deal' with those at
fault.  Accordingly, we call a ben Leivi to the Torah for a reading
which spans the entire Eigel-related episode so as not to embarrass a
descendant of a non-Levite when the reading implies the participation of
his non-Levite tribal ancestor in those activities. Because a Levite is
usually called up after a Kohein, who (again, usually) receives the
first aliyah, that first, pre-Eigel-events aliyah (which, not
coincidentally, refers to many items and activities that Kohanim of the
Mishkan/beis haMiqdash eras would be most familiar with) is also quite

All the best from
--Michael Poppers via RIM pager

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 11:40:24 GMT
Subject: Re: KiTisa

Our rabbi spoke about this on Shabbos. He said that there's a custom
(maybe a halacha, I don't remember) not to give someone an aliyah if he
is known to violate a mitzvah mentioned in that aliyah. Therefore, the
entire story of the Golden Calf is given to the Levi's aliyah, because
only the tribe of Levi was uninvolved in that sin.

And because Levi gets only one aliyah of the seven, and it happens to be
Aliyah #2, everything before that story is just one long aliyah, and
everything after that story gets divided into five aliyos. Thus, one
very long aliyah, another very long aliyah, and five shorter aliyos.

Akiva Miller

From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 18:32:12 +1100
Subject: KiTisa

As I understand it, the section dealing with the golden calf and its
aftermath is not broken up, and is allocated to Levi, as this tribe did
not participate. Everything up till that section therefore has to be
included in Cohen which is therefore of similar length.  The relatively
short rest of the sidra then has to be divided into 5 aliyot.

Mark Symons

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 17:41:34 -0600
Subject: Re: KiTisa

to let the levi be called up when the levites save the day after the
golden calf.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
e-mail: <bkatz@...>

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 13:01:14 +0000
Subject: KiTisa

Because the only ones who come out the parshas hoeigel with a clean  
face are the Leviim.
So we give  a Leivi that parsho.


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 06:53:21 -0500
Subject: KiTisa

I have always heard it is so that the section relating to the eigel
masecha ("Golden Calf") is read for the Levi aliyah, since the story is
that the Le'viim did not participate in the construction of the Eigel,
and thus would be the only ones not to be embarrassed by reading
this/having it read for him.  But, I don't have a source for this,

Irwin Weiss
Baltimore, MD

From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 14:55:45 -0700
Subject: KiTisa

I got bunches and bunches of emails concerning this, thanks to all who
sent.  Then answer they all had was that since shevet Levi was not
involved in the Golden Calf creattion , the person having the aliya
would not be "embarassed".

HOWEVER, this really begs a few questions.
   1: What if only Levi available is not Shomer Shabos? is not Shomer Kashrus? 

   2: What if there is no Levi? This is hardly the shining moment of
   Aharon haCohen's life. should the aliya partitioning be juggled so
   that the aliya of the Golden Calf is 3rd?

   3: and in general - particularaly in Sefer Shmos - what is with the
   Sedra partioning which leads to some of these out-of-whack aliya
   partitions? It often seems that a Sedra has ended due to the one
   doing the partitioning running out of paper.



From: Michael Mirsky <michael.mirsky@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 17:35:59 -0400
Subject: KiTisa & Megilla Rolling

<chips@...> had asked:
>why are the sizes of the (Ki Tisa) aliyas so out of whack?

The traditional reason given is that this Parasha contains the
description of the sin of the golden calf.  The tribe of Levi didn't
take part in the sin.  So in order to spare a Yisrael embarrassment from
being called to the Torah and laining in public what his ancestors did,
we lengthen Cohain and Levi to finish off the description before a
Yisrael is called.

>Since the Megilla needs to be folded over itself as if it was a letter,

>why is it kept in a scroll instead of a folio ?

I believe the essence is in the reading.  The Megilla refers to itself
as "ha'iggeret hazot" (and the reader should wave the megilla itself
when reading at this point).

>At the end of the reading, why is the Megilla wound up before the

I believe the Mishna Brura says that it is to spare g'nei, disrespect to
the scroll to leave it all unfolded and spread out.  So we roll it up



From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 08:03:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: KiTisa and Megillas Esther

In MJ 54:25, .cp. asked regarding Ki Tisa:
>why are the sizes of the aliyas so out of whack?

No one from the tribe of Levi was guilty of worshipping the Golden Calf,
unlike the other tribes. So, in order not to embarrass the one receiving
the aliyah that tells of that episode (31:18 through 33:11), the custom
is to give it to a Levi. Since the Levi is (almost) always called for
the second aliyah, that naturally forces the first two aliyos to be
unusually long (since 33:11 is the 92nd verse of the parashah); the rest
of the parashah (47 verses) then has to be shoehorned into the remaining
five aliyos.

.cp. also asked regarding Megillas Esther:

>Since the Megilla needs to be folded over itself as if it was a letter,
>why is it kept in a scroll instead of a folio ?
>At the end of the reading, why is the Megilla wound up before the

The Gemara (Megillah 19a) notes that Esther is called both "sefer"
("book") and "iggeres" ("letter"), and derives from this certain laws
regarding how the sheets are sewn together. But this dual designation
also accounts for why it's written as a scroll ("sefer" implies that
format, as in the term "sefer Torah"; the word "megillah" also means a
scroll) but read as a letter.

The Magen Avraham (690:19) explains that the berachah is actually
independent of the reading, so there's no need to keep the Megillah open
while reciting it (unlike with the Haftarah, where the blessings are
indeed related to it, and therefore the volume should be left open while
reciting them). Mishnah Berurah (690:57) adds that indeed it would be
disrespectful to the Megillah to leave it open longer than necessary.

On the other hand, Magen Avraham (690:20) cites Sefer HaYashar that one
may indeed recite the berachah first and then roll up the Megillah, and
some communities do so.

Kol tuv,


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 14:19:14 +0200
Subject: Re: Megilas Esther

      Since the Megilla needs to be folded over itself as if it was a
      letter, why is it kept in a scroll instead of a folio ?

Folding weakens the "page" causing breaks and tears.  Rolling preserves it.


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 15:05:48 +0200
Subject: Re: Megilas Esther

>Since the Megilla needs to be folded over itself as if it was a letter,
>why is it kept in a scroll instead of a folio ?

Because according to most Rishonim, a megillah has the din of *both* an
"iggeret" and a "sefer".

Josh Backon


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 14:16:13 GMT
Subject: Several Items

<<why are the sizes of the aliyas so out of whack?>>

One reason is that one does not call up an oleh for an aliyah that he
transgressed.  This leaves all of the story of the egel to be read by a
cohen and levi, none of whom were involved.

<<Since the Megilla needs to be folded over itself as if it was a
letter,why is it kept in a scroll instead of a folio ?>>

All kisvei hakodesh were written as scrolls.  It also only needs to be
folded when being read in public; in private or for study (or in shul
when you're listening, not reading), it remains as a scroll.

<<At the end of the reading, why is the Megilla wound up before the

Kavod for the megila (another reason to leave it that way as the default
state). I don't have sefarim with me at work, but am fairly sure it's in
Mishna Berura and probably other acharonim.

<<If Tfillin are not on yet when you get to Yishtabach and the zman
arrives, should one say Yishtabach first?>>

Yes, unless you're the shaliach tzibur in which case you'd put them on
first.  Shulchan Aruch O"Ch 53:3

<<If one is a bit ahead (more than 3 minutes say) of the Chazan and hits
Yishtabach, should one wait for the Chazan or say Yishtabach and wait
for Barchu.>>

Say yishtabach.



End of Volume 54 Issue 26