Weekly Torah Portion

Are you thirsting for weekly Torah study that activates your brain, touches your heart, and actually impacts the way that you live your life? You’ve come to the right place.

This Week's Torah Portion

NEW Parsha Video

Lessons from Five Daughters Of Zelophehad
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Do you know the best way to ask God for what you want? The secret to successful supplication?


Let us introduce you to some people who do.


In Parshat Pinchas, the five daughters of Zelophehad ask God for a plot of land in Israel. And unlike so many other times in the Book of Numbers, God says yes - without any hint of anger or reservations. Why? What made their request so great?


It turns out that if we read the story carefully, it points us to another time God gave a hearty and surprising yes - and when we put these two stories together, they give us a crucial insight into what requests of God are supposed to look like.


Learn all about it here.

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Pinchas

Torah Portion Date

July 27, 2019

Torah Verses

Numbers 25:10 - 30:1

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Printable Guides

What Does It Mean To Be Zealous For God?

Pinchas - What Is True Leadership?

Listen to Torah On-The-Go:

Featured Parsha Video

What does it mean to be zealous for God in the Bible
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The midrash tells us that Pinchas, the title character of this parsha, and Eliyahu, the prophet of Kings, are one and the same. In this week's parsha video, Rabbi Fohrman compares these two characters and asks, what does it mean to be zealous for God?

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List of Weekly Torah Portions


October 26, 2019

Bereishit

Genesis 1:1 - 6:8


Bereishit Guide

Parshat Bereishit Torah Videos

November 02, 2019

Noach

Genesis 6:9 - 11:32


Noach Guide

Parshat Noach Torah Videos

November 09, 2019

Lech Lecha

Genesis 12:1 - 17:27


Lech Lecha Guide

Parshat Lech Lecha Torah Videos

November 16, 2019

Vayeira

Genesis 18:1 - 22:24


Vayeira Guide

Parshat Vayeira Torah Videos

November 23, 2019

Chayei Sarah

Genesis 23:1 - 25:18


Chayei Sarah Guide

Parshat Chayei Sarah Torah Videos

November 30, 2019

Toldot

Genesis 25:19 - 28:9


Toldot Guide

Parshat Toldot Torah Videos

December 07, 2019

Vayeitzei

Genesis 28:10 - 32:3


Vayeitzei Guide

Parshat Vayeitzei Torah Videos

December 14, 2019

Vayishlach

Genesis 32:4 - 36:43


Vayishlach Guide

Parshat Vayishlach Torah Videos

December 21, 2019

Vayeishev

Genesis 37:1 - 40:23


Vayeishev Guide

Parshat Vayeishev Torah Videos

December 28, 2019

Miketz

Genesis 41:1 - 44:17


Miketz Guide

Parshat Miketz Torah Videos

January 04, 2020

Vayigash

Genesis 44:18 - 47:27


Vayigash Guide

Parshat Vayigash Torah Videos

January 11, 2020

Vayechi

Genesis 47:28 - 50:26


Vayechi Guide

Parshat Vayechi Torah Videos

Weekly Torah Portion – For Your Commute

Torah can be applied to so many areas of life: our relationships with family, being a good co-worker or friend, and learning to appreciate the gifts from God we encounter every day. What’s more inspiring than starting your day with Torah?

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At Aleph Beta, we believe that the Torah is a guidebook that offers profound insight into how we should live our lives. Moreover, we recognize that Jewish tradition has always encouraged the rights of the readers, in all generations, to look at the Torah and decide what they think the text means themselves. That includes you; you are the author of your own quest through the Torah. This inspired us to create a fun, stimulating series of premium Parsha guides to offer you a relevant path through the Torah sources. You may have come across many divrei Torah, but these Parsha guides have another objective in mind. If you get wrapped up in a stimulating discussion and never make it to page 2, we would consider that a success.

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Sign up for a one-year course to receive Parsha Videos directly in your inbox, or dive into one of the Five Books of Moses below. Read about becoming a member and supporting Aleph Beta today!

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Genesis

We begin the Book of Bereishit with the amazing creation of the world. Reading Genesis takes us on a journey through the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, where we witness the birth of the future 12 tribes of Israel. We read about sibling rivalry, deceit, betrayal and love affairs – all provoking questions that apply to our lives today.

Exodus

In the Book of Shemot, the Israelites are enslaved by the Egyptians, but then they are led out of Egypt – through Moses, God’s plagues, and then the spitting of the sea. We follow the Israelites to freedom, until we reach Mount Sinai, where the Israelites are given the 10 commandments and more. We’re also taught our first Biblical laws, and given instructions about the Mishkan, the Tabernacle.

Leviticus

The Book of Vayikra is an important book for commandments and laws. When we read Leviticus, we study the intricate and various laws related to the important Jewish holidays, the Temple, kedusha, and other holy and spiritual matters.

Numbers

Before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites spend 40 years wandering the desert. And that’s exactly what happens in the Book of Bamidbar. Through their experiences, we learn about the power of leadership and growth; we see what it takes for Moses to help the nation to spiritually prepare for the Land of Israel.

Deuteronomy

In the final book of the Torah, Devarim, we listen to Moses's farewell speech to the Jewish people. He reminds them of the blessings that await them in the Promised Land if they follow God's word and gives them strength to embrace this new stage in their nationhood. We follow Moses as he reflects on a Promised Land he we would never see.

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Origins of Parsha

What is the Torah?

“Torah” can take on different meanings, depending on the context. Generally, Torah refers to the first books of the Bible, known as the Five Books of Moses or Pentateuch – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – and often encompasses rabbinic commentaries as well (perushim).

In Rabbinic literature, Torah is often used to refer to both the Five Books ( תורה שבכתב‎; "Torah that is written") and Oral Torah (תורה שבעל פה, "Torah that is spoken"). The word Torah translates to “instruction,” and in its broadest sense, some people may even use it to refer to the full Tanakh or the whole body of Jewish teachings and law.

The Torah makes up the first section of the Tanach – the Hebrew Bible, or what Christianity refers to as the Old Testament. Tanach is an acronym referring to its three parts: Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).

The words of the Torah are traditionally handwritten in Hebrew by a scribe (sofer) on a parchment scroll. These scrolls are read from in synagogue services, broken up into separate Torah portions to spread the readings over the course of a year. Public Torah readings are at the heart of Jewish communal life.

Torah Blessing and Aliyot

An aliyah, עליה, is the honor of being called to read a blessing over a segment of the Torah. In synagogue, members from the congregation are chosen to go up to the bimah (podium) and recite two blessings (one before the reading, and one after) to thank God for the Torah.

What are Haftarah Portions?

Haftarah portions – or Haftoroh in Ashkenazic, or “Concluding Portion” – are selections from the books of Nevi’im (Prophets) of the Hebrew Bible. They are also publicly read – rather, sung or chanted – in synagogue services, following the Torah reading each Sabbath, holidays and fast days. There is usually a thematic link to the weekly Parsha.

What Are Torah Portions?

The Five Books of Moses are divided into 54 portions (Parshiyot), linked to a specific week in a leap year. In non-leap years, with fewer weeks, some shorter Torah portion readings are combined into one week. Each weekly Torah portion takes its name from the first word or distinctive phrase of the passage.

The Torah is divided into portions of two to six chapters each week, with added corresponding readings from the Prophets (Haftarah portions). The Torah reading cycle starts after the Feast of Tabernacles, with Genesis 1:1, and finishes with the last verses of Deuteronomy around 12 months later. Jewish communities celebrate the annual completion of the Torah reading with a holiday known as Simchat Torah or “Rejoicing in the Law.”

Origin of the Weekly Torah Portion

After God saved the Israelites from captivity and restored the Jewish nation, Ezra the scribe wanted to ensure their people would not fall off the wagon again, as we read about in the Book of Nehemia, so he created a system to ensure we would read the text of the Torah each week at synagogue. Thousands of years later, Jewish communities all around the world still study the same portion of the Torah in unity.

Torah Reading Services & Ceremonies

Jewish communities read the relevant Torah portion aloud in synagogues on Sabbaths, as part of the prayer service. The first section of the Torah portion is also read on Mondays and Thursday mornings, an origin that stems from older days, when rural people would go to town to visit the market on those days.

On Saturday afternoons, Mondays, and Thursdays, the start of the next week’s portion is read. Special Torah portion readings are also associated with Jewish holidays, Rosh Chodesh and fast days. A Torah reading generally refers to the whole service, including the grand removing and replacing of the scrolls in the Torah Ark.