Thursday, 29 March 2012

Portions

There is a yearly cycle in synagogues across the world in which the whole Torah (Hebrew Bible) is read out loud, with one major portion read each week during the Shabbat morning service. These portions are called a Parasha. The literal translation of parasha is a 'portion' or 'section', but the closest meaning in English would be a chapter. The cycle begins and ends on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.
The Torah is broken up into five books within which there is an average of ten parashot. The names of the books are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, and the Hebrew names for each of the parashot are taken from the first important word of the parasha.
The parasha this Shabbat is Parashat Tzav. Tzav means to command, and at the start of the parasha God tells Moses to command Aaron and his sons about how to do their job with the korbanot (offerings or sacrifices). The parasha then tells how Moses ordained Aaron and his sons to become Kohanim (the men responsible for  performing the rituals of the Temple in Jerusalem, including sacrificial offerings of animals, fruits, grains and wine.)
Several young people that I know of have been learning to read Parashat Tzav very well. A friend asked me to make two Bar Mitzvah cards for boys celebrating their coming of age this weekend. We are also happily going to Jerusalem to hear the daughter of good friends - a young lady whom we have known since birth - read from the Torah in the synagogue. Whilst a pretty Bat Mitzvah card with a big 12 on it is winging its way in the mail to her, the two young men celebrating their Bar Mitzvahs will receive these brightly coloured cards showing the Sefer Torah (Torah scrolls) boldly displaying the name of their parasha, along with a black and white Tallit (prayer shawl) and a kippa (skullcap).
Mazal Tov! Congratulations! I hope they all enjoy their very special weekends.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

great cards

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