Receiving an honor in the Synagogue is a special experience. It draws a blessing for the individual, family and entire community. How much more so when this honor occurs during the High Holidays.  During Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Divine light and sustenance is drawn down for the entire year.

Below is a description of the various segulot associated with some of the honors. A segulah is a Divine, supernatural "cause" (a Divine "treasure-house") for a manifestly good "effect." The blessings for the giver and for the honoree flow through the tzedakah that one gives for an Aliyah. 



Explanation of the Honors

PETICHAH (Opening the Ark)
The Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark) is a reflection of the Ark in the Holy. It is the holiest space in synagogue, and thus it is the holiest location of the entire community. Because of its unique holy nature, we place a Parochet (curtain or doors) in front of the Ark. At special moments during the service we open the, which thus opens the Gateway to Heaven, and lets the holiness shine forth.

ALIYAH (Being called to the Torah)
The Torah is a tangible gift from G‑d. The Kabbalah calls it the “Divine Wisdom”. The scroll was completed at the end of our journey in the desert and placed in the Holy Ark, next to the Tablets. We each have a portion in the Torah. The Aliyah is a powerful way to retrieve that portion.

How It’s Done
It is a custom in many shuls around the world to associate a donation/pledge with the privilege of being honored in front of the Torah on the High Holidays. It is considered to be very meritorious to connect these honors with an act of Tzedakah. Many have asked to quietly sponsor an honor in advance of the holidays. This is not meant to be a competition, but rather an opportunity to make donations to tzedakah that directly relate to one of the special High Holiday honors. It can be “paid” throughout the year. Regardless, HASHEM ALWAYS LISTENS TO THE PRAYERS OF A SINCERE HEART!

Complete this form or call us to discuss the honor you which to acquire, which will be performed by an adult (13 or over) Jewish male of your choice. Gelilah can be performed by a boy under 13. REMEMBER, YOU CAN SPONSOR THE HONOR AND MERIT AND THEN OFFER TO SOMEONE ELSE. Both, the sponsor and the one which is the vessel for the greatest blessings from Above.

Honoraria & Distinction for High Holidays

Repetition of the Amidah, Ark Opening – separate honors for Shacharit & Musaf  
The one who opens the ark is becoming an emissary - together with the Cantor - for the congregation in their prayers and supplications to G‑d. The Talmud teaches: "If someone prays on behalf of another…he is answered first". In a sense he is opening the gates which will allow the flow of our prayers to ascend heavenward, and the blessings of the Almighty to descend upon us.

Ark Opening 
Kabala reveals that the opening of the Ark and removal of the Sifrei Torah opens a treasure trove of blessings from Above. This applies especially to one whose wife is pregnant, in petitioning for an easy delivery.

Rosh Hashanah's Torah Reading focuses on the theme of the day -acknowledgment of G‑d's kingship, power and mercy. Thus, on the first day, we read that Abraham and Sara were "remembered" with a son on Rosh Hashanah, it shows the theme of G‑d’s mercy which we seek. On the second day we read of the Akeida, the binding of Isaac, an act whose merit is recalled in the Shofar blowing. It, too, re-awakens G‑d's compassion and benevolence to cascade upon us.

Each Aliyah sponsored brings a personal connection and blessing to the benefactor. One is elevated by the Aliyah ("elevation") he has sponsored.

Raising the Torah Scrolls (two honors) 
By raising the Torah one elevates all previous Aliyot and receives their reward.

Wrapping the Torah Scrolls (two honors – could be a boy under age 13) 
HaKol holeich achar ha'chitum - "Everything goes according to the end." With this merit you “mop up” all the benefits.

The Haftorah tells of the stirring story of Chana self-sacrifice, heart-felt prayer and the answer and blessing she received from G‑d. As a barren woman (like Sara), she was blessed with a child, who later became the prophet Samuel. The merit for this Maftir is great, the blessings many. The Lubavitcher Rebbe would recite this Haftorah with intense passion.

Holding of a Sefer 
This is the most ancient and highest honor that is purchased on Rosh Hashanah. One is considered an "emissary" of the congregation and partner with the Ba'al Tokai'ah – Shofar Blower bringing down mystical elevations from Above.