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

Parashah 36 Beha'alotcha (When you Ascend)

Torah: Bamidbar(Numbers) 8:1-12:15

Haftara: Zechariah 2:14-4:7

Brit Chadashah: Matthew 14:14-21

 

Portion Summary

The third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha'alotcha (בהעלותך), a word that literally means "When you ascend." It comes from the first verse of the portion, which could literally be translated as "When you ascend the lamps" (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.

 

Portion Outline

  • Torah
    • Numbers 8:1 | The Seven Lamps
    • Numbers 8:5 | Consecration and Service of the Levites
    • Numbers 9:1 | The Passover at Sinai
    • Numbers 9:15 | The Cloud and the Fire
    • Numbers 10:1 | The Silver Trumpets
    • Numbers 10:11 | Departure from Sinai
    • Numbers 11:1 | Complaining in the Desert
    • Numbers 11:16 | The Seventy Elders
    • Numbers 11:31 | The Quails
    • Numbers 12:1 | Aaron and Miriam Jealous of Moses
  • Prophets
    • Zec 2:6 Interlude: | An Appeal to the Exiles
    • Zec 3:1 Fourth Vision: | Joshua and Satan
    • Zec 4:1 Fifth Vision: | The Lampstand and Olive Trees