הַקּוֹרֵא אֶת הַמְּגִלָּה עוֹמֵד וְיוֹשֵׁב. קְרָאָהּ אֶחָד, קְרָאוּהָ שְׁנַיִם, יָצְאוּ. מְקוֹם שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לְבָרֵךְ, יְבָרֵךְ. וְשֶׁלֹּא לְבָרֵךְ, לֹא יְבָרֵךְ. בְּשֵׁנִי וּבַחֲמִישִׁי וּבְשַׁבָּת בַּמִּנְחָה, קוֹרִין שְׁלֹשָׁה, אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין וְאֵין מוֹסִיפִין עֲלֵיהֶן, וְאֵין מַפְטִירִין בַּנָּבִיא. הַפּוֹתֵחַ וְהַחוֹתֵם בַּתּוֹרָה, מְבָרֵךְ לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ:
One who reads the Megilla may position himself as he wishes, either standing or sitting. Whether one person reads the Megilla or two people read it together, they have fulfilled their obligation. In a place where the people are accustomed to recite a blessing over the reading, one should recite a blessing. And in a place where it is customary not to recite a blessing, one should not recite a blessing. The mishna records several laws governing public Torah readings. On Mondays and Thursdays during the morning service and on Shabbat during the afternoon service, three people read from the Torah; one may neither decrease the number of readers nor add to them. And one does not conclude with a reading from the Prophets [haftara] on these occasions. Both the one who begins the reading and the one who concludes the reading from the Torah recite a blessing; one recites before the beginning of the reading and one recites after its conclusion, but the middle reader does not recite a blessing.
בְּרָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים וּבְחֻלּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹעֵד, קוֹרִין אַרְבָּעָה, אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין מֵהֶן וְאֵין מוֹסִיפִין עֲלֵיהֶן, וְאֵין מַפְטִירִין בַּנָּבִיא. הַפּוֹתֵחַ וְהַחוֹתֵם בַּתּוֹרָה, מְבָרֵךְ לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ. זֶה הַכְּלָל, כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ מוּסָף וְאֵינוֹ יוֹם טוֹב, קוֹרִין אַרְבָּעָה. בְּיוֹם טוֹב, חֲמִשָּׁה. בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים, שִׁשָּׁה. בְּשַׁבָּת, שִׁבְעָה. אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין מֵהֶן, אֲבָל מוֹסִיפִין עֲלֵיהֶן, וּמַפְטִירִין בַּנָּבִיא. הַפּוֹתֵחַ וְהַחוֹתֵם בַּתּוֹרָה, מְבָרֵךְ לְפָנֶיהָ וּלְאַחֲרֶיהָ:
On the days of the New Moon and on the intermediate days of a Festival, four people read from the Torah; one may neither decrease the number of readers nor add to them. And one does not conclude with a reading from the Prophets. Both the one who begins the reading and the one who concludes the reading from the Torah recite a blessing. The first reader recites a blessing before the beginning of the reading, and the last reader recites a blessing after its conclusion, but the middle readers do not recite a blessing. The mishna formulates a general principle with regard to the number of people who read from the Torah on different occasions. This is the principle: Any day on which there is an additional offering sacrificed in the Temple and that is not a Festival, i.e., the New Moon and the intermediate days of a Festival, four people read from the Torah; on a Festival, five people read; on Yom Kippur, six people read; and on Shabbat, seven people read. One may not decrease the number of readers, but one may add to them. And on these days one concludes with a reading from the Prophets. Both the one who begins the reading and the one who concludes the reading from the Torah recite a blessing; one recites before the beginning of the reading and one recites after its conclusion, but the middle readers do not recite a blessing.
אֵין פּוֹרְסִין אֶת שְׁמַע, וְאֵין עוֹבְרִין לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, וְאֵין נוֹשְׂאִין אֶת כַּפֵּיהֶם, וְאֵין קוֹרִין בַּתּוֹרָה, וְאֵין מַפְטִירִין בַּנָּבִיא, וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין מַעֲמָד וּמוֹשָׁב, וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים בִּרְכַּת אֲבֵלִים וְתַנְחוּמֵי אֲבֵלִים וּבִרְכַּת חֲתָנִים, וְאֵין מְזַמְּנִין בַּשֵּׁם, פָּחוֹת מֵעֲשָׂרָה. וּבַקַּרְקָעוֹת, תִּשְׁעָה וְכֹהֵן. וְאָדָם, כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן:
One does not recite the introductory prayers and blessing [poresin] before Shema; nor does one pass before the ark to repeat the Amida prayer; nor do the priests lift their hands to recite the Priestly Benediction; nor is the Torah read in public; nor does one conclude with a reading from the Prophets [haftara] in the presence of fewer than ten men. And one does not observe the practice of standing up and sitting down for the delivery of eulogies at a funeral service; nor does one recite the mourners’ blessing or comfort mourners in two lines after the funeral; or recite the bridegrooms’ blessing; and one does not invite others to recite Grace after Meals, i.e., conduct a zimmun, with the name of God, with fewer than ten men present. If one consecrated land and now wishes to redeem it, the land must be assessed by nine men and one priest, for a total of ten. And similarly, assessing the value of a person who has pledged his own value to the Temple must be undertaken by ten people, one of whom must be a priest.
הַקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה לֹא יִפְחֹת מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה פְסוּקִים. לֹא יִקְרָא לַמְּתֻרְגְּמָן יוֹתֵר מִפָּסוּק אֶחָד, וּבַנָּבִיא שְׁלֹשָׁה. הָיוּ שְׁלָשְׁתָּן שָׁלֹשׁ פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת, קוֹרִין אֶחָד אֶחָד. מְדַלְּגִין בַּנָּבִיא וְאֵין מְדַלְּגִין בַּתּוֹרָה. וְעַד כַּמָּה הוּא מְדַלֵּג, עַד כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִפְסֹק הַמְּתֻרְגְּמָן:
One who reads from the Torah in the synagogue should not read fewer than three verses. And when it is being translated, he should not read to the translator more than one verse at a time, so that the translator will not become confused. And with regard to the Prophets, one may read to the translator three verses at a time. With respect to the Torah, an incorrect translation might lead to an error in practice, but this concern does not apply to the Prophets. If the three verses constitute three separate paragraphs, that is to say, if each verse is a paragraph in itself, one must read them to the translator one by one. One may skip from one place to another while reading the Prophets, but one may not skip from one place to another while reading the Torah. How far may he skip? As far as he can, provided that the translator will not conclude his translation while the reader is still rolling the scroll to the new location. The reader may not cause the congregation to wait for him after the translator has finished, as that would be disrespectful to the congregation.
הַמַּפְטִיר בַּנָּבִיא, הוּא פּוֹרֵס עַל שְׁמַע, וְהוּא עוֹבֵר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה, וְהוּא נוֹשֵׂא אֶת כַּפָּיו. וְאִם הָיָה קָטָן, אָבִיו אוֹ רַבּוֹ עוֹבְרִין עַל יָדוֹ:
The one who concludes with a reading from the Prophets [haftara] is also the one who is honored to recite the introductory prayers and blessing before Shema, and he passes before the ark to repeat the Amida prayer, and if he is a priest he lifts his hands to recite the Priestly Benediction. And if the one who reads the haftara is a minor, who may read the haftara but is not qualified to lead the congregation in prayer, his father or teacher is honored to pass before the ark in his place.
קָטָן קוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה וּמְתַרְגֵּם, אֲבָל אֵינוֹ פּוֹרֵס עַל שְׁמַע, וְאֵינוֹ עוֹבֵר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּיבָה, וְאֵינוֹ נוֹשֵׂא אֶת כַּפָּיו. פּוֹחֵחַ פּוֹרֵס אֶת שְׁמַע וּמְתַרְגֵּם, אֲבָל אֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא בַתּוֹרָה וְאֵינוֹ עוֹבֵר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה וְאֵינוֹ נוֹשֵׂא אֶת כַּפָּיו. סוּמָא פּוֹרֵס אֶת שְׁמַע וּמְתַרְגֵּם. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, כֹּל שֶׁלֹּא רָאָה מְאוֹרוֹת מִיָּמָיו, אֵינוֹ פּוֹרֵס עַל שְׁמַע:
A minor may read the Torah in public and also translate the text for the congregation into Aramaic, but he may not recite the introductory prayers and blessing before Shema, and he may not pass before the ark to lead the congregation in prayer, and he may not lift his hands to recite the Priestly Benediction. One whose limbs are exposed [poḥe’aḥ] may recite the introductory prayers and blessing before Shema and translate the Torah reading into Aramaic, but he may not read from the Torah out of respect for the Torah; he may not pass before the ark to lead the congregation in prayer; and he may not lift his hands to recite the Priestly Benediction out of respect for the congregation. One who is blind may recite the introductory prayers and blessing before Shema, and he may also translate the Torah reading into Aramaic. Rabbi Yehuda says: Anyone who has not seen the luminaries, the sun, moon, and stars, in his life, i.e., he was blind from birth, may not recite the introductory prayers and blessing before Shema. The first of the blessings before Shema is the blessing over the luminaries, and one who has never seen them cannot recite the blessing at all.
כֹּהֵן שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּיָדָיו מוּמִין, לֹא יִשָּׂא אֶת כַּפָּיו. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, אַף מִי שֶׁהָיוּ יָדָיו צְבוּעוֹת אִסְטִיס וּפוּאָה, לֹא יִשָּׂא אֶת כַּפָּיו, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָעָם מִסְתַּכְּלִין בּוֹ:
A priest who has blemishes on his hands may not lift his hands to recite the Priestly Benediction. Because of his blemish, people will look at his hands, and it is prohibited to look at the hands of the priests during the Priestly Benediction. Rabbi Yehuda says: Even one whose hands were colored with satis, a blue dye, may not lift his hands to recite the Priestly Benediction because the congregation will look at him.
הָאוֹמֵר אֵינִי עוֹבֵר לִפְנֵי הַתֵּבָה בִצְבוּעִין, אַף בִּלְבָנִים לֹא יַעֲבֹר. בְּסַנְדָּל אֵינִי עוֹבֵר, אַף יָחֵף לֹא יַעֲבֹר. הָעוֹשֶׂה תְפִלָּתוֹ עֲגֻלָּה, סַכָּנָה וְאֵין בָּהּ מִצְוָה. נְתָנָהּ עַל מִצְחוֹ אוֹ עַל פַּס יָדוֹ, הֲרֵי זוֹ דֶּרֶךְ הַמִּינוּת. צִפָּן זָהָב, וּנְתָנָהּ עַל בֵּית אֻנְקְלִי שֶׁלּוֹ, הֲרֵי זוֹ דֶּרֶךְ הַחִיצוֹנִים:
One who says: I will not pass before the ark to lead the prayer service in colored garments, may not pass before the ark to lead the prayer service even in white garments. There is concern that one who insists on wearing clothing of a specific color during his prayers is a heretic and therefore unfit to lead the service. Similarly, if one says: I will not pass before the ark wearing sandals, he may not pass before it even barefoot, as he is not acting in accordance with the teachings of the Sages. One who constructs his phylacteries in a round shape exposes himself to danger during times of persecution, when foreign governments impose a ban on the mitzva of phylacteries, and yet he does not fulfill the mitzva to don phylacteries, as phylacteries must be square. If one placed the phylacteries worn on the head on his forehead, and not in its proper place above his hairline, or if he placed the phylacteries worn on the arm on his palm, and not on his bicep, this is the way of the heretics, i.e., those who reject the tradition of the Sages with regard to the proper placement of the phylacteries. If one plated his phylacteries with gold or placed the phylacteries worn on the arm on the outside of his sleeve [unkeli], this is the way of the outsiders, i.e., those who do not take part in the traditions of the Jewish people.
הָאוֹמֵר יְבָרְכוּךָ טוֹבִים, הֲרֵי זוֹ דֶּרֶךְ הַמִּינוּת. עַל קַן צִפּוֹר יַגִּיעוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ, וְעַל טוֹב יִזָּכֵר שְׁמֶךָ, מוֹדִים מוֹדִים, מְשַׁתְּקִין אוֹתוֹ. הַמְכַנֶּה בָעֲרָיוֹת, מְשַׁתְּקִין אוֹתוֹ. הָאוֹמֵר, וּמִזַּרְעֲךָ לֹא תִתֵּן לְהַעֲבִיר לַמֹּלֶךְ (ויקרא יח), וּמִזַרְעָךְ לֹא תִתֵּן לְאַעְבָּרָא בְּאַרְמָיוּתָא, מְשַׁתְּקִין אוֹתוֹ בִנְזִיפָה:
If one says in his prayers: May the good bless You, this is a path of heresy, as heretics divide the world into two domains, good and evil. If one says the following in his prayers: Just as Your mercy is extended to a bird’s nest, as You have commanded us to send away the mother before taking her chicks or eggs (see Deuteronomy 22:6–7), so too extend Your mercy to us; or: May Your name be mentioned with the good; or: We give thanks, we give thanks, twice, he is suspected of heretical beliefs and they silence him. If one modifies the text while reading the laws of forbidden sexual relations, i.e., he introduces euphemisms out of a sense of propriety, they silence him. Similarly, if one says while translating the verse: “And you shall not give any of your seed to set them apart to Molekh” (Leviticus 18:21): And you shall not give any of your seed to impregnate an Aramean woman, he is silenced with rebuke.
מַעֲשֵׂה רְאוּבֵן (בראשית לה), נִקְרָא וְלֹא מִתַּרְגֵּם. מַעֲשֵׂה תָמָר (בראשית לח), נִקְרָא וּמִתַּרְגֵּם. מַעֲשֵׂה עֵגֶל הָרִאשׁוֹן (שמות לב), נִקְרָא וּמִתַּרְגֵּם. וְהַשֵּׁנִי (שם), נִקְרָא וְלֹא מִתַּרְגֵּם. בִּרְכַּת כֹּהֲנִים (במדבר ו), מַעֲשֵׂה דָּוִד (שמואל ב י״א:כ״ז) וְאַמְנוֹן (שמואל ב יג), לֹא נִקְרָאִין וְלֹא מִתַּרְגְּמִין. אֵין מַפְטִירִין בַּמֶּרְכָּבָה (יחזקאל א), וְרַבִּי יְהוּדָה מַתִּיר. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, אֵין מַפְטִירִין בְּהוֹדַע אֶת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (יחזקאל ט״ז:ב׳):
The incident of Reuben, about which it says: “And Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine” (Genesis 35:22), is read from the Torah in public but not translated, so that the uneducated not come to denigrate Reuben. The incident of Tamar (Genesis, chapter 38) is read in public and also translated. The first report of the incident of the Golden Calf, i.e., the Torah’s account of the incident itself (Exodus 32:1–20), is read and translated, but the second narrative, i.e., Aaron’s report to Moses of what had taken place (Exodus 32:21–24) is read but not translated. The verses constituting the Priestly Benediction (Numbers 6:24–26) and the incident of David and Amnon (II Samuel, chapter 13) are read, but not translated. One may not conclude the Torah reading with by reading from the Prophets the account of the Divine Chariot (Ezekiel, chapter 1), so as not to publicize that which was meant to remain hidden. And Rabbi Yehuda permits it. Rabbi Eliezer says: One may not conclude with section from the Prophets beginning with: “Make known to Jerusalem her abominations” (Ezekiel 16:2), because it speaks derogatively of the Jewish people.