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4. Teaching the correct lesson 5. Berachos Me'akvos Zu Es Zu 6. Rabbi Tarfon
7. Krias Shema Positions 8. Berachos on Keri'as ha'Torah
DAF DISCUSSIONS - BERACHOS 11

David Goldman asks:

Given the fact that nowadays people don't read their own verses of the Torah, and since people will recite birkas hatorah in the morning, isn't it logical that there is no need for Torah aliyas (=honors) today, and the baal koreh could read the parsha (even without a bracha), especially given the fact that the rules for brachos had to do with situations where people did read their own verses?

David Goldman, USA

The Kollel replies:

It is true that, technically speaking, there is no need for every individual to make a Berachah since we do not read ourselves. Yet Chazal were concerned that people leaving in the middle or arriving in the middle of Keri'as ha'Torah would not know that a Berachah is recited at all at the beginning or end (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 282, based on Megilah 22a). For this reason, every person must recite a Berachah. As for the amount of people reading, it was established by Moshe and Ezra and had its own reasons (described in Bava Kama 82a; see also Megilah 21b and 23a). Thus, this enactment cannot be changed or modified.

Yoel Domb

David Goldman asks:

Thank you. However, even if Chazal had that approach in those days when people read their own verses directly from a Sefer Torah, today it is entirely different, and one could even suggest that such brachas involve a bracha levatala. This problem relates as well to reciting a bracha on the haftara that is not read out of a scroll, and even to chazaras hashatz, where the chazan is not being motzi anyone OR davening his own tefilla, and we accept safek brachas lehakel, to which one should not answer amen either.

And the numbers of people reading involved a time when people read for themselves. Whereas today they don't and the ba'al koreh is the only person doing it. So the aliyas today are not the same at all, and involve the problems I mentioned above. At least that is how it appears. We cannot simply ignore the differences in the situations. We don't find that as an approach in either rishonim etc.

David G

The Kollel replies:

It is not quite as you say, since the Talmud itself explicitly refers to people who did not know how to read and were exempted by others, and they would not have read from the Torah themselves. As for the concern for Berachah l'Vatalah, it should apply to repetition of the Amidah as this, too, is superfluous in our time, but it is still mandated by all Poskim (except the Rambam), and we do not say "Safek Berachos..." as this rule is not used regarding a Takanah.

The Takanah regarding the number of people has its source in the enactments of Moshe and Ezra (Bava Kama 82a) and is not based on people reading themselves but rather on the requirement for Torah study.

Yoel Domb