This article is about the divisions of the Torah into weekly readings. For this week's Torah portion, see
A Torah scroll and silver pointer (
) used in reading.
weekly Torah portion ( Hebrew: פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ Parashat ha-Shavua, popularly just or parashah parshah or parsha and also known as a or Sidra Sedra) is a section of the Torah ( Hebrew Bible) read in Jewish prayer services, mainly on Shabbat (Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath) and on Monday and Thursday morning services, part of the wider weekly practice. In Judaism, the Torah is read publicly over the course of a year, with one major portion read each week in the Shabbat morning service, except when a holiday coincides with Shabbat. The Torah is traditionally divided into 54 parshiyot or parshas (plural).
Each weekly Torah portion adopts its name from one of the
first unique words in the Hebrew text. Dating back to the time of the Babylonian captivity (6th century BCE), public Torah reading mostly followed an annual cycle beginning and ending on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, with the Torah divided into 54 weekly portions to correspond to the lunisolar Hebrew calendar, which contains up to 55 weeks, the exact number varying between leap years and regular years. [1 ]
There was also an ancient
triennial cycle of readings practiced in some parts of the world. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many congregations in the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements have implemented an alternative triennial cycle in which only one-third of each weekly parashah is read in a given year; the parashot read are still consistent with the annual cycle but the entire Torah is completed over three years.
Due to different lengths of holidays in Israel and the
Diaspora, the portion that is read on a particular week will sometimes not be the same inside and outside Israel.
Division into weekly parashot [ edit ]
The division of
parashot found in the modern-day Torah scrolls of all Ashkenazic, Sephardic, and Yemenite communities is based upon the systematic list provided by Maimonides in , Mishneh Torah , Laws of Tefillin, Mezuzah and Torah Scrolls Chapter 8. Maimonides based his division of the parashot for the Torah on the Masoretic text of the Aleppo Codex. [2 ]
Table of weekly readings [ edit ]
In the table, a portion that may be combined with the following portion, to compensate for the changing number of weeks in the lunisolar year, is marked with an asterisk.
[3 ] Parsha Portion
Bereshit, בְּרֵאשִׁית In the beginning
Noach, נֹחַ Noah (rest)
Lech-Lecha, לֶךְ-לְךָ Go forth, yourself!
Vayeira, וַיֵּרָא And He appeared
Chayei Sarah, חַיֵּי שָׂרָה Life of Sarah
Toledot, תּוֹלְדֹת Generations
Vayetze, וַיֵּצֵא And he went out
Vayishlach, וַיִּשְׁלַח And he sent
Vayeshev, וַיֵּשֶׁב And he settled
Miketz, מִקֵּץ At the end of
Vayigash, וַיִּגַּשׁ And he drew near
Vayechi, וַיְחִי And he lived
Shemot, שְׁמוֹת Names
Va'eira, וָאֵרָא And I appeared
Bo, בֹּא Enter!
Beshalach, בְּשַׁלַּח When he let go
Yitro, יִתְרוֹ Jethro
Mishpatim, מִּשְׁפָּטִים Laws
Terumah, תְּרוּמָה Offering
Tetzaveh, תְּצַוֶּה You shall command
Ki Tisa, כִּי תִשָּׂא When you elevate
Vayakhel, וַיַּקְהֵל And he assembled
Pekudei, פְקוּדֵי Accountings of
Vayikra, וַיִּקְרָא And he called
Tzav, צַו Command!
Shemini, שְּׁמִינִי Eighth
Tazria, תַזְרִיעַ She bears seed
Metzora, מְּצֹרָע Infected one
Acharei Mot, אַחֲרֵי מוֹת After the death
Kedoshim, קְדֹשִׁים Holy ones
Emor, אֱמֹר Say!
Behar, בְּהַר On the Mount
Bechukotai, בְּחֻקֹּתַי In My statutes
Bamidbar, בְּמִדְבַּר In the wilderness
Naso, נָשֹׂא Elevate!
Behaalotecha, בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ In your making go up
Shlach, שְׁלַח-לְךָ Send for yourself
Korach, קֹרַח Korach (bald)
Chukat, חֻקַּת Ordinance of
Balak, בָּלָק Balak (destroyer)
Pinchas, פִּינְחָס Phinehas (dark-skinned)
Matot, מַּטּוֹת Tribes
Masei, מַסְעֵי Journeys of
Devarim, דְּבָרִים Words
Va'etchanan, וָאֶתְחַנַּן And I pleaded
Eikev, עֵקֶב As a result
Re'eh, רְאֵה See!
Shoftim, שֹׁפְטִים Judges
Ki Teitzei, כִּי-תֵצֵא When you go out
Ki Tavo, כִּי-תָבוֹא When you enter in
Nitzavim, נִצָּבִים You are standing
Vayelech, וַיֵּלֶךְ And he went
Haazinu, הַאֲזִינוּ Give ear!
V'Zot HaBerachah, וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה And this the blessing
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ One week is always Passover and another is always Sukkot, and the final parashah, V'Zot HaBerachah, is always read on Simchat Torah. Therefore, there are in practice up to 53 available weeks for 53 portions. In years with fewer than 53 available weeks, some readings are combined to achieve the needed number of weekly readings.
^ Though initially doubted by Umberto Cassuto, this has become the established position in modern scholarship. (See the Aleppo Codex article for more information.)
External links [ edit ]