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Parshat haShavua - the Weekly Torah Portion

reading a Sephardi-style Torah scroll

Reading a Sephardi-style Torah scroll on a weekday morning (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Torah, the Five Books of Moses, is read in synagogue each week and over the course of one year the entire Torah is read. The Torah is divided into parashot or portions, and one portion is read each Shabbat morning in synagogue (part of the parshah or portion will also be read in synagogue on Monday and Tursday mornings). As the length of the Jewish year varies according to whether or not it is a leap year (a leap year has an additional month), there are some parashot (portions) which may be read by themselves if it is a longer (leap) year, or together with another portion of it is a shorter (non leap) year.

As the Torah is considered the foundation of Judaism, studying it is considered an important aspect of being Jewish. Not only do they hear it read in synagogue on Shabbat, but religiously committed Jews also often study the Parshat haShavua (weekly Torah portion) during the week with insights or commentary written by rabbis. There are now a number of web sites and pages devoted to study of Parshat haShavua, and links to some of them appear below.

a page in a chumash
A chumash, a book developed by Jews to assist in the study of Parshat haShavua (the weekly Torah portion).
The word 'chumash' is derived from the Hebrew word for 'five' and contains the Five Books of Moses
set out in a format designed to facilitate study of the weekly Torah portion. This edition includes an
English translation of the Torah text on the left-hand page. On the right-hand page in the largest
Hebrew writing is the text of the Torah with vowels and musical notation added in. Along side it,
in a smaller text size, is 'Onkelos', a translation of the Torah text into Aramaic and which also contains
some interpretation of the text. Underneath these two blocks of Hebrew text is 'Rashi', the commentary
on (explanation of) the Torah text according to the classical commentator Rashi.
In the bottom section of both pages is a contemporary English-language commentary on
(explanation of) the text of the Torah.

(Click on the photo above if you wish to see a higher resolution copy of the same photo)

Links to web pages on Parshat haShavua:

Aish haTorah: Weekly Torah Portion

Darche Noam: Divrei Torah on Parshat Shavua

Office of the Chief Rabbi: Covenant and Conversation

Ohr Somayach: Torah Weekly

Orthodox Union: Torah Insights Archive

Project Genesis: Parsha Classes

Rabbi Raymond Apple: OzTorah

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin: Shabbat Shalom

Shema Yisrael: Parshas Hashavua

Torah Down Under

Video Links:

Having an Aliya (Being Called Up to the Torah)

How to Chant the Torah Blessings


JCA - Jewish Communal Appeal

NSW Community Relations Commission