Weekly Parsha / Parshiyot

There are Jews and non-Jews that gather on a weekly basis to read and study the Torah and Tanach. The norm is to follow a prescribed reading cycle that was established many years in the past.

Our Bibles of today have chapters and verses. This division was established only in the early part of the sixteenth century. Many centuries previous to this era, the Hebrew Pentateuch was divided into Parshiyot and Parsha with companion readings in the Prophetic literature.

The readings from the Prophetic literature are called Haftarah. These selected readings were paired with the Parshiyot from the Torah, and read together as literary unities every Shabbat (the seventh day of the week).

In the time of the first Temple, the reading of the Torah was divided into 167 parsha, called Sedarim (order). The complete reading cycle of the Torah took three-and-a-half years.

The Jews in Babylon consolidated the reading cycle into one-year cycle. They divided the Torah into the 54 prashiyot that we have today.