Azamra

Avraham ben Yaakov
KNOW YOUR BIBLE


HOW THE ONE-YEAR STUDY SCHEDULE WORKS

The Hebrew Bible consists of the Five Books of Moses (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi'im) and the Writings (Kesuvim) - known in Hebrew as the TaNaCh.

All Torah-observant Jews follow the Five Books of Moses through the weekly Torah portions read publicly in the Synagogue. Many also read Psalms (Tehilim) every day.

The Prophets (Nevi'im) and Writings (Kesuvim) consist of a total of 591 chapters (this does not include the Five Books of Moses or the 150 Psalms in Tehilim).

By studying an average of 2 chapters of Nevi'im and Kesuvim on each of the six weekdays, it is possible to cover them all within one year.

As some Biblical chapters are very short while certain others are very long, the weekday schedule may in some cases cover more than 2 chapters, in some cases less.

For those who study 2 chapters of NaCh every weekday, it is NOT NECESSARY to study 2 chapters on Shabbat as well in order to complete the NaCh in a year. Shabbat thus provides an opportunity for other studies, such as the weekly Torah portion and Haftara. Some may wish to review the past week's NaCh study or catch up with missed chapters. In addition, by studying an average of 3 chapters of Psalms each Shabbat one can complete the Tehilim in one year.

IS THERE A CATCH?

Yes. You will only be able to read the entire Bible in a year following this schedule if you actually make some time to sit down every day and read your Bible. It depends on you and your personal circumstances how much or little time you can and wish to devote to this.

Secondly, as indicated above, studying 2 chapters of NaCh every weekday does not include the weekly Parshah (Torah) or Tehilim (Psalms). To cover these as well, you must have a daily or weekly schedule of Parshah study and read Tehilim regularly - e.g. at the very least an average of 3 Tehilim every Shabbos.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU MISS A DAY OR TWO OR MORE OF THE SCHEDULE?

If you have time, try to catch up. If you miss a large hunk and don't have time to catch up, DON'T GIVE UP ALTOGETHER!!! Pick up from where the annual cycle is currently holding: the Bible ALWAYS provides new and interesting materials. Next time around you will be able to read what you missed this time.

ORDER OF STUDY OF THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE:

We will follow the "Early Prophets" - Joshua, Judges, Samuel I & II and Kings I & II - in order as they provide a continuous narrative of the history of Israel from the entry into the land until the destruction of the First Temple and the exile to Babylon .

Most Bibles print the major later prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) immediately after Kings. However this schedule will go from Kings directly to Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, since they continue narrating the history from where Kings II leaves off, depicting the exile in Babylon , the return to the Land of Israel and the building of the Second Temple . Thereafter we will study the 12 "Minor" Prophets as a colorful, varied introduction to the language and content of prophecy. We will then study the wisdom literature, Proverbs and Job, thereafter spending the rest of the summer studying Chronicles (to immerse ourselves again in national history) and then Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, culminating in the vision of the Third Temple and the Future Order as we approach the next Jewish New Year.

We will study the Five Megillos before each of the associated festivals, i.e. Esther before Purim, Song of Songs at Pesach time, Ruth before Shavuos, Eichah (Lamentations) on Tisha be Av and Koheles (Ecclesiastes) next Succos, enjoying the profound wisdom of King Solomon as the climax of the study cycle leading up to a Siyum, with God's help, next Simchas Torah.

May God give us strength to study His Torah every day!!! Behatzlachah - Have great success!!!

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By Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
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