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I think Talmud Megillah mentions the various arrangements for the 4 parshiot. This year, and next, we find a break between Sheqalim and Zachor as well as a 2nd one between Zachor and Parah. I understand the placement of each of the other parshiot, and what would cause the breaks, possibly.

However, I don't understand why Parah must always precede Hachodesh with no break, ever. Can someone explain why these two must be together?

  • If Parah was the week before you'd ask why Parah and Zakhor never have a break. There's only two possible breaks and four Parshas. Not every pair will a break. – Double AA Mar 9 '18 at 17:48
  • @DoubleAA Incorrect assumption. I'd ask why we have any breaks at all :-) – DanF Mar 9 '18 at 18:29
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    Why the downvote. This question assumes chazal weren't arbitrary when they enacted things, which I think is a fair assumption (even if you disagree, many seem to feel that way) – robev Mar 9 '18 at 22:26
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    @robev I didn't downvote (or upvote), but I would assume DoubleAA's reason alone would be significant enough for people to downvote it. – רבות מחשבות Mar 9 '18 at 22:30
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The Aruch Hashulchan in OC 685 says that there are no breaks between them because they are related to each other (unlike the others, which are unrelated to the ones next to them, meaning that Zachor is unrelated to Shekalim and Parah):

אבל פרה וחדש שייכות זל"ז לפיכך אין לעשות הפסקה ביניהם

This is likely due to what he explained earlier for each of them, that Parah is מטהרת את הטמאים, reminding us to become Tahor before Pesach, as is the Parsha of Hachodesh about preparing for Nisan and Pesach.

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Each of the 4 parshios has a specific reason when to read it. Shekalim is either on or before Rosh Chodesh Adar, Sochor is the Shabbos before Purim, Chodesh is either on or before Rosh Chodesh Nisan. The Rashb"a in Megilla Daf 30a, quotes a Yerushalmi that Parah is supposed to really be after Chodesh since the burning of the Parah took place on the second day of Nisan, However due to the sanctification of Israel, we precede it. However it is always the week before Chodesh. The 2 breaks split out depending on the year.

ואם תאמר שיקראו פרשת פרה בשבת הסמוכה לפורים ויפסיקו בינה ובין פרשת החדש אי אפשר וכדאמרינן בירושלמי (פ"ג ה"ה) סימן לדבר בין הכוסות הללו אם רצה לשתות ישתה בין שלישי לרביעי לא ישתה, וטעמא דמילתא כאידך דאיתמר בירושלמי (שם) דבדין היה שתקדים פרשת החדש לפרשת פרה שבאחד לחדש הוקם המשכן ולא נשרפה פרה אלא בשני אלא מפני מה הקדימוה מפני שהיא טהרתן של ישראל והלכך די לנו אם נקדים אותה שבת אחת קודם לפרשת החדש, וכיון שכן הא דתניא איזו היא שבת שלישית כל שסמוכה לפורים מאחריה על כרחין מאחרי הפורים של פרזים ושל כרכים קאמר ומפסיקין בחמשה עשר וסימן זט"ו.

  • Thanks for the info for Rashb"a. I do understand the reasoning for the general arrangement of all the parshiot and when the breaks could occur, as I indicated in my question. – DanF Mar 11 '18 at 15:40
  • @DanF Your welcome! I just edited the answer with a link to the Rashb"a and quoted his text. – user218076 Mar 11 '18 at 18:49

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