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Q&A

Can a Levi be called up in place of a Yisrael?

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In my Simchas Torah experience, there's at least as many cycles of aliyos as there are Kohanim and Leviim, such that if anything a given Kohen or Levi may end up with multiple aliyos on a given Simchas Torah morning.

This year was quite different; there were proportionally many Leviim for the amount of Yisraelim present, such that giving each cycle just one Levi proved to leave over several Leviim without yet receiving an aliyah. As it happened, this realization struck in the middle of a particular cycle. This led to the odd situation wherein I received Revi'i for that cycle, called up as "Doniel...Halevi bimekom Yisrael," the Levi in the place of a Yisrael.

Was what this Gabbai did permissible? Should he have instead called up some Yisraelim again for Revi'i and Chamishi, delaying the remaining Levi'im until the next cycle(s)? Would it make a difference whether it was a Levi or Kohen who received this unusual late-cycle aliyah?

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7 comments

In my shul there were no Kohanim, and a bunch of Levi'im, so we asked the rav what to do, and he said that for Simchas Torah, any order is fine. I was called for shlishi (and i am a Levi) after a Yisrael was called. Dani‭ 3 months ago

However, I didn't hear anything about being called up "bimekom Yisrael". Dani‭ 3 months ago

A Levi is also a Yisrael. Is there a rule that the Yisrael aliyot belong to people who are only Yisrael and not also Levi or Kohein? Monica Cellio‭ 3 months ago

@MonicaCellio I think for purposes of this topic a Levi is not a Yisroel robev‭ 3 months ago

In normal times, it is pretty strict: 1 = Cohen, if no Cohen then Gabbai's choice (really!) Levi or Yisrael; 2 = Levi unless (a) no Cohen - then Yisrael, (b) Cohen but no Levi - then the same Cohen (because a Cohen is a subset of Levi; but can't do a different Cohen because that would imply the first turned out to be invalid), all other regular Aliyahs = only Yisroel; Acharon (which some do a lot, some never, and only Shabbos or Yom Tov) and Maftir - anyone. Simchas Torah the only usual manassehkatz‭ 3 months ago

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