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Aliyah Latorah for a Non Cohen

Rabbi Jonathan Blass14 Tishrei 5763
534
Question
Can we give the first Aliya to a non-Cohen in the case he gives a large donation to the shul?
Answer
The Halacha is that a Cohen is called first to the Torah. Under certain circumstances all Cohanim can leave the synagogue when the Aliya is called so that in the absence of a Cohen a Yisrael or Levi can be called to the Torah in his stead. ONLY THE RABBI OF YOUR COMMUNITY can assess the situation and determine if by asking the Cohen to leave for the first Aliyah so that a large donor can be called instead - a dangerous precedent is being set that reenforces the arrogance of the donor or whether it is a step necessary for the well-being of the community.
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