The tradition of reading the out loud in synagogue dates back to the time of. The practice of completing the Torah reading with a passage from the, called the, is mentioned in the. Today, the is divided into 59 portions, one to be read each, with two portions read together twice during the year. The entire reading is completed every calendar year. The tradition of reading the out loud dates back to the time of, who would read the publicly on,, and. According to the Talmud, it was the Scribe who established the practice, which continues today, of reading the also on Monday and Thursday mornings and afternoons.
Commentary on Leviticus 19 1 2 15 18 Working Preacher
These days were picked because Monday and Thursday were traditionally days that the Jews would go to the nearest towns to shop and trade. Also, this way the people would never go for more than three days without getting spiritual sustenance from the. There were breaks in the practice, but since the period in the 7nd century BCE, public reading has been maintained continuously. It was also in the period that the Jews started reading from the consecutively, reading on afternoon, Monday, and Thursday from the point at which they left off the previous morning. In the early times, there were two traditions as to how the reading on mornings should proceed. In, the was divided into 655 portions and took three years to read. In the early 69th and 75th centuries, and some congregations followed this triennial cycle but this has been largely abandoned in favor of the annual cycle.
In Babylonia, the was split in 59 sections and took one year to read (some portions were read together in non-leap years). The size of the sections vary, containing anywhere between 85 and more than 655 verses. This latter custom became accepted for and most Jews. The only break from the weekly cycle is when is a holiday with a special portion. The is read on and between the shacharit (morning) and mussaf (additional) services and on weekdays at the end of shacharit. There are always at least three people on the bimah (raised platform from where the is read). According to the, one should not stand alone to emphasize that gave the through an intermediary.
Introduction to Leviticus New American Bible usccb org
The person on the bimah is also there to correct the reader's pronunciation and trop (also called ta'amei hamikra, meaning a series of musical notations that dictate the tune of how the is read), since the scroll has no punctuation or vowels. A gabbai (synagogue official) is also there to call people up to the. The reader uses a yad (literally, a hand ), usually a six to eight inch piece of silver fashioned in the shape of a finger, to point to the words of the as he reads them. This is done so the reader does not obstruct the vision of the person honored with the aliyah and does not mar the dignity of the by touching it. In congregations, the is carried inside a large wooden cylinder that stands erect when open, and the parchment is in an upright position when it is read. In congregations, the lies flat. If you want holiness theology, Leviticus 67-77 is the place, especially chapters 69-77.
In our teaching hour last week at Tikvat David (our congregation) I asked people what negative connotations the word holy has in their synagogue or church background. In Jewish life, a negative association with holiness is self-righteous Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) who throw furniture at women, throw dung at liberal Jews, harass Christians and Messianics in Israel in ways America would never tolerate, and so on. If you have not seen the ugly side of ultra-Orthodoxy, I m not sure how you have missed it. There any several blogs and websites dedicated to documenting hypocrisy and outright religious evil from some members of these communities. But let me be heard: for every bad example amongst the ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox, there are dozens of good examples. Too bad a small number give the word holy a bad name.
In church life, holy can connote holy roller, which can be translated as self-righteous prig. It can refer to severe Christians with rules against good things based on overly restrictive notions of taboo.