The weekly Torah portion (Hebrew: פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ Parashat ha-Shavua, popularly just parashah or parshah or parsha and also known as a Sidra or Sedra) is a section of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) read in Jewish services, mainly on Shabbat (Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath) and on Monday and Thursday morning 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, 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.
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.
... 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 ... Book Parsha Name English Equivalent Parsha Portion Bereishit (Genesis) Bereishit, בְּרֵאשִׁית In the beginning Gen ...
... word, and the first distinctive word, in the parshah) is the 39th weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the book ... the subsequent parshah, Balak, to help achieve the needed number of weekly readings ... also read the first part of the parshah, Numbers 191–22, in addition to the regular weekly Torah portion, on the Sabbath after Purim, called Shabbat Parah ...
Famous quotes containing the words portion and/or weekly:
“A man might well pray that he may not taboo or curse any portion of nature by being buried in it.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“If you are one of the hewers of wood and drawers of small weekly paychecks, your letters will have to contain some few items of news or they will be accounted dry stuff.... But if you happen to be of a literary turn of mind, or are, in any way, likely to become famous, you may settle down to an afternoon of letter-writing on nothing more sprightly in the way of news than the shifting of the wind from south to south-east.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)