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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven



by Haham Eliezer Papo, Sarajevo (Ottoman Turkish Empire) 5545 / 1785 CE

Our Rabbis taught that a person should review the weekly Tora portion by reading each verse twice in Hebrew and once in Aramaic.

Whoever follows this practice will live a long life. This mitzvah ideally performed on Friday, but those who are busy working is to do so on Shabbat morning.

If you are not able to read well on your own, read the portion with someone else. The Kabbalists were emphatic on the importance of reading the Tora with exceeding accuracy and with the correct musical notations.

Since the Tora is the word of the Holy One blessed-be-He, it contains mysteries within each letter and tittle of a letter. The entire Tora is a combination of the sacred Names of God. Even if we do not understand the full power and meaning of the words, we should
read them with reverence.

The purpose of reading the Aramaic translation is to clarify the meaning of the text. Since we no longer speak Aramaic, the essential mitzvah is accomplished by reading the Tora portion with Rashi's commentary or in a proper translation in the vernacular. If possible, read the Aramaic translation as well as Rashi's commentary or a translation into the vernacular.


This is from Haham Papo's Pele Yoetz (An Encyclopedia of Ethical Living) which is available in all Jewish bookstores. The Pele Yoetz was first printed in Constantinople, Turkey in 5585 /1825 CE. It was popular among both Sephardim and Ashkenazim across Europe and Asia. The work has been printed in Hebrew, Ladino, Judeo-German, Arabic and German.