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What is the shortest interval during which we read publicly from each of the five Chumashim?

There is actually a practical issue involved here as well. The halachah is that if a community has a Sefer Torah which has mistakes in it, but the chumash that is to be read now is free of such mistakes, then they may use it if there is no other one available (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 143:4). So, supposing that a community indeed has only one Sefer Torah - when is it best for them to get it thoroughly checked, since they will need all five chumashim to be free of errors?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Sukkot through Simchat Torah - 8 days (In Israel, first day of Sukkot through Shemini Atzeret = Simchat Torah. Outside, second day of Sukkot through Simchat Torah.)

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I was thinking of Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur - 10 days:

  • Bereishis - two days of Rosh Hashanah (21:1-34 on the first day, 22:1-24 on the second)

  • Shemos - Tzom Gedaliah (32:11-14 and 34:1-10)

  • Vayikra - Yom Kippur (16:1-34 in the morning, 18:1-30 in the afternoon)

  • Bamidbar - two days of Rosh Hashanah (29:1-6) and Yom Kippur morning (29:7-11)

  • Devarim - depending on the year type, either the complete parshah of Vayelech or Haazinu on Shabbos Shuvah, and parts of either Vayelech, Haazinu, or Vezos Haberachah on the intervening Monday, Thursday, and Shabbos afternoon.

...but I see that Isaac came up with a better one!

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On some years, mine wins; on others, yours. :) –  Isaac Moses Dec 6 '10 at 3:39
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In a non-leap year I think it's got to be from Vaychi until mid-Pesach. (That includes the first two books as weekly readings, the third as Pesach reading, and the last two as various readings in between, such as "zachor" and rosh chodesh.) In a leap year, I suspect that from the second day of Sukos until the afternoon of Vaychi (when Sh'mos is read) is shorter. (That includes the first two and fifth books as weekly readings and the others as_Sukos_ readings.) Both of those are pretty long, though, so I wouldn't be surprised to find that I'm all wrong and there's in fact a shorter period.

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Your answer would be improved if you enumerated the visits to each book in the periods you describe. –  Isaac Moses Dec 5 '10 at 6:39
    
Good idea. Done. –  msh210 Dec 5 '10 at 7:33
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