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What are the Four Parshiyot?

by Mrs. Shaina B. Lipskier


Library » Holidays » Purim » The 4 Parshiot | Subscribe | What is RSS?


The "Four Parshiyot" (four portions or four readings), are read as an addition to the regular Shabbat Torah portion, starting on the Shabbat directly preceding the month of Adar. These four portions are not read consecutively, but in commemoration of their designated times.

a) Parshat Shekalim, is the Shabbat before Adar (or, some years, on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh).

b) The Shabbat before Purim is Parshat Zachor.

c) The Shabbat before the month of Nissan is Parshat Hachodesh.

d) The Shabbat beforehand is Parshat Parah.

See also: What is Parshat Shekalim?, Why is the Shabbat before Purim called "Parshat Zachor"? What is Parshat Parah?, and What is Parshat HaChodesh?



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(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
The twelfth month on the Jewish calendar. This month (which falls out approx. February-March), is the most joyous month on the calendar due to the holiday of Purim which is on the 14th and 15th of this month.
The first month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which falls out in early spring, is known for the holiday of Passover which starts on the 15th of Nissan.
Rosh Chodesh
The "Head of the Month," Rosh Chodesh is observed the first day of every Jewish month. If the previous month had 30 days, then the last day of the previous month is also observed; hence a two-day Rosh Chodesh. Rosh Chodesh is a semi-holiday, marked by Torah-reading and special prayers.
Plural form of Shekel. Currency used in ancient Israel. [Modern Israeli currency also carries the same name.]