Tisha B'av

Tisha B'Av Riddle

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: On Tisha B'Av morning, everyone sits on the floor as a sign of mourning. However, one person in every synagogue publicly sits down on a chair. Who is this person?

Answer: The person honored with hagbah - lifting the Torah after it is read. This person lifts the Torah from the bima and sits in a chair. Then the Torah is bound and covered, and the person remains sitting until the Torah is returned to the Holy Ark.

Note that this is true only in Ashkenazic synagogues. According to the widespread Sefardic custom, nobody sits down with the Torah; rather, the Torah scroll remains on the bima.

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