Generally, the short Torah reading used on Shabbos afternoon, Monday and Thursday morning is the ~10--15 verses that will constitute the first Aliya the coming Shabbos morning.

But for Devarim, the short reading is Deuteronomy 1:1-11, but on Shabbos, the first Aliya is just 1:1-10. What happened to verse 11?

1 Answer 1


Really, if we divided the verses subject-wise, 1-11 would make the best fit.

On Shabbos, the problem is verse 12:

אֵיכָה אֶשָּׂא, לְבַדִּי, טָרְחֲכֶם וּמַשַּׂאֲכֶם, וְרִיבְכֶם

How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?

It's an incredibly mournful verse, read in the Lamentations tune (Eicha trop).

As a rule, we try not to start nor conclude a Torah reading with a depressing verse. So on weekdays, we just read 1-11 and put the Torah back, nothing depressing. But on Shabbos, to avoid starting a reading with verse 12, we have the first Aliya do 1-10, and the second start at 11.

  • 2
    I believe there are some people who actually do end the first aliyah on Shabbos with 1:11, and then repeat it for the second aliyah.
    – Alex
    Jun 23, 2010 at 15:25
  • @Alex Interesting. Is that the minhag chabad?
    – Double AA
    May 31, 2012 at 20:08
  • 2
    @DoubleAA: Sefer Haminhagim states that the Chabad custom is to break after v. 10 (no repetition). However, R. Mottel Schusterman (the long-time baal korei in 770) writes that this note in Sefer Haminhagim was based on his own practice (which in turn was a continuation of how he did it in another shul), and that indeed R. Yaakov Landau later informed him that the original Chabad practice was to break after v. 11. So there's no uniform Chabad minhag nowadays on this.
    – Alex
    May 31, 2012 at 22:13

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