The distribution of the Aliyos in our Chumashim

The order of the Aliyos:[1]

Customarily, all Chumashim today contain stopping points for each Aliya; Levi, Yisrael, Sheiyni Shelishi, etc. Interestingly, the allocation of the grouping of verses that belong to each Aliya contains no source in Halachic literature, neither the Talmud or Poskim. Some Poskim[2] even attribute the distributions of Aliyos to the printers of the Chumashim and not to Rabbanim. While the Talmud and Poskim[3] provide certain rules and guidelines regarding the amount of verses each Aliya must contain and lists certain areas in which one may not end an Aliya, no distribution of Aliyos is recorded anywhere. Hence, ideally, one may stop wherever he wishes, so long as he abides by the Halachic restrictions, and so was done by some Gedolei Yisrael[4], claiming that the current distribution does not take into account all the Halachic and Zoharic requirements. Nonetheless, the widespread Jewish custom, which is Torah, is to stop by the end points of each Aliyah as written in the Chumash, and so is to initially be followed.[5] Nonetheless, different Chumashim contain different distribution points of Aliyos. The distribution of Aliyos in this Sefer is based on the Chumash Torah Temima, which was followed by Russian Jewry, and is the Chabad custom until this day.


[1] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 139:3

[2] Meoreiy Or Basar p. 156

[3] See Michaber 137:2 regarding that each Aliya must contain at least three verses; Michaber 138:1 that one may not end within three verses of a Setuma or Pesucha

[4] Gr”a in Maaseh Rav 132; Minchas Elazar 1:66; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[5] See Shaar Hatziyon 138:1

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