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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Reverse Discrimination

As readers of this space know, I have complained from time to time about Hagbah discrimination, to wit, the fact that, despite being in excellent physical shape, neither I, nor my sons are ever asked to do hagbah (lift the Torah after the reading). This hagbah discrimination is obviously related to the fact that we are all small. Thankfully, we've all learned to deal with hagbah discrimination and move on with our lives.

Yesterday, I was the victim of "Reverse Hagbah Discrimination".

Shabbos afternoon, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post, I davened mincha at our local roving minyan (which I almost never do). The minyan takes place in people's homes, usually in their basements (as was the case yesterday). As soon as the Torah was removed from the Aron, the gabbai asked me to do hagbah. For a brief moment, I was surprised and excited. Then it hit me. I realized that the only reason he asked me to do hagbah was because I was probably the only one there who could lift the Torah without puncturing the 8 foot basement ceiling. D'oh!



  • At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think you are correct, due to my physical appearance I sometimes feel like I have a sign on that says hagbah (not complaining given the exalted nature of the honor and getting to hold the sefer). In addition the shul I usually daven in during the week has an 8 foot ceiling and everyone says "watch the ceiling" even though I've been doing hagbah there for 20 years.

    BTW you can tell a lot about a person by how they do hagbah.

    Joel Rich

  • At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I daven at a Shul in Long Island with probably 900 member families. I find it comical that the "usual suspects" are constantly getting hagbah! If you're under 6'2" 220LBS, you don't stand a chance!

  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Southern Jew said…

    I was once accused of engaging in Hagbah discrimination. I was once the gabai at a certain minyan and I gave hagbah to a certain individual who was tall and pleasantly plump. One day he asked me, "What don't you think I know how to read Hebrew?!"

  • At 3:56 PM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said…

    i think i davened at that minyan the one time i was in your neighborhood for shabbos... assuming it's the same roving minyan that has friday night davening too.


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