Va'etchanan - Readings


In traditional Sabbath Torah reading, the parshah is divided into seven readings, or עליות, aliyot. In the masoretic text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), Parshah Va'etchanan has six "open portion" (פתוחה, petuchah) divisions (roughly equivalent to paragraphs, often abbreviated with the Hebrew letter פ (peh), roughly equivalent to the English letter “P”). Parshah Va'etchanan has several further subdivisions, called "closed portions" (סתומה, setumah) (abbreviated with the Hebrew letter ס (samekh), roughly equivalent to the English letter "S") within the open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) divisions. The first open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) divides the first reading (עליות, aliyot). The second open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) goes from the middle of the first reading (עליה, aliyah) to the middle of the second reading (עליה, aliyah). The third open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) concludes the second reading (עליה, aliyah). The fourth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) corresponds to the third reading. The fifth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) spans the fourth and fifth readings (עליות, aliyot). And the sixth open portion (פתוחה, petuchah) spans the sixth and seventh readings (עליות, aliyot). Several closed portion (סתומה, setumah) divisions, notably one for every commandment, further divide the fourth and sixth readings (עליות, aliyot). (See, e.g., Menachem Davis. The Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Chumash: Devarim / Deuteronomy, 26–53. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 2009. ISBN 1-4226-0210-9.)

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