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Why does [this edition of] Minchas Chinuch list the two Mitzvos of Parashat Vayelech under Parashat Nitzavim?


Parashat Vayelekh isn't formally a thing. There is Parashat Nitzavim, and in some years it is read over two weeks. When that happens some people have started calling the second half "Parashat Vayelekh" after its incipit. But it's not traditionally part of the count of official sections.

This follows from the traditional count of 53 sections in the Babylonian annual Torah cycle (Zohar, Saadya Gaon and Rambam, Tanya Rabbati, Machzor Vitri among others) and the traditional count of 70 verses in this section (and no marker for a new section at "Vayelekh" in the Aleppo Codex or the Leningrad Codex) etc.

Historically, there are other sections (eg. Mishpatim or Chukkat) that have been split over multiple weeks in different communities under specific circumstances, so this is not an unheard of phenomenon.

  • What's the difference between two parshas sometimes read together and one parsha sometimes split in two? Probably nothing but tradition, perhaps dating from a time when Vezot Haberakha wasn't read in its entirety on Shmini Atzeret and there were indeed a maximum of 53 Shabbatot in the year. – Double AA Oct 6 '19 at 21:38
  • Sefer Hachinuch splits Mishpatim into two parts (the second part starting אם כסף) so apparently he was of one of those communities that split Mishpatim instead of Nittsavim – b a Oct 7 '19 at 9:09
  • @ba I don't know about instead of, but at least he may have been less aware that it was technically a split much like how many people today aren't aware of nitzavim being split, or maybe thought mishpatim had too many Mitzvot. I say this because I don't know of any evidence of a custom to split mishpatim instead of nitzavim; the communities that split mishpatim did so to avoid acharei mot on Shabbat HaGadol. Everyone had devarim before Tisha bav so your suggestion wouldn't make sense. – Double AA Oct 7 '19 at 9:43
  • A partial Nafka Mina could be if a community missed Parashat Ki Tavo, can they make it up with Nitzavim[/Vayelekh] according to the opinions that you can't read 3 sections in one week (MA 135:2) – Double AA Mar 13 '20 at 15:47
  • The 'geonim' didn't use the fourth aliya to combine nitzavim and vayelekh together like other mechubarim hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21647&st=&pgnum=197 – Double AA Mar 17 '20 at 19:17

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