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. The first Parashah of the year for example is B'resheet (Genesis) and this year 5779 it commenced on 27 Tishrei or October 6, 2018. 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

Parashah 24 Vayikra (And He called)

Torah: Vayikra(Leviticus) 1:1-5:26

Haftara: Isiah 43:1-44:23

Brit Chadashah: Matthew 5:23-30

Portion Summary

The title "Leviticus" is derived from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) version of the Torah. The book of Leviticus is predominantly concerned with Levitical rituals. An older Hebrew name for the book was "The Laws of the Priesthood," but in Judaism today, it is referred to by the name Vayikra (ויקרא), which means "And He called." Vayikra is the first Hebrew word of the book, which begins by saying, "And the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from inside the tent of meeting" (Leviticus 1:1).

Leviticus describes the sacrificial service and the duties of the priests. It also introduces ritual purity, the biblical diet, the calendar of appointed times, laws of holiness and laws relating to redemption, vows and tithes. In addition, Leviticus discourses on ethical instruction and holiness. The twenty-fourth reading from the Torah is eponymous with the Hebrew name of the book it introduces: Vayikra. This portion introduces the sacrificial service and describes five different types of sacrifices.

 

Portion Outline

  • Torah
    • Leviticus 1:1 | The Burnt Offering
    • Leviticus 2:1 | Grain Offerings
    • Leviticus 3:1 | Offerings of Well-Being
    • Leviticus 4:1 | Sin Offerings
    • Leviticus 5:14 | Offerings with Restitution
  • Prophets
    • Isaiah 43:1 | Restoration and Protection Promised
    • Isaiah 44:1 | God's Blessing on Israel
    • Isaiah 44:9 | The Absurdity of Idol Worship
    • Isaiah 44:21 | Israel Is Not Forgotten