Why start again from the beginning?

Friday, 1 October, 2021 - 12:35 pm

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This week we will start again the cycle of the reading of the Torah. The Torah has 54 portions (Parashah, plural Parashiyot) and we read one portion (sometimes two) every week. On Simchat Torah which was just a few days ago, we completed the reading of the Torah, so this Shabbat we will start again the Torah from the beginning, from the first portion, the Parashah of Bereshit.

Why read again the same thing every year? We have read it already the previous year, and the year before that etc.

The answer is that the words may seem identical to us but there is always something we can comprehend better, a deeper level of understanding to explore. Likewise, there are many methods and approaches to study the Torah. There are countless books which explain the various ways to interpret the Torah. Thus, we can continue the study in a different and new way every year.

The holidays of the month of Tishri are beautiful, the Seder of Rosh Hashanah, the Shofar, the prayers of Yom Kippur, the meals in the Sukkah and the joy of Simchat Torah. But now, “boring” days are starting without holidays until a long while. This is why we start the Torah now. To take something from the month of Tishri along with us for the rest of the days of the year. We leave the Holidays and go into our everyday routine with the inspiration, the “project” and the goal to study the Torah week after week, Parashah after Parashah, until we complete the Torah again on the next Simchat Torah.

The Previous Rebbe encouraged everyone to read every day a part of the weekly portion (along with the classical explanation of Rashi). As we mentioned here (Why is the Kohen the first to be called up to the Torah?), we have 7 Aliyot each Shabbat, i.e 7 people coming up to read the Torah and each portion is divided in 7 parts, one for each Aliyah. Every day of the week, we study one part, one Aliyah, for instance on Sunday we will study the first Aliyah, on Friday the 6th Aliyah etc. This applies to Shabbat as well, where we study the 7th and last part of the Parashah, in addition to the Reading of the whole portion.

At every beginning, G-d gives us the powers to take a good decision, to start something new. May we all start the Torah with joy and health!

Shabbat Shalom,

Arie from the Yeshiva

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