Monday, March 06, 2006

Parsha Chabura Parshas Teruma: Bima In The Middle Of The Shul

This week's chaburah discussed the halacha that the bima in the shul must be in the middle of the shul.
The connection to the parshah is due to the reason of the Chasam Sofer which we will soon get to.

Here are the various shitos.

1) Rambam: The Rambam writes that the bima should be in the middle in order that everyone should hear k'riyas hatorah.

2) Kesef Mishna: Says that we see places where the bima is not in the middle. The Kesef Mishna concludes that "hakol l'fi haz'man v'hamamom". If the shul is small you can put the bima in the back since everyone can still hear.

3) Chasam Sofer (Orach Chaim Siman 28) : Brings a seond reason that the bima is comparable to teh mizbayach since a) we lein the parsha of korbonos on the bima and b) we do hakafos around teh bima like they did by the mizbayach. Just like the mizbayach haketores was in between the aron and menora, so too bima should be in the middle.

Many other teshuvos use the Chasam Sofer's reasoning and assume you have to have the bima in the middle.

For example, the Minchas Yitzchak says if you switch it then you are violating "al titosh toras emecha". Furtehrmore, he holds it is assur to daven in a shul where teh bima isn't in the middle.

Rav Moshe (OC 2 Siman 42 and 43) however doesn't like the Chasam Sofer's reasoning. Rav Moshe argues that all the korbonos were brought on the Outside Mizbayach (in the chatzar) yet the Chasam Sofer is comparing it to the Misbayach HaPinimi. He says teh Chasam Sofer's sevarah has no m'kor. That being said the ikar reason is the Rambam's reason (so everyone can hear). L'chatchila it should be in the middle but if it isn't you can daven there. However, if you have a choice you should daven in the shul where the bima is in the middle.
Rav Mosheh also adds that the reason other poskim were so against it was because they were fighting the reform. But in a situation where the threat from reform is not so great then b'd'ieved it is okay.

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