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October 7, 2015 | 24th Tishrei 5776


See also various Torah subjects.

  1. June 2007 Digest 103

    What is the practice in your congregations for choosing what is read from the Torah on Shabbat, given that in Reform practice we read but a small part of each parashah? Are congregations observing a triennial cycle or are they merely selecting part of the weekly parashah that seems "suitable"?

    For those that do observe a triennial cycle, I am writing to ask how this segment is chosen in your congregations. Is the same segment reread four years later when the triennial cycle starts over, or is a different segment chosen? How do you handle weeks when two parshiot are combined? Did you start with the Conservative chart and adapt it? Has your rabbi set the practice for your congregation or has the Ritual Committee or some other volunteer been involved? Are b'nei mitzvah families or other Torah readers allowed any latitude in choosing the segment of the portion that is read?

    We have instituted a triennial cycle based largely on the Conservative cycle, though we do not read the entire third of each parashah


  2. June 2007 Digest 103

    …in my congregation when lay leaders cover for the rabbi in his/her absence, the choice is up to the leader. For Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the rabbi allows the student to read the portion in its entirety and select a portion [for] which he/she feels something and then write a d’var based on this portion--the number of lines is up to the student's capabilities (or just the maftir). Of course for holidays we read the portion assigned, i.e., Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot/Shemini Atzeret, as well as for Shabbat Chazon which is the Shabbat before Tisha B'Av, as well as pre-assigned portions for the High Holy Days.

    Most of the time we have only three aliyot, with the rabbi making the choice as to the reading, as it usually pertains to his sermon.


  3. June 2007 Digest 103

    Because I am pretty much the only one who chants Torah other than at b’mitzvah and HH, and I am pretty much the only one who gives divrei Torah…, I tend to pick a reading from the parashah that is both small enough for me to learn each week (no fewer than three verses, rarely more than five) and something I'd like to speak about. Unless there's a whole different aspect I'm burning to discuss the following year, I don't repeat the readings…

    B'nei mitzvah students choose the part of the parashah that most "speaks" to them (which may mean makes them most uncomfortable or angry or puzzled) and then we work back from there, depending on who in their family can read/chant and how comfortably.

    (85 member units)

  4. June 2007 Digest 103

    …at our Temple we read about twelve verses, sometimes a few more. When I read I always try to pick a section that either tells a story or is somehow complete, with a beginning and end. And I often translate, line by line, in my own words. Not required, but the congregation appreciates it. Being just about tone deaf and not chanting very well, this is something I like to add to the experience.

    1200+ families

  5. June 2007 Digest 106

    Our rabbi used to just select something that seemed suitable from the parsha, but that meant that some parts were getting read a lot and some not at all. A few years ago we instituted a seven-year cycle: each week we read the designated aliya, which is generally short enough that people will tolerate it. This year we're up to chamishi. When there's a double portion we read that aliya of the combined portion, so there might still be bits we miss over the seven years, but we're much closer now. As a lay Torah reader, I find it helpful to be forced to wrestle with some of the parts I'd otherwise not read. (In our Shabbat-morning minyan the lay reader also gives a d'var Torah.)

    I believe that bar/bat-mitzvah students still choose what to read.

    We also read Torah Friday nights and Shabbat morning independently of b'nei mitzvah.

    ~860 households


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