Inquiries concerning the triennial reading of the Torah in Ancient Eretz-Israel

Some hitherto overlooked characteristics of the Triennial Reading System of the Torah are dealt with in this article. Special emphasis is given to the idea that the main difference between the Annual and the Triennial Cycles of reading, besides the different division of the pericopae, was the Palest...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Hebrew Union College annual
Subtitles:בירורים בשיטות הקריאה בתורה של בני ארץ-ישראל הקדומים
Main Author: Flaisher, ʿEzra 1928-2006
Format: Print Article
Language:Hebrew
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Published: 1991
In:Hebrew Union College annual
Year: 1991, Volume: 62, Pages: 43-61
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Torah / Israel / Rosh hodesh
Description
Summary:Some hitherto overlooked characteristics of the Triennial Reading System of the Torah are dealt with in this article. Special emphasis is given to the idea that the main difference between the Annual and the Triennial Cycles of reading, besides the different division of the pericopae, was the Palestinian custom to interrupt the reading of the weekly portions not only for the Holy Days, but, as stated in the Mishna, for all the occasions for which a special portion of reading was provided. According to the Annual Cycle, the lectio continua was interrupted only for the Great Holidays and Shabbat Ḥold ha-Moʿed. The early testimonies concerning the Reading of the Torah can thus be recognized as to their Annual or Triennial character by their attitude towards this use. Analyzing Talmudic literature from this point of view, one can discover slight differences between the Triennial testimonies themselves. According to the Mishna, the law of interrupting the regular reading includes Shabbat Rosh Ḥodesh as well. Yet the Tosefta and the Yerushalmi ignore this rule. The Paitanic evidence of Eretz Israel follows the Tosefta and the Yerushalmi: in the common practice of Eretz Israel there was no interruption of the weekly readings on Shabbat Rosh Ḥodesh. Following the same principle, it is shown that Maseḥet Soferim, generally considered as representing the minhag of Eretz-Israel, mirrors an Annual system of reading. This fact proves again that the Annual reading was by no means of Babylonian origin, but rather an alternative, indeed ancient and original, Palestinian custom. This fact is re-confirmed by the attitude of Palestinian Amoraim quoted in the Bavli in this context. The article also includes some remarks concerning the custom of reading the Torah on Shabbat Ḥanukka in the Triennial communities.
ISSN:0360-9049
Contains:Enthalten in: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Hebrew Union College annual