Friday, February 16, 2007

Special-parshiot reminder

See here.

The leader of our women's Tehilla (Psalms) group says that women are required to be present in synagogue for the reading of the special parshiot (weekly Torah readings) of Shekalim (tomorrow), Zachor (Shabbat/Sabbath before Purim), HaChodesh, and HaGadol. [February 20 correction, thanks to Elie's eagle eyes: Shekalim, Zachor, Parah, and HaChodesh. Memory tricks only work when one's memory is not playing tricks. Elie also points out that Shabbat HaGadol doesn't count as one of the special parshiot of this time of year because . . . well, see quiz question.] (I assume that halachah/Jewish religious law would require a man to be present for every Torah reading, or at least those on Shabbat and Yom Tov/Pilgrimage Festival.) Question: Is this a minhag (custom), or is this requirement (?) considered as binding as the requirement to hear the reading of Megillat Ester/the Book (Scroll) of Esther?

Pop quiz: For which two parshiot that have special names do we not read a separate scroll?




Shabbat HaGadol and Shabbat Shuvah. It's amazing what one can pick up from a few years on an activist Ritual Committee.


Blogger Elie said...

Shira: The four parshios are actually Shekalim, Zachor, Parah, and HaChodesh. As you go on to state, HaGadol is not one of the four parshios, and in fact there is no special additional Torah portion (maftir) for Shabbas Hagadol.

There is a well-observed custom for women to be in shul to hear Parshas Zachor, and a less-observed custom for Parah. I wasn't aware of any custom for women to specially come to hear the other two. Could your group leader point me to a source for women being required to hear all four?

Tue Feb 20, 04:14:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Youchers--so much for mnemonic devices. Correction made. Thanks!

I'll ask my Tehillim-group leader what her source is.

Tue Feb 20, 09:25:00 PM 2007  

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