Reading of the Shira and the Ten Commandments

 

It is our custom to call the Chacham or Dayan or Rabbi for the Shira and the Ten Commandments, both in Shemot as well as in Devarim[1]. The Chazzan reads, but the Rabbi takes over, and reads the Shira and the Ten Commandments himself.

As the third and the seventh aliyah are considered the most honorable, we call the rabbi as third or as seventh. Of course, if he is a Coheen or a Levi, we must call him first respectively, second. However, the normal partitioning, as indicated in Piza[2], doesn’t place the Shira and the Ten Commandments in the third or seven’s aliya. Therefore, when there is a rabbi in the Synagogue, we change the partitioning, as indicated below. The aliya with an * is the one where the Shira or the Ten Commandments are placed.

 

Shira: Beshalach

 

Normal partitioning (no Rabbi)

Portioning with Rabbi

Portioning with Rabbi Cohen

Portioning with Rabbi Levi

Cohen

13:17-14:8

13:17-14:8

13:17-15:26 *

13:17-???

Levi

14:9-14:14

14:9-14:14

15:27-???

???-15:26 *

Third

14:15-14:25

14:15-15:26 *

   

Fourth

14:26-15:26*

15:27-16:10

   

Fifths

15:27-16:10

16:11-16:21

   

Samuch (sixth)

16:11-16:36

16:22-16:36

   

Mashlim (seventh)

17:1-End

17:1-End

End

End

 

Ten Commandments: Jitro

 

Normal partitioning

Portioning with Rabbi

Portioning with Rabbi Cohen

Portioning with Rabbi Levi

Cohen

18:1-18:12

18:1-18:12

18:1-18:12

18:1-18:12

Levi

18:13-18:23

18:13-18:23

18:13-18:23

18:13-18:23

Third

18:24-18:27

18:24-18:27

18:24-18:27

18:24-18:27

Fourth

19:1-19:6

19:1-19:6

19:1-19:6

19:1-19:6

Fifths

19:7-19:19

19:7-19:13

19:7-19:13

19:7-19:13

Samuch (sixth)

19:20-20:14 *

19:14-19:19

19:14-19:19

19:14-19:19

Mashlim (seventh)

20:15-End

19:20-End *

19:20-End *

19:20-End *

Maftir

20:21-End

20:21-End

20:21-End

20:21-End

In case the Rabbi is a Cohen he is called with the addition: אף על פי שהוא כהן and when he is a Levi: אף על פי שהוא לוי

 

Ten Commandments: Va’etchanan

 

Normal partitioning

Portioning with Rabbi

Portioning with Rabbi Cohen

Portioning with Rabbi Levi

Cohen

3:23-4:4

3:23-4:4

3:23-5:27 *

3:23-??

Levi

4:5-4:40

4:5-4:49

 

??-5:27 *

Third

4:41-4:49

5:1-5:27 *

   

Fourth

5:1-5:18 *

5:28-6:3

   

Fifths

5:19-6:3

6:4-6:19

   

Samuch (six’s)

6:4-6:25

6:20-???

   

Mashlim (seventh)

7:1-End

???-End

-End

-End

 

 

Remarks

·        Question marks in the table indicate that we have no tradition how the partitioning should be. This situation didn’t occur for many generations and as far as we know, is not documented in detail

·        On the 7th of Pesach and on the 1st day of Shavu’ot, the Shira and the Ten Commandments are in the Mashlim, so no change of partitioning is needed. Only in case the Rabbi is Cohen or Levi he is called with addition: אף על פי שהוא כהן orאף על פי שהוא לוי.

·        On a Ta’anit Tsibur Mincha, the Chacham is called as 3rd. The Chazzan reads till ‘Va’avor’, where that Chacham takes over and reads till ‘venake’. The chazzan then finishes. We have no traditions what to do in case the Chacham is a Cohen or Levi.

·        At a Meldadura, the regular partitioning is followed.

 

 


[1] As we stand up when the rabbi is called to the Torah, this minhag has probably been introduced to bypass the halachic discussion as whether to stand up during these portions or not.

[2] Piza is our reference for the parashiot. Printed in Amsterdam in 1779

 

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