Annual Torah Cycle

In the observance of the annual cycle of Torah Reading, each week is assigned its own portion of Scripture, or what we refer to as a Parashah.  This year, 5780,  began on 1 Tishrei or October 1, 2019. There are 54 Parshiyot (Parashah plural), one for each week of a leap year, so that in the course of one year, we complete the entire Torah from B'resheet to D'varim (Genesis to Deuteronomy). A leap-year adds an additional 4 weeks (one month) to the usual 12 months, and we refer to this month as: ADAR II. During non-leap years (regular), there are 50 weeks, as a result some of the shorter Parshiyot are doubled up.

The weeks of Pesach (Passover) and Sukkot have different Torah portions assigned to them, so on leap years that leaves 52 weeks to accomplish 54 Parshiyot. This is achieved by doubling up 2 portions, and for non-leap years there remain 48 weeks to accomplish 54 Parshiyot and this is achieved by having 6 double Parshiyot.

This Week's Parashah


Torah: Shemot(Exodus) 1:1-6:1

Haftara: Isiah 27:6-28, 29:22-23

Brit Chadashah: Matthew 2:1-12


Portion Summary

Shemot (שמות) is both the title for the second book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Shemot means "names." The English-speaking world calls this book Exodus. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: "Now these are the names (shemot) of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob" (Exodus 1:1).

The English name Exodus comes from the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The Greek title for the book is Exodus Aigyptou, which translates as "Departure from Egypt." The name Exodus is an abbreviated form of that title. Exodus means "departure." The book of Exodus tells the story of the children of Israel enslaved in Egypt and their miraculous redemption through the hand of Moses, the story of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, the construction of the golden calf and the construction of the Tabernacle.

As we study the first week's reading from the book of Exodus, we find the children of Israel in slavery. It seems at first that the God of their forefathers has forgotten them. But God has not forgotten His promises. He remembers His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and brings a Redeemer to their children's children, for the sake of His name, with love.


Portion Outline

    • Torah
      • Exodus 1:1 | Introduction
      • Exodus 1:8 | The Israelites Are Oppressed
      • Exodus 2:1 | Birth and Youth of Moses
      • Exodus 2:11 | Moses Flees to Midian
      • Exodus 3:1 | Moses at the Burning Bush
      • Exodus 3:13 | The Divine Name Revealed
      • Exodus 4:1 | Moses' Miraculous Power
      • Exodus 4:18 | Moses Returns to Egypt
      • Exodus 5:1 | Bricks without Straw
      • Exodus 6:1 | Israel's Deliverance Assured
    • Prophets
      • Isaiah 26:1 | Judah's Song of Victory
      • Isaiah 27:1 | Israel's Redemption
      • Isaiah 28:1 | Judgment on Corrupt Rulers, Priests, and Prophets
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