While reading Va'etchanan last Thursday, I notice that the weekday reading ends in the middle of an aliyah (spec. the Sheni aliyah.)

I am unaware of any minhag that ends the reading of Va'etchanan at Shlishi. That would make for a very long weekday reading, so perhaps, this was not done b/c of tircha d'tzibbur?

I viewed the parsha (meaning "paragraph" as it is written in a Torah scroll) breakup of the beginning of Va'etchanan, as we need to assure that there are at least 3 verses available to be read before a paragraph break.

There is a petucha ("open" paragraph break) after Devarim 3:28. The reading begins at 3:23. So:

Cohen could be 3:23 - 3:25 (3 verses, as it currently is) Levi could be 3:26-3:28 (3 verses and end at the par. break) Yisra'el could be 4:1 - 4 (4 verses and ending at Sheni itself)

Why didn't they stop at Sheni, seeing that it would fit the halachic requirements for both proper aliyah breakup as well as reading a minimum of 10 verses for weekday reading?

Note If there are any customs that do stop at Sheni as I have proposed, please state who does this and how the aliyot are broken. If possible, state why they do and others don't. (I daven Nusach Ashkenaz, FYI.)


1 Answer 1


I asked this question to one of my Rabbeim when I was a teenager. His response was "We do not want to finish an Aliya with the name of an Avoda Zara וַנֵּשֶׁב בַּגָּיְא מוּל בֵּית פְּעוֹר therefore Levi goes until Sheni and then we give the Yisrael from there".

  • Excellent! Makes a lot of sense. Would you mind revealing who the Rebbe was & from which yeshiva? If you have any contact with him, relay to him Mikol Melamdai hiskalti.
    – DanF
    Aug 6, 2015 at 16:42
  • 1
    Would love to tell from which Rabbi. However I do not remember which one it was, nor which Yeshiva, was through a few. Aug 6, 2015 at 16:51

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