An Introduction

The Parashat HaShavuah is the portion of the Torah that is designated for study each week of the year; the “Torah portion of the week.” The Pentateuch is divided into 52 logical story-and-study divisions that complete the reading of the five books of the Torah in one year. Each portion is given a name that reflects the first significant word of the portion. Thus the first portion of the book of Genesis is named Parashat Bereshit, Bereshit being the Hebrew word ‘beginning’ used in Genesis 1:1 …’In the beginning‘.

The cycle of Torah readings continues, year after year,
in (almost) every synagogue in the world [some synagogues use a three-year cycle]. The Parashah and Haftarah readings in our schedule follow the Ashkenazi readings list. When a Parashah coincides with a special Shabbat there is a different Haftarah reading.

Sometimes English translations vary slightly in numbering for chapters and verses.

Our Prayer Before Torah Study

O Lord, our God, teach us Your Torah.
Enable us to live by your Torah so that we may proclaim You
as our Sovereign, in all that we do, say, and are.
Grant that our commitment to You and your Torah may enable
others to deepen their knowledge that
You are God and Your Name is One.
We ask this through Your servant, Jesus,
who commanded us to seek first the Kingdom of God,
and promised that all else would be added unto us.

As the Church teaches “The New Testament writings are rooted in the long religious experience of the people of Israel, an experience recorded in diverse forms in the sacred books that comprise the Jewish Scriptures” (The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures, Pontifical Biblical Commission 2002).

Join us weekly, or whenever you can, in studying the commentary with a friend.

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