In conclusion of our series on the laws pertaining to an oleh to the Torah, we will discuss a question debated by the Poskim. As we have previously noted the oleh should first see where the reading of the next section begins and then say the Bracha having that piece in mind. What is the halacha when after the bracha has been recited we discover that the wrong section was pointed out? Should the bracha be repeated before reading the correct section, or not?
Rav Yossef Karo in his Beit Yossef and in Shulchan Aruch (OC 140) brings two varied opinions on whether an additional bracha is required or not. One opinion is, since while reciting the original bracha the oleh had in mind a section other then the one to be read, a second bracha should be recited. In the view of this opinion, our case is similar to a situation where a bracha is said on a fruit that is consequently lost and another bracha is required to eat another fruit. According to the second opinion, since a person in reality recites a bracha on all of torah, no other bracha is needed. In the view of this opinion our case resembles the case of a bowl of fruit from which one fruit is taken. Since the bracha made includes not only the fruit in hand, but that which is in the bowl as well, no additional bracha is needed.
The poskim tend to accept the opinion requiring a second bracha. Yet, in the opinion of most poskim, when the place pointed out is in a different section than that which is to be read, another bracha be required. If the two pieces appear in the same column, whether the correct one proceeds or follows the one incorrectly pointed out, no additional bracha is needed. Other opinions broaden this view to include the same general area that could be assumed to have been open before the oleh at the time the bracha was recited.
In reference to some of the above situations we find opinions that require a bracha be recited again.(see Aruch Ha-Shulchan OC 140\7-9) Yet, since there are many opinions that hold a second bracha is not needed, we should follow the rule that when confronted with a doubt whether to recite a bracha or not, it should not be recited.(Shaar Hatziyune OC 140\12)
To avoid such problems it is recommended that when receiving an aliya the oleh should know in advance what section is to be read during his aliyah. When the reader points out the place to be read one should silently read several words from that point in order to verify that it is the correct section.