Order of Reading the Law. cxlix
Order of Reading the Law.
Page 143. The ceremonial connected with the Reading of the Law has already been discussed above in the notes on P.B. pp. 66 seq. But on Sabbath and Festivals the rite is more elaborate. The Sephardim differ considerably from the Ashcenazim at this point, and the older rites all show many variations, especially in regard to the Scriptural texts cited in the invocations prior and subsequent to taking the scroll from the Ark. The long additions--beginning Unto thee it was showed that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, there is none other beside him (אַתָּה הָרְאֵתָ לָדַעַת Deut. iv. 35) made in some Synagogues on the festival of the Rejoicing of the Law were, according to Abudarham, used on every Sabbath in Spain in the middle of the fourteenth century. Other additions also are made by the same authority for the weekly Sabbath in this part of the service.
Our P.B. opens with four verses, three of them Scriptural texts (beginning There is none like unto thee among the gods, Lord, אֵין כָּמוֺךָ) Ps . lxxxvi. 8, cxlv. 13, xxix. II, while the other (the Lord reigneth, יִיָ מֶלֶךְ) is composite as indicated above in the note on P.B. p. 28. Some of these verses are already included in Sopherim xiv. 8, so that our P.B. has excellent authority for its choice of them, though they are not found in the mediæval rites. (Landshuth, p. 296, however, quotes a manuscript of the Shibbole ha-Lekeṭ middle of the thirteenth century for the custom of introducing the verses on all such Sabbaths and Festivals on which two Scrolls of the Law are taken out from the Ark.) The short prayer that follows in our P.B. Father of Mercies (אב הָרַחֲמִים) quotes the text, Ps. li. 20 (do good unto Zion, etc.). The second sentence, for in thee alone do we trust etc., is compiled by adapting various Scriptural phrases.
Some recent rituals insert, as our P.B. does, a meditation in Aramaic opening Blessed be the name of the Sovereign of the Universe (בְּרִיךְ שְׁמֵהּ). It is a noble