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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

04/21/2022 05:00:00 PM


Rabbi Josh Whinston

Jews worldwide read the same Torah portion each week for most of the year. However, this coming Shabbat, there is a divergence between what we read for a few weeks. What is going on? Reform Jews and Jews in Israel only observe seven days of Passover (Yes, you can eat bread on Friday night!), but the rest of world Jewry typically observes eight days. Because the eighth day of Passover falls on Shabbat, many Jews will be reading a special Torah portion for the eighth day of Passover. Our community, however, will continue with the Torah reading cycle and read Achrei Mot. Now, here is where things get even more complicated. Next week, many Reform Jews will read Achrei Mot again to get into realignment with Jews outside the land of Israel. I find this practice, while well-meaning, to contradict the intention of continuing along with the Torah reading cycle since Passover is concluded on Friday night this year. While we are not the only Reform synagogue that follows the Israel reading cycle, we are not likely in the majority. The time it takes to explain what is going on and teach the congregation about this idiosyncrasy is one of the reasons I maintain this tradition. Reading Torah this way makes us stop and consider the Torah reading cycle, our relationship with Jews outside the land of Israel, and those Jews in the land of Israel. In early June, we will reunite with the rest of world Jewry after Shavuot.

Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784