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) 18:1-20:23

Haftara: Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6

Brit Chadashah: Matthew 19:16-26


Portion Summary

The seventeenth reading from the Torah is named Yitro (יתרו), which is the literal Hebrew behind the name Jethro. The title comes from the first words of the first verse of the reading, which says, "Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people" (Exodus 18:1). The portion tells the story of Jethro's visit to the camp of Israel, then relates the great theophany at Mount Sinai, where God gives Israel the Ten Commandments and invites the people to enter a special covenant relationship with Him.


Portion Outline

    • Torah
      • Exodus 18:1 | Jethro's Advice
      • Exodus 19:1 | The Israelites Reach Mount Sinai
      • Exodus 19:9 | The People Consecrated
      • Exodus 20:1 | The Ten Commandments
      • Exodus 20:22 | The Law concerning the Altar
    • Prophets
      • Isaiah 6:1 | A Vision of God in the Temple
      • Isaiah 9:1 | The Righteous Reign of the Coming King
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