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Weekly Torah portion

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This article is about the divisions of the Torah into weekly readings. For this week's Torah portion, see Torah portion


A Torah scroll and silver pointer (yad) used in reading.

The weekly Torah portion (Hebrew: פָּרָשָׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ Parashat ha-Shavua‎, popularly just parashah or parshah and also known as a Sidra) is a section of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) read in Jewish services. 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.

Each weekly Torah portion adopts its name from one of the first unique word or 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 the weekly parasha is read in a given year; the parashot read is 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

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

In the table, a portion which may be combined with the following portion, to compensate for the changing number of weeks in the lunisolar year, are marked with an asterisk.

Book Parsha Name Parsha Portion
Bereishit (Genesis) Bereishit, בְּרֵאשִׁית Gen. 1:1-6:8
Noach, נֹחַ 6:9-11:32
Lech-Lecha, לֶךְ-לְךָ 12:1-17:27
Vayeira, וַיֵּרָא 18:1-22:24
Chayei Sarah, חַיֵּי שָׂרָה 23:1-25:18
Toledot, תּוֹלְדֹת 25:19-28:9
Vayetze, וַיֵּצֵא 28:10-32:3
Vayishlach, וַיִּשְׁלַח 32:4-36:43
Vayeshev, וַיֵּשֶׁב 37:1-40:23
Miketz, מִקֵּץ 41:1-44:17
Vayigash, וַיִּגַּשׁ 44:18-47:27
Vayechi, וַיְחִי 47:28-50:26
Shemot (Exodus) Shemot, שְׁמוֹת Ex. 1:1-6:1
Va'eira, וָאֵרָא 6:2-9:35
Bo, בֹּא 10:1-13:16
Beshalach, בְּשַׁלַּח 13:17-17:16
Yitro, יִתְרוֹ 18:1-20:23
Mishpatim, מִּשְׁפָּטִים 21:1-24:18
Terumah, תְּרוּמָה 25:1-27:19
Tetzaveh, תְּצַוֶּה 27:20-30:10
Ki Tisa, כִּי תִשָּׂא 30:11-34:35
*Vayakhel, וַיַּקְהֵל 35:1-38:20
Pekudei, פְקוּדֵי 38:21-40:38
Vayikra (Leviticus) Vayikra, וַיִּקְרָא Lev. 1:1-5:26
Tzav, צַו 6:1-8:36
Shemini, שְּׁמִינִי 9:1-11:47
*Tazria, תַזְרִיעַ 12:1-13:59
Metzora, מְּצֹרָע 14:1-15:33
*Acharei, אַחֲרֵי מוֹת 16:1-18:30
Kedoshim, קְדֹשִׁים 19:1-20:27
Emor, אֱמֹר 21:1-24:23
*Behar, בְּהַר 25:1-26:2
Bechukotai, בְּחֻקֹּתַי 26:3-27:34
Bamidbar (Numbers) Bamidbar, בְּמִדְבַּר Num. 1:1-4:20
Naso, נָשֹׂא 4:21-7:89
Behaalotecha, בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ 8:1-12:16
Shlach, שְׁלַח-לְךָ 13:1-15:41
Korach, קֹרַח 16:1-18:32
*Chukat, חֻקַּת 19:1-22:1
Balak, בָּלָק 22:2-25:9
Pinchas, פִּינְחָס 25:10-30:1
*Matot, מַּטּוֹת 30:2-32:42
Masei, מַסְעֵי 33:1-36:13
Devarim (Deuteronomy) Devarim, דְּבָרִים Deut. 1:1-3:22
Va'etchanan, וָאֶתְחַנַּן 3:23-7:11
Eikev, עֵקֶב 7:12-11:25
Re'eh, רְאֵה 11:26-16:17
Shoftim, שֹׁפְטִים 16:18-21:9
Ki Teitzei, כִּי-תֵצֵא 21:10-25:19
Ki Tavo, כִּי-תָבוֹא 26:1-29:8
*Nitzavim, נִצָּבִים 29:9-30:20
Vayelech, וַיֵּלֶךְ 31:1-31:30
Haazinu, הַאֲזִינוּ 32:1-32:52
V'Zot HaBerachah, וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה 33:1-34:12


  1. 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.
  2. Though initially doubted by Umberto Cassuto, this has become the established position in modern scholarship. (See the Aleppo Codex article for more information.)

See also

External Links


da:Parashaja:パーラーシャー nn:Parasjá pt:Parashá ru:Недельная глава tl:Lingguhang kabahagi ng Tora yi:פרשת השבוע

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