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 (פרשת השבוע), 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 site 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. At First Fruits of Zion, we have also created an accompanying reading cycle for the Gospels and Acts.
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