Standing for Opened Aron Hakodesh

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Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik

by R. Aharon Ziegler

According to Rav Soloveitchik, it is customary to stand during certain parts of Tefilla, or during recitation of specific Piyyutim, but not because the Aron HaKodesh is opened. The Aron HaKodesh is considered a different Reshut (domain) from the rest of the synagogue even when it is opened and there is no obligation to stand out of respect for a Sefer Torah when it is in a different Reshut. (Yoreh De’ah 282:1, and Taz #1).

Rather, we stand because certain Piyyutim resemble a “Davar She’bikdusha”, in that they entail a public responsive reading of praises to HaShem, and there IS an obligation to stand during the recitation of such prayers.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student recently served on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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