Who May Open the Aron HaKodesh?

**Dedicated to the Refua Shelema of Dan ben Lina**

The Arizal writes (Sha’ar HaKavanot 48d) that the opening of the Hechal is imbued with immense spiritual light, represented by the Attribute of Bina (lit. insight), and thus it is considered a special honor to be called upon to open the Hechal. Similarly, the opening of the Torah scroll itself involves great spiritual light and is represented by the Attribute of Hochma (lit. wisdom). Some communities, like the Yerushalmim, open the Torah scroll while walking from the Hechal to the Teva, whereas the Moroccan custom is to open and show the Torah scroll after having finished the procession to the Teva. The HIDA  (LeDavid Emet 4:6) says that because of the preeminence of opening the Hechal, one should not do so if one’s father or rabbi was honored with an inferior task, such as placing the bells on the Torah, as this would not be considered respectful. Furthermore, it is recommended that only a distinguished member of the community, or at the very least, one with a proper sense of awe and concentration should open the Hechal.

Summary:  The opening the Hechal has deep spiritual significance and thus is considered an important honor.

      who may open the aron hakodesh