smicha

S'micha

Nov
01

'''Semicha''' ("leaning [of the hands]"), also semichut ( "ordination"), or semicha lerabbanut ("rabbinical ordination") is derived from a Hebrew word which means to "rely on" or "to be authorized". It generally refers to the ordination of a rabbi within Judaism. In this sense it is the "transmission" of rabbinic authority to give advice or judgment in Jewish law.

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The Sages have said:

In the Code of Jewish Law1 it is written that a Torah scroll should be held in one's right arm (and rested on the right shoulder). This applies even if the one holding the Torah is left-handed. There are two verses that allude to this idea:1) "From His right hand was a fiery Law for them" -- Deuteronomy 33:2. The Torah was given from G‑d's right hand, as it were, and we therefore hold it in our right hand, too.2) "And His right hand will embrace me" -- Song of Songs 2:6. G‑d embraces us with His right hand, and we, in turn, embrace His holy Torah with our right hand.

Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar