Former and Latter Rains - Bi-polarity of Torah


XX. Bi-polarity of Torah[53]

From the days of Moses until several hundred years after the destruction of the second Temple, the Torah was read through in three and a half years. This three and half year period, a triennial cycle, was repeated for a second time to complete a seven year Shmita or septennial cycle. The first three and a half year cycle started in Tishri and completed in Nisan. The second cycle started in Nisan and completed in Tishri. Thus we see that the original Torah reading cycle was bi-modal and reflected the bi-modality of the festivals.

In addition to reflecting a bi-modal aspect, this Torah reading cycle also puts the Torah in chronological order such that the weekly portion speaks prophetically to the events of the week in which the portion is read. Without the bi-modal aspect, the Torah could never apply a specific portion to two different times in the year. For example, Vayikra chapter 23 lists the festivals in order. We read it once in the end of the year and then we read it a second time in the beginning of the year. Thus we can relate the same Torah portion to the spring festivals and we can also relate the fall festivals to the same Torah portion.

In addition to the propecies of the Torah, we also have the Haftarah, the Psalms, and the Nazarean Codicil which are also read in two, three and a half year cycles. These additional portions help to explain the prophecies of the Torah.

For further insights into this topic, please see: Shmita.

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This study was written by Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:


Greg Killian

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