Wednesday, December 25, 2013

To Correct or Not to Correct by Rabbi Yair Hoffman

“Er Zogt!”

“No he didn’t.  I was listening!”

“Whaddya talking about?  It’s fine.”

“It’s not fine.  Why are constantly butting your nose into..”

Most of us have heard this conversation countless times in Shuls across the country.  The conversation deals with the Shabbos morning reading of the Torah and addresses the issue of whether it is necessary to correct the reader of the Torah or not.  

The Shulchan Aruch (Orech Chaim 142:1) writes, “If he read and erred, we make him go back.”  The Ramah adds the qualification that it is only if it changes the meaning of the matter.  If there is no change in meaning, however, we do not make the correction.

What is an example of changing the meaning?  If the error was changing Yaaseh to Ye=awe-she, or vice versa, we do correct it. [...]

If it is a Shabbos morning and it is a Bar Mitzvah bochur who is reading, the shul should make every effort that on the Gabbaiim in the front standing next to the Bar Mitzvah bochur should be correcting.  Young men are usually quite embarrassed when they are the recipients of corrections.

So what should we do during the weekday? The issue, of course, should be presented to the Rav of each respective Minyan.  However, here are some suggested guidelines: If the reader is a person who will not be embarrassed, and he is not just saying this but really means it, then he should be corrected in order to fulfill the latter part of the Biur halacha.  If there is any question whatsoever, however, then we should not do so.  If there are not ten verses otherwise, then we should make the correction. 

1 comment :

  1. Any Baal Kriah kavua should be happy to be corrected and should not feel defensive or embarrassed. In fact, someone who takes on that responsibility should never get up there unprepared.


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