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|Chumash - torah portions|
|Submitted by Michael Borghard Answered by Rabbi Shaul Rosenberg|
|Answer: The rules for deciding when to double the parshios are as follows:|
* Vayakhel-Pekudei: In a regular year, Tzav is always the Shabbos before Pesach. Most of the time, there are 24 shabbosos between Sukkos and Pesach. However, from Bereishis to Tzav there are 25 parshios. We correct this by doubling Vayakhel and Pekudei. However, in one combination ,Simchas Torah (in the Diaspora) is on Friday and Pesach is on a Sunday. Thereby a 25th Shabbos is squeezed in and there is no need to double Vayakhel and Pekudei. In a leap year, there are never double parshios before Pesach and the shabbos before is usually Metzorah, but sometimes Acharei-Mos.
* Tazria-Metzorah, Acharei Mos-Kedoshim, Behar-Bechukosai: These parshios are always doubled on regular years and never doubled on a leap year. The purpose of doubling these parshios is to ensure that Bamidbar is read before Shavuos. However, in Israel, if Pesach is on Shabbos, there are seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuos. Therefore, in such a year, only in Israel, Behar and Bechukosai are separated.
* Chukas-Balak: These parshios are doubled only in the Diaspora when Shavuos is on Friday and Shabbos to make up for the parsha that was missed because of Shavuos.
* Matos-Masei: These parshios are doubled every year, except for:
(A) a leap year where Acharei-Mos was Shabbos Hagadol;
(B) In Israel, during a leap year in which Pesach fell on Shabbos.
These parshios are doubled to ensure that Devarim is read on the Shabbos before Tisha B'Av.
* Netzavim-Vayeilech: These parshios are doubled whenever either Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur falls on Shabbos. In such a year, there is no Shabbos between Yom Kippur and Sukkos. Therefore, we need to double these parshios so that Ha'azinu can be read on Shabbos Shuva, so we can be ready to read V'Zos Ha'Beracha on Simchas Torah.