When removed from the ehal (ark), the Torah scrolls are carried around the congregation where congregants can pay their respects. This is the most active part of any synagogue service, and the entire space becomes animated. In Ioannina, those carrying the Torah weave their way through the aisles and cross the central space to bring the scrolls to the bimah (reader’s platform). The scrolls are protected in their cases (in Ioannina, the traditional Romaniote tiks), but even the cases are not kissed directly. Men touch the cases with their tallitot (prayer shawls), which they then kiss, and women use their hands or prayerbooks, and then kiss these.
When the Torah scrolls are brought to the bimah, the scrolls are opened and shown to the congregation. Some congregants are given the honor to recite the blessing before and after each separate reading portion. The hazan chants the text using a yad (pointer) to help follow the lines of Hebrew script. At the end of the Torah service the scrolls are returned to the ehal and the procession process is reversed as the congregation stands and sings.