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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rav Zilbershtein Shlit"a Decides Aliya Allocation by Lottery

Kikar reports that two Shaharit attendees were vying for the Shelishi Aliya on Thursday morning's Hanetz Hahama Minyan in Bnei Brak.  One was the father of a baby boy having his Berit Milah that day.  The other was the Sandak of a different baby boy having his Berit Milah that day.  The Gabbai was in a quandary as to whom to give the Aliya, so before Keriat Hatorah, he asked Rav Zilbershtein Shlit"a, who is the synagogue's rabbi  as to which person should receive it.

Rav Zilbershtein weighed both sides of the issue:

On the one hand, the father of the baby should have preference over a Sandak, as most Poskim say.
On the other hand, other Poskim say that the Sandak has preference. In addition, the Sandak is a regular at the Minyan while the father of the baby is not.

Rav Zilbershtein decided to use a lottery to decide the issue.  The last name of one was הנדין ("Hendin") and the name of the other was קופרמן (Cooperman).  Rav Zilbershtein asked for a Humash, and said that whatever page he opens to, we look at the first letter of the page on the right side.  If it is a letter from א until כ, then we give the Aliya to Rav Hendin, whose name begins with a ה that is in between those 2 letters.  If it is a letter from ל until ת, then we give it to Rav Cooperman, whose name begins with a ק that is in between those 2 letters.

In the end, the first letter on the page was the letter מ, so Rav Cooperman got the Aliya with Rav Hendin's blessing, while Rav Hendin got Gelilah as a consolation prize.

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My question is the same as comment #5's question: Since he knew it would be an issue before Keriat Hatorah, why couldn't the Kohanim leave to keep the peace before he called the Kohen and give either Kohen or Levi to one of the Ba'alei Simha?  Unless, perhaps, a Kohen needed an Aliya too...

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