On certain special Shabboses, like the four parshiyot, there is a special torah reading that replaces Maftir after the weekly parsha is read. Is there a name for this extra not-from-the-weekly-parsha Maftir reading?

  • By the way, I think it might be "maftirs." Source: "There are also special maftirs ('additional Torah readings') " from here: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Shabbat#Shabbat_Chol_HaMoed
    – SAH
    Jan 25, 2016 at 23:22
  • "Maftir" is the term used for the portion of the Torah read by the person who will soon read the Haftara (and also for the person himself). It is not unique to those weeks where the Maftir is not just the end of the standard reading.
    – Double AA
    Jan 25, 2016 at 23:27
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    Are you looking for a category name for the additions to the torah reading, for example on Zachor we read the regular parsha and add the verses about Amalek? (Those are read as part of the torah reading, not after the haftarah.) Jan 25, 2016 at 23:59
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    @SAH the special readings are maftir in those cases. On "three-scroll" days (like if Rosh Chodesh in Chanukah is on Shabbat) things get more complicated. Jan 26, 2016 at 3:55
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    @SAH I've made an edit to clarify the question based on your comments. If I've misunderstood please feel free to roll back or edit further. Thanks. Jan 26, 2016 at 3:59

2 Answers 2


I have never heard of a name that refers specifically to the category of "maftir readings that are not from the weekly sedra," and I do not believe that such a name exists. In my experience, such a reading is usually just referred to as a "special maftir reading" (as you mentioned in your comment).


I will try to clarify some of the confusion that has appeared in the comments on this post and answers about the word "maftir". The maftir is the person who reads the haftarah. Both words come from the same root (פ.ט.ר.‏). Maftir is the present-tense third-person form of the word in binyan Hif'il. I don't want to get too deep into a grammar lesson, but Binyan Hif'il is used for causative verbs (i.e. performing an action). The third-person present-tense hif'il verb form is also often used to refer to a person who performs that action, so that's why the person who reads the haftarah is called the maftir.

The maftir is given the aliya before the haftarah. That aliya is therefore called the maftir aliya (which is sometimes abbreviated as simply maftir). Most Shabbatot, the maftir aliya is simply a repeat of the last few verses from that week's sedra; however, on certain special Shabbatot (e.g. the Four Parshiot) as well as holidays there is a "special maftir" from a completely different part of the Torah. That is the reading that your quesiton asks about and for which I do not believe there is any special name.

  • So the maftir reads both the maftir aliya (=repeated verses, or special stuff) and the haftarah after? Are these considered separate aliyot? Does he come up twice? (PSA: women's sections need to be better designed)
    – SAH
    Mar 3, 2016 at 2:27
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    @SAH he doesn't necessarily read from the Torah aloud during the maftir aliya. He is just called up for the aliya (says the berakhot and reads along quietly with the Torah reader, like any other aliya). He usually just stays up there during the hagbaha and then reads the haftarah. He is only called up by name once.
    – Daniel
    Mar 3, 2016 at 2:31

I think you may be confused regarding the term "maftir" and how it works.

"Maftir" refers to the "additional" aliyah that occurs after the other 7 required aliyot on Shabbat. There is always a maftir, so there is no additional maftir. It is merely that one maftir is substituted in place of the standard weekly maftir.

Some people call the Haftarah "maftir". The word "maftir" refers to the last reading from the Torah, whereas "haftarah" refers to the reading from the prophets. The person who reads the haftarah receives the maftir aliyah.

On mincha of fast days and Tish'a B'av morning, the "maftir" aliyah is not an extra one, but rather is the 3rd aliyah. That's the only exception to not adding an extra one as we have on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Sometimes you hear someone say "I have maftir Yonah" if he is reading that section on Yom Kippur afternoon. That's become parlance, I suppose, but as I explained above, he should say, "I have haftarah Yonah".

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    'Maftir' is just a verb of the same root as 'Haftarah'. It means "[the one who] performs-the-Haftara". The Maftir Aliya is the Aliya receieved by the Maftir, that is, the performer-of-the-Haftarah. Just like the Magbiah is the performer-of-Hagbah. 'Maftir' has nothing to do with "extra" (any less than 'Haftarah' does).
    – Double AA
    Jan 27, 2016 at 15:55
  • Thank you for this "some people call the haftarah 'maftir'" -- I think this was one source of the (my?) confusion
    – SAH
    Mar 3, 2016 at 2:28
  • I don't think anybody calls the haftarah "maftir". "Maftir Yonah" is a colloquial name for the combined honor of having the maftir aliya and reading sefer Yonah as the haftarah. Sometimes there is indeed more than one additional reading (e.g. Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Teves or when Parshas HaChodesh falls on Rosh Chodesh Nissan)
    – Daniel
    May 8, 2019 at 3:29

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