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Weekly Torah Reading Summaries

Weekly Torah Readings

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detailed aliyot readings

Click on the Parashah name to display the summary. Haftarah and Brit Chadashah (New Testament) readings are included in each Torah portion.

Genesis (Bereshit)

The Book of Genesis (i.e., Sefer Bereshit [סֵפֶר בְּרֵאשִׁית]) is concerned with beginnings: the creation of the universe and the origin of humanity. It quickly moves from universal history (Adam, Noah, Babel) to the history of the Abraham, the first Jew. The remainder of the book focuses on the lives of the Jewish patriarachs, and especially the story of Joseph. The book ends with the entire family of Jacob migrating to Egypt to escape famine through the auspices of Joseph.

There are fifty chapters in Genesis, divided into twelve weekly readings:

1

 

 

Bereshit

In the beginning

Gen 1:1-6:8

2

 

 

Noach

Noah

Gen 6:9-11:32

3

 

Lekh Lekha

Go forth yourself!

Gen 12:1-17:27

4

 

Vayera

And He appeared

Gen 18:1-22:24

5

 

Chayei Sarah

Life of Sarah

Gen 23:1-25:18

6

 

Toldot

Generations

Gen 25:19-28:9

7

 

Vayetzei

And he went out

Gen 28:10-32:2

8

 

Vayishlach

And he sent

Gen 32:3-36:43

9

 

Vayeshev

And he settled

Gen 37:1-40:23

10

 

Miketz

At the end of

Gen 41:1-44:17

11

 

 

Vayigash

And he drew near

Gen 44:18-47:27

12

 

Vayechi

And he lived

Gen 47:28-50:26

Hear the Parashah Names

Exodus (Shemot)

The Book of Exodus (i.e., Sefer Shemot [סֵפֶר שְׁמוֹת]) tells the story of how the family of Jacob became a great nation. The book tells of the Israelites' enslavement, and subsequent deliverance with the 10 plagues by the hand of the LORD. Moses leads the people out of Egypt, crossing the Red Sea. They arrive at Sinai, where they receive the Torah. While Moses is on the mountain, the people worship a Golden Calf. The remainder of the book describes the details and construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle).

There are forty chapters in Exodus, divided into eleven weekly readings:

13

 

Shemot

Names

Exodus 1:1-6:1

14

 

Va'era

And I appeared

Exodus 6:2-9:35

15

 

Bo

Enter!

Exodus 10:1-13:16

16

 

 

Beshalach

When he let go

Exodus 13:17-17:16

17

 

 

Yitro

Jethro

Exodus 18:1-20:26

18

 

Mishpatim

Judgements

Exodus 21:1-24:18

19

 

 

Terumah

Contribution

Exodus 25:1-27:19

20

 

Tetzaveh

You shall command

Exodus 27:20-30:10

21

 

 

Ki Tisa

When you take

Exodus 30:11-34:35

22

 

Vayakhel *

And he assembled

Exodus 35:1-38:20

23

 

Pekudei

Accountings of

Exodus 38:21-40:38

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Leviticus (Vaiyikra)

The Book of Leviticus (i.e., Sefer Vayikra [סֵפֶר וַיִּקְרָא]) is the book of the priesthood of ancient Israel, concerning ritual and sacrificial laws pertaining to the Mishkan (tabernacle, and later the Temple).  The book describes the details of offering various sacrifices to the LORD, and especially emphasizes ritual purity and holiness. In fact, nearly half of the 613 commandments of the Torah are found in this book (and much of the Talmud is based on it).

There are twenty-seven chapters, divided into ten weekly readings:

24

 

Vayikra

And He called

Leviticus 1:1-6:7

25

 

Tzav

Command!

Leviticus 6:8-8:36

26

 

 

Shmini

Eighth

Leviticus 9:1-11:47

27

 

Tazria *

She conceives

Leviticus 12:1-13:59

28

 

Metzora

Leper

Leviticus 14:1-15:33

29

 

 

Acharei Mot *

After the death

Leviticus 16:1-18:30

30

 

Kedoshim

Holy ones

Leviticus 19:1-20:27

31

 

 

Emor

Say!

Leviticus 21:1-24:23

32

 

BeHar *

On the mountain

Leviticus 25:1-26:2

33

 

Bechukotai

In My statutes

Leviticus 26:3-27:34

Hear the Parashah Names

Numbers (Bamidbar)

The Book of Numbers (i.e., Sefer Bemidbar [סֵפֶר בְּמִדְבַּר]) details how the tribes of Israel were counted and meticulously arranged into military camp formation around the Mishkan (tabernacle). Led by the Shechinah cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, at first they were en route to the Promised Land - the land of Canaan - which the LORD swore to give to Abraham and his descendants forever. However, the people rebelled and were condemned to wander for 40 years in the desert.

There are thirty-six chapters, divided into ten weekly readings:

34

 

 

Bamidbar

In the desert

Numbers 1:1-4:20

35

 

Naso

Lift up!

Numbers 4:21-7:89

36

 

Beha'alotekha

When you set up

Numbers 8:1-12:16

37

 

Shelach Lekha

Send for yourself!

Numbers 13:1-15:41

38

 

 

Korach

Korah

Numbers 16:1-18:32

39

 

Chukat *

Decree of

Numbers 19:1-22:1

40

 

Balak

Balak

Numbers 22:2-25:9

41

 

Pinchas

Phinehas

Numbers 25:10-29:40

42

 

Mattot *

Tribes

Numbers 30:1-32:42

43

 

Masei

Journeys of

Numbers 33:1-36:13

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Deuteronomy (Devarim)

In the final book of Torah, Sefer ha'Devarim (סֵפֶר הַדְּבָרִים), Moses reviews the history and the laws given to the Jewish people (the Greek name Deuteronomy comes from the phrase Mishneh haTorah (Deut. 17:18), which means "the second telling of the law"). Obeying God's laws will bring blessing, while spurning them will bring disaster. Idolatry is repeatedly denounced.

There are thirty-four chapters, divided into eleven weekly readings.

44

 

 

Devarim

Words

Deut 1:1-3:22

45

 

Vaetchanan

And I pleaded

Deut 3:23-7:11

46

 

Eikev

Consequently

Deut 7:12-11:25

47

 

Re'eh

See!

Deut 11:26-16:17

48

 

Shoftim

Judges

Deut 16:18-21:9

49

 

 

Ki Teitzei

When you go out

Deut 21:10-25:19

50

 

Ki Tavo

When you go in

Deut 26:1-29:9

51

 

Nitzavim *

Standing

Deut 29:10-30:20

52

 

Vayeilech

And he went

Deut 31:1-30

53

 

Ha'azinu

Give ear!

Deut 32:1-52

54

 

 

Vzot Haberakhah

And this blessing

Deut 33:1-34:12

Hear the Parashah Names

* Portions marked with an asterisk may be added to the following week's readings.

There are 54 Torah portions, one for each week of a leap year, so that in the course of a year, beginning and ending on the Simchat Torah, we read the entire Torah in our services. During non-leap years, there are 50 weeks, so some of the shorter portions are doubled up (a leap-year adds an additional month (4 weeks) to the usual 12 (called Adar II); a Jewish calendar will indicate if a year is a leap year). 

During the weeks of Passover and Sukkot, different Torah portions are read, so on leap years that leaves 52 weeks for the 54 readings (2 weeks have double portions), and on non leap years, 48 weeks for the 54 (6 weeks have double portions).

Outline of Torah in Five Words

As a bit of trivia, if you were to connect the last word of each book of the Torah can tell the story of the entire Torah... Genesis ends with the word be'mitzraim (בְּמִצְרָיִם), "in Egypt"; Exodus ends with ma'sehem (מַסְעֵיהֶם), "their journeys"; Leviticus ends with "Sina"i (סִינָי); Numbers ends with "Jericho" (יְרֵחוֹ), and Deuteronomy ends with "Israel" (יִשְׂרָאֵל). If you string these words together you get something like, "The people were in Egypt, but they journeyed, first to Sinai, then to Jericho, and finally into the land of Israel."

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