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In Torah reading, we don't start reading in the middle of a parasha when there are fewer than three verses preceding in the parasha, and similarly we don't stop reading in the middle of a parasha where there are fewer than three verses remaining. See, eg. Shulchan Aruch OḤ 138:1:

‮הקורא בתורה לא ישייר בפרשה פחות מג' פסוקים מפני היוצאים אז מבה"כ שיאמרו העול' אחריו לא יקרא אלא שני פסוקים הנשארים וכן לא יתחיל בה פחות מג' פסוקים מפני הנכנסים אז בב"ה שיאמרו שלא קרא הראשון אלא שני פסוקים: הגה ואין חילוק בין פ' פתוחה לסתומה ...

The one who reads the Torah may not leave over any less than 3 verses in a paragraph because of those who leave the synagogue then and will say that the oleh (i.e. reader) after him will read nothing but the two remaining verses [of the paragraph]. And similarly, one may not begin less than 3 verses into it (i.e. a paragraph) because of those who enter the synagogue then and will say that the first [reader] did not read anything but 2 verses. Gloss: And there is no difference between an open paragraph and a closed paragraph ...

In several places, there is a parasha break in the middle of a verse (eg. Deut 2:8). Do the half-verses count toward the three with regards to this rule? For example, could one stop reading after Deut 2:5, or could one start reading at Deut 2:11?

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  • Looks like there's probably an answer in Magen Avraham and Kaf HaHayyim there, but I'm not sure whether the "three" the MA mentions is including the half-verse or not.
    – magicker72
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 15:44
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    This happened to our reading this Shabbat. We found a p'sul in the first word of 2:11, and then for the next oleh, the decision was made to go back to the beginning of ḥamishi (apparently unnecessarily, if you follow Mishna Berura 138:3).
    – magicker72
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 15:46
  • I'm not sure what you're unsure about the Magen Avraham. He seems to allow ending an aliya within three verses of a break if the break is in the middle of a verse such that no one would think the adjacent aliyah is less than three verses. (Surely others argue)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 16:57
  • @DoubleAA MA writes that it's OK to end at Deut 2:7 (in our example). But then writes ואם טעה וסיים ב' פסוקים לפני הפ' יתחיל אח"כ פסוק למפרע, and I'm not sure what those ב' פסוקים לפני הפ' are referring to: stopping at 2:5 (leaving 2.5 verses in the parasha) or stopping at 2:6 (leaving 1.5 verses)? If the former, he's saying that 2.5 < 3, answering my question; if the latter, then I'm not sure he fully addresses my question.
    – magicker72
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 19:10
  • As far as I can tell he's just starting a new case that has nothing to do with a parsha in the middle of a pasuk. (Ironic that we are debating if there is a 'break' in the middle of his run on sentence comment.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 19:13

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