14 Steps to the Perfect Hagbah (Raising the Torah)
- Come to the Bimah (pulpit) after the Torah reading is complete. Note the rabbi or Torah Reader will point out the chair where you will be sitting down with the Torah.
- Roll the scroll to a point where a seam is mid-way between the two atzei chayim (Torah handles).
- Open the scroll slightly.
- Pull the Torah down so that the edge of the table is half-way between the bottom and top of the Torah.
- Push down on the bottom handles, so that the Torah begins to be vertical.
- Bend your knees.
- Push the Torah up and straighten your legs (you are now standing up and so is the Torah).
- Turn around so that the congregation can see the words in the Torah.
- If you feel confident, unroll the Torah slightly so that at least 3 columns are showing.
- Walk to the chair and lower yourself carefully, with the Torah still vertical.
- Hold the scroll while it is tied and dressed.
- Settle the scroll on one of your shoulders and hold it until a Gabbi assists you in placing it securely on one of the special shelves.
- People will bless you with the words “Yasher Koach” (May you be rich in strength).
- Shake their hand and respond “Barukh tihyeh” (you should be blessed).
Here is a short how to video from MyJewishLearning.com