Why Jews read Torah on a yearly cycle


October 8, 2021

Every week, one section of the Torah, known as the Torah portion or “parsha,” is designated as a focus of Jewish study and is read aloud in synagogue that Shabbat.

The first mention of a scheduled Torah-reading cycle appears in the Bible, in Deuteronomy, where Moses instructs the tribe of Levi and the elders of Israel to gather all the people for a public reading from portions of the Torah once every seven years. The need to read the Torah publicly intensified after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E.; Jews were dispersed into other parts of the Middle East, into North Africa, and...

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