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How many words are there in Tanach? already asks about several statistics about Sifrei Tanach, but there's one that was left out:

How many Parshios are in each Sefer of Tanach?

A Parsha is defined as all the text between one gap in a Sefer Torah and the next, whether that gap is a 9-letter space ("setumah"), continues until the end of the line ("pesuchah"), or is the end of the Sefer.

I'm aware that there are different Minhagim on the matter; I'd be curious to see all of the major ones.

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  • 1
    I'd say there's three major practices: Pinfer's list, the Berdetchiv lists, and the Keter's.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 3:14
  • 1
    @DoubleAA None of those names mean anything to me. Which are typically followed by which communities?
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 3:15
  • 2
    Berdetchiv approximate the breaks used by the Talmidei Hagra when they started writing neviim at their rebbe's behest. It's based on a Amsterdam printed Tanakh IIRC and is riddled with errors. Still used by some die hard Yerushalmim who think the Gra had some secret Mesorah. Pinfer (sp?) did a survey of many many editions back in Lithuania and followed the majority in every instance. It's notably the basis for the well established Koren Tanakh. Don't know that anyone uses it for Safrut. A majority is only useful after all if all the components are independently valuable.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 3:23
  • 2
    And the Keter is the same source we use for the breaks in the Torah, so it's about as reliable as you can get. Widely used in Safrut unless you're a Yerushalmi or you're scared of things they didn't have in Europe. (Many Acharonim in Europe wrote as obvious that they had no Mesorah for breaks in Nakh.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 3:24
  • 1
    Are you asking to include breaks within a section (e.g. in a shira) or only between sections?
    – Loewian
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 3:52

1 Answer 1

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According to the Aleppo Codex the number of breaks are:

  • Genesis - 92
  • Exodus - 165
  • Leviticus - 99
  • Numbers - 159
  • Deuteronomy - 159

(based on Rambam's testimony in Hilkhot Sefer Torah chapter 8)

  • Joshua - 106
  • Judges - 88
  • Samuel - 369
  • Kings - 205
  • Isaiah - 242
  • Jeremiah - 281
  • Ezekiel - 185
  • Hosea - 18
  • Joel - 7
  • Amos - 28
  • Obadiah - 1
  • Jonah - 4
  • Micah - 17
  • Nahum - 4
  • Habakkuk - 9
  • Zephania - 7
  • Haggai - 8
  • Zachariah - 36
  • Malakhi - 8
  • Chronicles - 519
  • Ruth - 2
  • Canticles - 20
  • Ecclesiastes - 2
  • Lamentations - 134
  • Esther - 23
  • Daniel - 28
  • Ezra - 319

(based on Mechon Mamre's text with variations, based on testimony of the Codex's contents, in places where the Codex is currently missing and MM used another source)

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  • What about the sifrei emet?
    – Joel K
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 13:38
  • It's not always clear how to count those @joelk
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 13:46
  • @DoubleAA Why? I took a quick look and in Tehillim and Mishlei at least the blank lines look pretty clear to me. Iyov I agree has some non obvious features.
    – Heshy
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 14:15
  • @Heshy Does anyone argue that Tehillim isn’t 150?
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 14:23
  • I assume that, similar to how you combine all the other books that the Christians split into two, your number next to Ezra is intended to encompass both Ezra and Nechemiah?
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 14:24

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