Kosher Cookbooks
The Top 25 Sellers

updated daily

Jewish Biography
The Top 25 Sellers

updated daily


Q&A Archives

-  synagogue
-  home
-  non-jews
-  other topics

Ask a
New Question

New Questions


Survival Kit


Jewish Story

Jun 29, 1997 - 00:31 -

I have a question:
I am doing study on 1st century jewish synagogue worship. I am aware that they read from the law and the prophets. Are there any lectionaries available either historical or currently used? Also, is the book of Samuel considered law or prophets?

About me:
My e-mail address:
How I found this site: Through Maven.

Thanks for your questions.

The Torah is read in a fixed annual cycle of 54 portions. This is the number of weeks in a Jewish leap year. (Certain portions are usually paired to maintain an annual cycle.) Each weekly portion is read in part on Moday and Thursday mornings and completely on the Sabbath morning. Each is associated with a specific Prophetic reading that takes place on Sabbath morning. They are all organized in a book called the Chumash.

The Chumash is available in hundreds of editions, each read for its accompanying commentary, and identified by the commentator. Famous commentators available in English translation include: Rashi, Hirsch, Ramban (Nachmanides), Sforno, Ibn Ezra, and Malbim. The two English editions that combine a diverse smatterring from many of the classic commentators are:

The Soncino Chumash

The Stone Chumash

The Stone Edition is far more comprehensive in the commentaries included, but it is at least twice the price of the Soncino Edition which is quite competantly done.  

The two books of Samuel are part of the collection called Naviim (Prophets), rather than Ketuvim (Writings) or Torah (Instruction). See Jacob Krieg's question for details.

I hope this information is useful.