Someone was called up for maftir in a shul they normally don’t daven in. When it came to make the brachos on the haftorah they put down in front of him a chumash to read from. He said he doesn’t make a bracha on the haftorah unless he is reading it from a klaf. What can be done at this point, since he longer wants to make the brachos on the haftorah and lein?

Answer:

Although the Mishnah Berurah (284:11) writes that it is surely a virtue to read the haftorah from a kelaf, the strict halachah is that the haftorah can be read from a printed text. This ruling seems to emerge directly from the Gemara (Gittin 60), as stated by the Shulchan Aruch Harav (284 K.A. 1).

The Magen Avraham, Taz, and other poskim thus uphold the regular custom of reading the haftorah from a sefer. There is room to debate the Levush’s opinion in this matter (see Aruch Hashulchan 284:5, though his opinion is a chidush).

Even the Vilna Gaon (cited in Maaseh Rav), who is quoted by the Mishnah Berurah, does not appear to have maintained that the haftorah cannot be read from a regular sefer (this is implied by the Gaon to siman 490), though he ensured that Nevi’im were written for the readings in his own shul.

Although the person in question does not generally make a berachah unless there is a kelaf, under the circumstances of having been called he should certainly make the berachah in keeping with the custom of the place. As noted, the general custom is to be lenient in this matter, and nobody rules (clearly) that this is actually a berachah levatalah.

Declining the aliyah will involve issues of shaming the person who was called up, shaming others, and potentially causing animosity and machlokes, and surely under the circumstances the person is question must set aside his stringencies and act according to the custom of the place.

Tags: haftarah haftorah kelaf parchment

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