April 2nd, 2011


More Torah Trivia inspired by Tazria!

Last year, I was intrigued by the frequency of color names in the Bible.

Today, I got to wondering what the least-frequently-read maftirs are.

By this I mean: 53 of the 54 Torah portions have a maftir reading designated where the last few verses are repeated; the final portion does not because it is never the portion read on a Sabbath that isn't a festival with its own special maftir. But if the portion is combined with the following week's portion (which might happen when it's not a leap year), or if it falls on certain special dates that have their own special maftir, then that maftir isn't used.

No big surprises, of course. A quick survey in my perpetual calendar (which has a quick guide to 102 years) seems to indicate that the answer is Miqqetz 9/102(which almost always is read during Chanukah), followed closely by Vayakhel 10/102 (which is almost always combined with Pekudei, and when it isn't combined it often falls on Zachor, Parah, or HaChodesh) and Tazria 14/102 (which is almost always combined with Metzorah or falls on HaChodesh, as it did this morning).