GELILAH ("the act of rolling up"):

The wrapping of the scroll of the Law in its vestments after the lesson has been read from it. In the German ritual it follows the "hagbahah" (lifting up), and its performance is deemed a lesser honor than that of the latter; in the Sephardic ritual the gelilah is not connected with the hagbahah, which takes place before the reading. According to Shulḥan 'Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 147, the most honored man among those called to the desk should perform the gelilah, though among the Sephardim it is usually done by small boys. There are minute rules with regard to rolling up the scroll with proper respect; among the Sephardim it is deemed improper to touch the bare parchment; hence they put a linen or silken cloth ("mappa") next to the scroll.

Neither the Talmud nor the treatise Soferim mentions the gelilah as a ceremony; Soferim (xiii. 8) rules that each man called to the desk, after reading his own subsection and before the closing benediction, shall roll up the scroll; he does this by simply bringing the part on his right and that on his left close together, so that no portion of the writing can be seen.

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