R. Ami in Megillah 30b implies that on the weeks of the Four Parshiyot, only those passages were read, in place of (rather than in addition to) the weekly parasha.

How did this work? Some of these readings (Shekalim and Zachor) are very short, much shorter than the minimum 21 verses needed for a shabbat reading (seven people reading at least three verses each).

Did they add verses? Repeat verses? How did they get to 21?

1 Answer 1


While it used to be commonly assumed that they would just repeat the reading as often as necessary, evidence from the Cairo Geizah revealed they would add verses after the "main" sections to have enough room for all 7 readers. While there certainly could have been many variant practices, the evidence we have points to the following end points for the four readings respectively: Exodus 31:17, Deuteronomy 27:8, Numbers 20:21 (some finished at 20:13), Exodus 12:28 (some finished at 12:42). See Prof. Shulamit Elizur's article in Tarbiz 82:3 for details.


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