Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Praying, Kiddush and the Meals
To dedicate this lesson

Where Did the Custom of Weekday Torah Readings Originate?


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Tishrei 23 5782
By tradition, Moshe decreed in the desert that the Torah should be read Mon, Thurs. & Shabbat afternoon, so no more than 3 days should pass without studying Torah. Why these specific days? 2 ideas: Moshe went up on Har Sinai to receive the Luchot on a Thurs. & came down on a Monday, making these days special. Also, the pasuk, "Seek Hashem b’himatzo" – where He may be found - can be translated, "On Bet & Hey He is found!" Others suggest that Mon. & Thurs. were traditionally market days, & more people were available to hear the Torah then. Shabbat afternoon had more time, & adding the Torah reading was a way for people to gainfully use that time. Ezra ruled that only 3 people should be given Aliyot on these days, so as not to overburden the Kehila. A minimum of 10 p’sukim are read, reminiscent of the 10 Commandments.
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