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Torah Reading Cycle

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Here's to something new! Well, not new in general - but new to my page...


Back in the months leading up to October 2022, I've had this desire in my heart to start sharing more about the Torah readings when the next cycle restarted.


You're probably wondering what the heck "Torah readings" are... So dive in with me!


Back in ancient times, followers of Abba (God) read through the first 5 books of the Bible as a custom. The first 5 books are known as the Torah.

Time in the Bible, as you know by now if you have read some of my previous blogs, are not measures as the world measure it today. In Biblical time we learn about "smittah years" - which simply means a 7 year cycle. It's a Hebrew custom to allow the land to rest every 7 years. Remember that the entire Bible is about sowing receiving a harvest. Thus the smittah year included allowing the ground to rest. Many people who attempt to live a more Biblical lifestyle these days also choose to take a sabbatical year every 7th year. With regards to the Torah readings; every smittah cycle was divided into 3 years + 3 years + 1 year. They (followers of Abba) would read through the entire Torah (Genesis - Deuteronomy) in the three years. Once they are through, they restart again. And in the 7th year (smittah), they would read the entire Torah in one year (instead of over 3 years). Remember that they took a year of rest, thus as they were not planting and working - they had more time and could work through the entire Torah in one year instead of over a three year period.

The Hebrew word Torah (תורה) is poorly translated today as "law" - but it actually means "instruction." The use of the reading of the Torah annually dates back from the time of the Babylonian captivity. The Israelites went astray and we read in the book of Nehemia - that Ezra wanted to ensure that the Israelites don't go astray again in the future. Therefore the Torah was divided into weekly portions. Ezra was a scribe. A scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist. Scribes had knowledge of the law and could draft legal documents.

The reading of the Torah became a custom for all believers. It's not a legalistic thing or a law, but rather a choice that believers willingly made to get their noses back into Scripture so that they could apply what they read to their lives. It's thus an act of obedience out of love for the Father. And there is nothing legalistic about love! In the time when Yeshua was on earth, the reading of the Torah was still the principle. To this very day, the Jews and many whole Bible believers (like me), still read through the Torah every year. As born-again believers, we don't read the Torah from a legalistic point of view. Plus we have the rest of the Bible to read alongside the Torah - to help us understand the bigger picture even better!

"but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith YHVH, I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Jer 31:33

As born-again believers, we know that it's no longer just a custom that we follow. It's an action that sprouts forth from a place of love! We are under the New Covenant through the Blood of the Lamb (Yeshua/Jesus). And the "law" (instruction) is now written on our hearts.


If you are currently reading through the Torah every year, or want to start doing it - it shouldn't come from a place of religiousness. Religiousness have no eternal value. An intimate love relationship with Yeshua is what matters.


So when and how does this work? The yearly Torah cycle starts after Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, which took place in early October). The first 5 books of the Bible is divided into weekly portions - depending on the themes, they vary slightly in length. The portion of each week is called a "parashat" - which litterally means "portion/ section." The weekly portions are then further broken down into daily portions. We read them from the first day of the week (Sunday) to the seventh day of the week (Sabbath / Saturday).

[If you haven't read my blog post - What's the fuss about the sabbath? Does it really matter on what day we keep it? - I'd strongly suggest you go read it.]


Each Torah portion comes with a Haftarah portion (Nevi'im / Prophets & Ketuvim / Writings), as well as Apostolic Writings (New Testament). When the custom of reading through the Torah started, the believers did not yet have the Bible like we have it today. They only had the Torah. Thus the Haftarah (הפטרה) & Apostolic Writings was later on added to the Torah reading cycle and it helps us to create a bigger and more detailed picture, so that we can understand the Scriptures better.


Since I have started to learn more about the Hebrew context in which the Bible was written, I fell in love with the Old Testament (Tanakh). The word "Tanakh" is a play on the words Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim - which combined makes up the Old Testament. The chapters that used to bore me to death suddenly became so interesting and started to paint a much more detailed picture.


We are currently already in the 3rd week / portion of the reading cycle. Life has been a bit busy and I haven't got around to post earlier. Part of my "busy-ness" I truly feel comes straight from the enemy's camp! If he can keep you busy, he can keep you ineffective. So a punch to the throat to him - because I will catch up!

Remember that it's not about legalistic adherence. But rather about the immense amount of Biblical Principles that we can learn from the Word. THAT is what matters and that's why I read it and encourage you to do so as well!

 

Torah sources which I love and can highly recommend:

I've been following the Torah readings with Kol Kallah since 2017 and the Daily Bread for Busy Moms podcast since 2020 - and I enjoy both so so much! PS: You don't have to be a mom to listen to the podcasts.


**Take Note: Daily Bread for Busy Moms do the Torah reading as well as the corresponding Haftarah, Prophets & Writings reading. However, the Apostolic Writings which they read is based on reading through the entire Bible (Old & New Testament) once a year - thus the portions of the New Testament which they read does not always link to the Torah portion.

The Apostolic Writings / New Testament portions which Kol Kallah lists, are the ones which are linked to the Torah portion. I'd recommend you read both, but it's up to you to decide.

 

The finer details:

  • I will post on my Instagram & Facebook Stories, the weekly Scripture readings (pure Torah portions as well as the additional portions as read on Daily Bread for Busy Moms).

  • The existing blog posts will be updated with even more information where needed. The blog post will be made after the week is over, thus after the last reading is completed. I.e. the week ended on Saturday, then that week's blog would only go up on the Sunday / Monday after.

  • You can download the Torah reading schedule for the 2022/2023 cycle here:

FitBest Training Torah Reading Cycle 2022 2023
.pdf
Download PDF • 286KB

Please keep in mind that I am not in full time ministry even though I believe that we all are in ministry in our every day lives. Fit Best is a platform for fitness, faith, nutrition and motherhood - and you will continue to see all of that intertwined.

If you want to follow the daily readings and podcasts, instead of getting it only once the week is over - you can listen to the Daily Bread for Busy Moms podcast and sign up to Kol Kallah for the video teachings - that way you won't be affected if I do fall behind schedule.


The 2022/2023 cycle was such a blessed one that I have decided to keep going with it on my platform for the 2023/2024 cycle as well. And I would love for you to join!

With Yeshua there is always more! As long as we remain teachable, He will teach us more and more! We can read the Bible over and over and over again every year until we are old and we will still learn something new every single time! All praise & glory goes to God!



 

If you are new here, you can follow the Torah portions with us every week!

(Simply click on the one you want to read).

What are these Torah portions all about? (The blog you are reading now)

  1. Portion 1: Bereshit

  2. Portion 2: Noach

  3. Portion 3: Lech Lecha

  4. Portion 4: Vayera

  5. Portion 5: Chayei Sarah

  6. Portion 6: Toldot

  7. Portion 7: Vayetzei

  8. Portion 8: Vayishlach

  9. Portion 9: Vayeshev

  10. Portion 10: Miketz

  11. Portion 11: Vayigash

  12. Portion 12: Vayechi

  13. Portion 13: Shemot

  14. Portion 14: Vaera

  15. Portion 15: Bo

  16. Portion 16: Beshalach

  17. Portion 17: Yitro

  18. Portion 18: Mishpatim

  19. Portion 19: Terumah

  20. Portion 20: Tetzaveh

  21. Portion 21: Ki Tisa

  22. Portion 22: Vayakhel & Pekudei

  23. Portion 23: Vayikra

  24. Portion 24: Tzav

  25. Portion 25: Shmini

  26. Portion 26: Tazria / Metzora

  27. Portion 27: Achrei Mot / Kedoshim

  28. Portion 28: Emor

  29. Portion 29: Behar / Bechukotai

  30. Portion 30: Bamidbar

  31. Portion 31: Nasso

  32. Portion 32: Beha'alotcha

  33. Portion 33: Sh'lach

  34. Portion 34: Korach

  35. Portion 35: Chukat / Balak

  36. Portion 36: Pinchas

  37. Portion 37: Matot / Masei

  38. Portion 38: Devarim

  39. Portion 39: Vaetchanan

  40. Portion 40: Eikev

  41. Portion 41: Re'eh

  42. Portion 42: Shoftim

  43. Portion 43: Ki Teitzei

  44. Portion 44: Ki Tavo

  45. Portion 45: Nitzavim / Vayeilech

  46. Portion 46: Ha'Azinu

  47. Portion 47: Vezot Haberakhah

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