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Reading the Bible Very Slowly : Bechukotai, בְּחֻקֹּתַי (In My statutes), Leviticus 26:3-27:34

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Bechukotai, Bechukosai, or B'hukkothai (בְּחֻקֹּתַי — Hebrew for “by my decrees,” the second word, and the first distinctive word, in the parashah) is the 33rd weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the 10th and last in the book of Leviticus. It constitutes Leviticus 26:3–27:34. The parashah is made up of 3,992 Hebrew letters, 1,013 Hebrew words, and 78 verses, and can occupy about 131 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).[1]

Jews generally read it in May. The lunisolar Hebrew calendar contains up to 55 weeks, the exact number varying between 50 in common years and 54 or 55 in leap years. In leap years (for example, 2014 and 2016), parashah Bechukotai is read separately. In common years (for example, 2013 and 2017), parashah Bechukotai is combined with the previous parashah, Behar, to help achieve the needed number of weekly readings.

In years when the first day of Passover falls on a Sabbath (as it does in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019), Jews in Israel and Reform Jews read the parashah following Passover one week before Conservative and Orthodox Jews in the Diaspora. In such years, Jews in Israel and Reform Jews celebrate Passover for seven days and thus read the next parashah (in 2015 and 2018, Shemini) on the Sabbath one week after the first day of Passover, while Conservative and Orthodox Jews in the Diaspora celebrate Passover for eight days and read the next parashah (in 2015 and 2018, Shemini) one week later. In some such years (for example, 2015 and 2018), the two calendars realign when Conservative and Orthodox Jews in the Diaspora read Behar together with Bechukotai while Jews in Israel and Reform Jews read them separately.

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Monday, May 12, 2014 - 17:00
Black Spring Coffee Company -- 2930 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland more
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