A Summary of the Torah

A description of the highlights of the Torah, according to the divisions of the weekly portions.

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Vayeshev (37:1-40:23) Joseph's brothers strip him of his coat of many colors and throw him into a pit.

Miketz (41:1-44:17) Joseph successfully interprets Pharaoh's dreams. Joseph is appointed viceroy.

Vayigash (44:18-47:27) Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, who are dumbfounded.

Vayehi (47:28-50:26) Jacob blesses his sons. Joseph dies at end of book at age 110.


The Israelites are enslaved in Egypt. Moses receives the Ten Commandments. The Israelites build a tabernacle.

Weekly Portions

Sh'mot (1:1-6:1) Moses is saved by Pharaoh's daughter. God appears to Moses at the burning bush.

Vaera (6:2-9:35) God brings plagues upon the Egyptians. Pha­raoh's heart hardens and he refuses to let the Israelites go.

Bo (10:1-13:16) Egyptian firstborn children are slain by God. The Israelites hastily leave Egypt and bake matzah from unleavened dough.

B'shalah (13:17-17:16) The waters of the Red Sea divide to make a path for the Israelites.

Yitro (18:1-20:23) Jethro, Moses' father-in law, advises him to appoint judges so as to ease his burden. Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

Mishpatim (21:1-24:18) Moses instructs the Israelites in the Law.

Terumah (25:1-27:19) The tabernacle is constructed.

Tetzaveh (27:20-30:10) Aaron and his sons are put in charge of the menorah. The priestly garments are described in great detail.

Ki Tissa (30:11-34:35) The Israelites build a golden calf; when Moses sees it he shatters the tablets containing the Ten Command­ments.

Vayakhel (35:1-38:20) The people bring an array of gifts for the tabernacle until they are told to stop.

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Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs

Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs is the spiritual leader of Temple Sholom in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He has served as the publications committee chairperson of the Rabbinical Assembly.