The first two aliyot of Parshat Ki Tisa are pretty long. Then the rest are all very short. I was told that the reason for this is that we want to give the Levi the aliyah that praises him, when everyone else sinned with Cheit Ha'Egel (the Golden Calf). OK, that makes sense. But why does it start from Ki Tisa, and not later (allowing it to be spread more evenly)? What's so significant about starting with Ki Tisa?

  • 1
    Sorry, I'm not seeing the concern of the question. Where do you think this should start? Why do you think this parsha should begin elsewhere giving this any more attention than how other parshiot are arranged? The arrangement seems somewhat random. Do you want to know the rules regarding the general breakdown of ALL the parshi'ot?
    – DanF
    Mar 2, 2015 at 21:11
  • 1
    I don't have an exact starting point in mind, just somewhere later. :) This could certainly be asked on other parshiot as well, but i chose to on this one. An answer explaining general rules as well as this specific case would be great.
    – Scimonster
    Mar 2, 2015 at 21:16
  • 1
    The basic answer is just that splitting up the Aliyot to give Levi the Eigel story is a later invention. I'm guessing you're looking for something more Drush-y, though.
    – Double AA
    Feb 25, 2016 at 21:15
  • are you asking the connection between the half shekel and the golden calf?
    – ray
    Feb 25, 2016 at 21:28
  • 3
    The breaks before the custom you mention caught on (see Tikkun Yissachar) were at 30:11, 30:30, 31:12, 32:15, 33:12, 34:1, 34:27 or according to another custom at 30:11, 30:22, 31:12, 33:12, 33:17, 34:9, 34:27.
    – Double AA
    Feb 25, 2016 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


Tetzaveh, which is the preceding parsha, was designated as the parsha without Moshe's name. The first verse of Ki Tissa has Moshe's name! Ergo, Ki Tisa had to start at that verse!


I have not been able to locate anything specific to addressing the choice of the location of where Ki Tissah "should" start. However, I recommend reading pp. 81-90 of this paper.

The premise of the paper is on when and why parshiot are doubled or even "halved". The pages I mentioned discuss the general parsha length and offer several opinions from Sa'adia Ga'on and Ramba"m on how to "manage" parshiot. The overall assumption, though, seems to be theat the designation of the parshiot is Mesorah.

The paper is very long, and only a small section may apply to your question. Nonetheless, I find the whole paper fascinating, and I hope you will, too. It's comprehensive and well written, even if it may seem confusing at times.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .