The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hagbah Discrimination

Being small, the son of small people, and the father of small people, I have observed that small people do not often get called for hagbah (the ceremonial lifting the Torah after the completion of the reading of the Torah).

This came to mind on Shabbos when our younger son was called for gelilah (the wrapping of the Torah after it is lifted). OYS is roughly my height and weight.

I asked him at lunch how many times, in the three years that he has been bar mitzvah, has he been called for hagbah. His answer: zero.

I asked our older son how many times, in the 8 years that he has been bar mitzvah, has he been called for hagbah. His answer: Fewer than 10 times. I thought about my own experience. I have been bar mitzvah for 37 years. I doubt that I have been called for hagbah more than 20 times in all those years.

Although we are small, OYS, OOS and I are all in very good shape, work out regularly and are quite strong for our sizes. Nevertheless, we rarely, if ever, see a hagbah come our way.

I am considering starting a protest movement.


  • At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i used to get called every day when I went to a certain shul. now i have never been called for hagbah at the shul i attend . i am six feet and in fine shape but i get called to the torah every now and then and a couple of times for gelilah but never hagbah. i guess they think i cant or they are used to calling the same ones over and over. most likely a combination of both reasons operates.


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