Weekly Torah portion

A Torah scroll and silver pointer (yad) used in reading.

Custom among religious Jewish communities for a weekly Torah portion to be read during Jewish prayer services on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

- Weekly Torah portion
A Torah scroll and silver pointer (yad) used in reading.

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Sefer Haftarah written in Yemen (ca. 19th century)

Haftarah

The haftarah or (in Ashkenazic pronunciation) haftorah (alt.

The haftarah or (in Ashkenazic pronunciation) haftorah (alt.

Sefer Haftarah written in Yemen (ca. 19th century)
Diglot Hebrew-English Haftarah sample, showing how Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions differ in their section boundaries

Typically, the haftarah is thematically linked to the parashah (weekly Torah portion) that precedes it.

Torah scroll at old Glockengasse Synagogue (reconstruction), Cologne

Torah

Compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Torah scroll at old Glockengasse Synagogue (reconstruction), Cologne
Silver Torah case, Ottoman Empire, displayed in the Museum of Jewish Art and History
Reading of the Torah
One common formulation of the documentary hypothesis
The supplementary hypothesis, one potential successor to the documentary hypothesis
Presentation of The Torah, by Édouard Moyse, 1860, Museum of Jewish Art and History
Torahs in Ashkenazi Synagogue (Istanbul, Turkey)
Page pointers, or yad, for reading of the Torah
Open Torah case with scroll.

A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation.

Candles are lit on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath ("Shabbat") and on Jewish holidays.

Jewish holidays

Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or Yamim Tovim (ימים טובים, or singular יום טוב Yom Tov, in transliterated Hebrew []), are holidays observed in Judaism and by Jews throughout the Hebrew calendar.

Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or Yamim Tovim (ימים טובים, or singular יום טוב Yom Tov, in transliterated Hebrew []), are holidays observed in Judaism and by Jews throughout the Hebrew calendar.

Candles are lit on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath ("Shabbat") and on Jewish holidays.
Shabbat candles and kiddush cup
Rosh Hashana symbols: shofar, apples and honey, pomegranates, kiddush wine
A man in a tallit blows the shofar
A sukkah booth
Dancing with the Torah
Hanukkiah
Nuts and dried fruits, traditionally eaten on Tu Bishvat
The opening chapter of a hand-written scroll of the Book of Esther, with reader's pointer
Mishloah manot
Traditional arrangement of symbolic foods on a Passover Seder Plate
Table set for Passover seder
Lag Ba'Omer bonfire
Cheese blintzes, a traditional food on Shavuot
Worshipers seated on the floor of the synagogue before the reading of Lamentations on Tisha B'Av
A lit Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle
A moment of silence as the siren is sounded in Tel Aviv, Yom Hazikaron 2007
The final round of the International Bible Contest (here in 1985) is held on Yom Ha'atzmaut
Jerusalem Day celebrations
Joshua passing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant by Benjamin West

Reading of the Weekly Torah portion

A Sefer Torah opened for liturgical use in a synagogue service.

Triennial cycle

Read in serial fashion over a three-year period, or

Read in serial fashion over a three-year period, or

A Sefer Torah opened for liturgical use in a synagogue service.

The practice adopted by many Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Renewal congregations starting in the 19th and 20th Century, in which the traditional weekly Torah portions are divided into thirds, and in which one third of each weekly "parashah" of the annual system is read during the appropriate week of the calendar.

A page from the Aleppo Codex, Deuteronomy 32:50-33:29. Parashah breaks visible on this page are as follows: {P} 33:1-6 (right column blank line 8th from top) {S} 33:7 (right column indentation line 23) {P} 33:8-11 (right column blank line 2nd from bottom) {S} 33:12 (middle column 1st indentation) {S} 33:13-17 (middle column 2nd indentation) {S} 33:18-19 (left column indentation at top) {S} 33:20-21 (left column space in middle of 6th line) {S} 33:22 (left column 13th line indentation) {S} 33:24-39 (left column 17th line indentation).

Parashah

The term parashah (פָּרָשָׁה Pārāšâ, "portion", Tiberian, Sephardi , plural: parashot or parashiyot, also called parsha) formally means a section of a biblical book in the Masoretic Text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible).

The term parashah (פָּרָשָׁה Pārāšâ, "portion", Tiberian, Sephardi , plural: parashot or parashiyot, also called parsha) formally means a section of a biblical book in the Masoretic Text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible).

A page from the Aleppo Codex, Deuteronomy 32:50-33:29. Parashah breaks visible on this page are as follows: {P} 33:1-6 (right column blank line 8th from top) {S} 33:7 (right column indentation line 23) {P} 33:8-11 (right column blank line 2nd from bottom) {S} 33:12 (middle column 1st indentation) {S} 33:13-17 (middle column 2nd indentation) {S} 33:18-19 (left column indentation at top) {S} 33:20-21 (left column space in middle of 6th line) {S} 33:22 (left column 13th line indentation) {S} 33:24-39 (left column 17th line indentation).
Illustration of a closed section followed by an open section in a modern Torah scroll (closed at Numbers 10:35 and open at 11:1). Note the rare occurrence of "inverted Nun" at these two points.
Two consecutive pages of the Aleppo Codex from the now-missing part of Deuteronomy were photographed in 1910 by Joseph Segall, containing the Ten Commandments. The image shows Deuteronomy 4:38 (גדלים) to 6:3 (ואשר), including the following parashah breaks: {P} 4:41 אז יבדיל {P} 5:1 ויקרא משה {S} 5:6 אנכי {S} 5:10 לא תשא {S} 5:11 שמור {S} 5:15 כבד {S} 5:16a לא תרצח {S} 5:16b ולא תנאף {S} 5:16c ולא תגנב {S} 5:16d ולא תענה {S} 5:17a ולא תחמד {S} 5:21b ולא תתאוה {S} את הדברים 5:22. These parashot are shown in bold within the list below for Parashat Va'etchannan.
Image of a modern Torah scroll open to the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1–19) with special layout visible.
The list of Haman's sons in a standard Scroll of Esther.

In common usage today the word often refers to the Weekly Torah portion (a shortened form of Parashat HaShavua).

Jewish calendar, showing Adar II between 1927 and 1948

Hebrew calendar

Lunisolar calendar used today for Jewish religious observance, and as an official calendar of the state of Israel.

Lunisolar calendar used today for Jewish religious observance, and as an official calendar of the state of Israel.

Jewish calendar, showing Adar II between 1927 and 1948
The Trumpeting Place inscription, a stone (2.43×1 m) with Hebrew inscription "To the Trumpeting Place" is believed to be a part of the Second Temple.
A bronze Shabbat candlestick holder made in Mandatory Palestine in the 1940s.
The Jewish calendar's reference point is traditionally held to be about one year before the Creation of the world.
A shofar made from a ram's horn is traditionally blown in observance of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish civic year.

It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits (dates to commemorate the death of a relative), and daily Psalm readings, among many ceremonial uses.

Carpet page from the Leningrad Codex, the oldest complete manuscript of the Masoretic Text.

Seder (Bible)

Part of a biblical book in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible.

Part of a biblical book in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible.

Carpet page from the Leningrad Codex, the oldest complete manuscript of the Masoretic Text.

In its sense as part of cyclical public reading of a biblical book, the term is also used to designate the Weekly Torah portion.

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1855 illustration by Gustave Doré)

Vayishlach

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1855 illustration by Gustave Doré)
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1865 painting by Alexander Louis Leloir)
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1659 painting by Rembrandt)
The Reunion of Jacob and Esau (1844 painting by Francesco Hayez)
Dinah (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Simeon and Levi Slay the Shechemites (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible)
The Death of Rachel (painting circa 1847 by Gustav Ferdinand Metz)
Isaac died when he was 180 years old. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Jacob Sees Esau Coming to Meet Him (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Jacob (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Jacob got together a big present for Esau. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Jacob prayed. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Jacob Wrestles with the Angel (woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld from the 1860 Die Bibel in Bildern)
God has sent an angel to Jacob. (illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster)
Jacob wrestles with an Angel (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible)
Someone came and wrestled with him all night (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (1876 painting by Léon Bonnat)
The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau (illustration from a Bible card published 1907 by the Providence Lithograph Company)
The Meeting of Esau and Jacob (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Jacob told Esau to go on home and that he would come along later. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
The Rape of Dinah (16th-century painting by Giuliano Bugiardini, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna)
Job and His Wife (painting circa 1500–1503 by Albrecht Dürer)
Jacob stopped at Bethel and built an altar to the Lord. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Jacob's Vision and God's Promise (illustration from a Bible card published 1906 by the Providence Lithograph Company)
Rachel died when the baby was born. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
The Mess of Pottage (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Joseph saw the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowing down to him. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Esau hated Jacob. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Maimonides
Rashi
Nachmanides
Gunkel
Armstrong
Kugel
A page from a 14th-century German Haggadah
Talmud
Ibn Gabirol
Zohar
Goethe
Eliot
Dickinson
Luzzatto
Kook
Schmidt
Mann
Wiesel
Feldman
Lindgren
Plaut
Finkelstein
Kennedy
Sacks
Herzfeld
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Vayishlach or Vayishlah ( — Hebrew for 'and he sent', the first word of the parashah) is the eighth weekly Torah portion (, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Joseph's Brothers Sell Him into Captivity (1855 painting by Konstantin Flavitsky)

Vayeshev

Joseph's Brothers Sell Him into Captivity (1855 painting by Konstantin Flavitsky)
Joseph Reveals His Dream to His Brethren (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Jacob Sees Joseph's Coat (painting circa 1816–1817 by Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow)
Judah and Tamar (painting circa 1650–1660 by the school of Rembrandt)
Judah and Tamar (1840 painting by Horace Vernet)
Joseph and the Wife of Potiphar (painting circa 1816–1817 by Philipp Veit)
Joseph Interprets Dreams in Prison (painting circa 1816–1817 by Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow)
Amnon and Tamar (1892 painting by Alexandre Cabanel)
Israel loved Joseph more than all his children. (illustration by Owen Jones from the 1869 "The History of Joseph and His Brethren")
Joseph brought bad reports to his father. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Joseph Recounting His Dreams (drawing by Rembrandt)
Joseph's Dream (illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible)
Jacob called Joseph and told him to go to Shechem. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Joseph found a young man who told him that his brothers had left. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Joseph's Brothers Raise Him from the Pit in Order To Sell Him (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Joseph Sold by His Brothers (illustration from a Bible card published 1907 by the Providence Lithograph Company)
Judah said, "Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites." (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. (illustration by Owen Jones from the 1869 "The History of Joseph and His Brethren")
Joseph Sold into Egypt (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
And he knew it, and said, it is my son's coat. (illustration by Owen Jones from the 1869 "The History of Joseph and His Brethren")
Judah Gives his Signet, Bracelets and Staff in Pledge to Tamar (illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible)
Judah and Tamar (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
Tamar (2009 painting by and copyright Lidia Kozenitzky; for licensing information, double-click on the image)
The Midianites sold Joseph into Egypt to Potiphar. (illustration by Owen Jones from the 1869 "The History of Joseph and His Brethren")
God gave Joseph a special talent for organizing his work. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife (1649 painting by Guercino at the National Gallery of Art)
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife (1631 painting by Guido Reni)
Joseph ran from the house. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Joseph was imprisoned. (1984 illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing)
Joseph Faithful in Prison (illustration from a Bible card published 1907 by the Providence Lithograph Company)
The Title Page of the Zohar
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Kugel
Gunkel
Amos (illustration by Gustave Doré from the 1865 La Sainte Bible)
Homer
Philo
Talmud
Rashi
Nachmanides
Hobbes
Luzzatto
Mann
Kass
Plaut
Finkelstein
Sacks
Herzfeld
Horn
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Vayeshev, Vayeishev, or Vayesheb ( — Hebrew for "and he lived," the first word of the parashah) is the ninth weekly Torah portion (, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Page from the 11th century "Bamberg Apocalypse", Gospel lectionary. Large decorated initial "C". Text from (Bamberg State Library, Msc.Bibl.140).

Lectionary

Book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion.

Book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion.

Page from the 11th century "Bamberg Apocalypse", Gospel lectionary. Large decorated initial "C". Text from (Bamberg State Library, Msc.Bibl.140).
Portrait of Rembrandt's mother reading a lectionary, c. 1630 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). The painting has more recently been attributed to Gerrit Dou.
A German Roman Catholic lectionary for year C on an ambo after Mass
Jaharis Byzantine Lectionary, Metropolitan Museum of Art
An example of Byzantine lectionary — Codex Harleianus (l150), AD 995, text of John 1:18.
Small portion of a Coptic lectionary

By the Medieval era the Jewish community had a standardized schedule of scripture readings from both the Torah and the prophets to be read in the synagogue.