TORAH PORTIONS

The Annual The Torah Reading Cycle

The Torah Reading Cycle

 

Each week, synagogues across the world read a section from the Torah (the five books of Moses). In Hebrew, this passage is called Parashat HaShavua (פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ), which means “portion of the week.” Sometimes it is called the parsha or sidra.

The Jewish community follows a schedule of readings based on the Hebrew calendar. Over the course of a year, the entire Torah is read publicly during the synagogue services. Each reading has a name based on one of the important Hebrew words in the first sentence of the passage. There are fifty-four portions in the regular cycle, as listed here.

 

 

Torah Portions Readings

The Torah Portions follows the passages of Scripture that are read aloud in Jewish synagogues every week. “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath” (Acts 15:21). In the synagogue, the Torah cycle begins with Genesis 1:1, usually around September/October. The full text of Genesis through Deuteronomy is broken into 54 sections containing a few chapters each. Each week one of these sections is chanted aloud to the congregation in Hebrew. The names of the weekly portions are derived from a significant Hebrew word in the first sentence of that week’s reading. A year after beginning the first portion, the congregation finishes Deuteronomy and begins Genesis again.

In addition to readings from the five books of Moses, the Torah reading cycle includes a weekly reading from the prophets.

What is Torah?

The Torah is an ancient scroll containing the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — the first five books of the Bible. The Torah provides a solid footing for the entire Bible.

The Torah is the foundation of faith in Yeshua. All of the concepts associated with the Gospel—such as God, holiness, righteousness, sin, sacrifice, repentance, faith, forgiveness, covenant, grace and the kingdom of heaven on earth—are introduced in the Torah. Basic sacraments and rituals like baptism, communion, prayer and blessing all come from the Torah. Faith in Yeshua (Jesus) is meaningful because of the Torah. Without the Torah, the Gospel has no foundation on which to stand.

The Hebrew word torah is translated “law” in most of our English Bibles. The Torah is called the Law of Moses because Moses wrote it, but the Torah is more than just a legal code. The word “Torah” (תורה) is from the Hebrew root, yara (ירה) which means “to instruct,” or “to teach.” Although it does contain laws, Torah itself is not only a “law,” but it is God’s “teaching” and “instruction.” That explains why the word Torah is often used to refer to the whole Bible. From our perspective, even the Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation fall under the broad definition of Torah. It’s all God’s instruction, and it’s all rooted in the Torah of Moses.

The Torah is the story of God’s people and how they came to be the people of God in the first place. The Torah is something all believers have in common. We all have this common ground. The Torah is our shared origin. It is God’s book.

 
 

Torah Portion Reading Cycle Guides

Torah Portions 

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