Making up the reading of missed Parshiyos due to COVID-19

Due to Covid-19, many individuals and communities have missed previous Shabbos Torah readings and are now able to make it to Shul for the first time on Shabbos. Different Rabbis are saying different things. Practically, may the Parshiyos be made up?

There are different approaches regarding this matter:

  1. No makeup: In general, one is required to make up the previous weeks Parsha, however, in certain cases[1], even a single Parsha of the previous week does not need to be made up, [and hence based on the circumstance, perhaps only this week’s Parsha of Bamidbar is to be read].
  2. Make up only the previous Parsha, and only if not a double Parsha or Chazak: Even in those circumstances that require a makeup of the previous Parsha, only the Parsha of the previous week is to be made up, and only if it was not a double Parsha[2], and not a Parsha of Chazak[3] [and hence due to both of these reasons, Parshas Behar-Bechukosaiy is not to be made up, and certainly previous Parshiyos are not to be made up, and one is to only read Parshas Bamidbar].
  3. Make up the previous Parsha in all cases: The Parsha of the previous week is to be made up even if it is a double portion[4] and Parshas Chazak.[5]
  4. Make up all the previous Parshiyos:[6] Based on the previous opinion, one is to also make up all the previous missed Parshiyos, irrelevant of number. [Nonetheless, due to Tircha Detzibura, some may argue that there is no need to make up the previous Parshiyos, if they are many in number]

The final ruling:

Which opinion a Rav may choose to follow may be affected by the following scenarios which are based on the facts of the ground of his community, including:

  • Did the Shul have a Minyan the previous Shabbosos but did not have a Sefer Torah, or was there no Minyan at all, and people simply Davened on their own.
  • Were there other Minyanim that took place in the community that had Kerias Hatorah.
  • How many people in the shul have truly missed the previous weeks reading.

Practically, all the opinions are a valid option in Halacha for a Rav to weigh and follow, and hence  different Rabbanim rule in different ways, each according to their viewpoint of which of the above opinions is the main approach, and in accordance to the facts on ground. The Mara Desra in each community is to publicize his opinion to his community based on the above opinions and the facts on ground, and they are to follow his ruling whether like the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th approach.

Rabbi Goldstein’s Pesak:

In my opinion [for those shul’s who do not have their own Mara Diasra who is giving them a Pesak], this week Parshas Bamidbar one is to follow the second approach and not make up any of the previous Parshiyos [i.e. only read Parshas Bamidbar], due to the following four reasons [the first being individually sufficient]:

  • Some Poskim rule one may not make up a double Parsha, and in my opinion this is the main approach in Halacha.
  • Some Poskim rule one may not make up a Chazak Parsha [end of Chumash].
  • Many Poskim rule that there is never a need to make up the Parshiyos if you did not Daven with a Minyan the previous Shabbos.
  • Some Poskim rule there is no need to make up a Parsha if there existed a Minyan in your community who read the Parsha last week.
  • It will be a great Tircha Detzibura on some, or many individuals. [In my opinion, even if the entire Tzibur desires it, there is no need to do so based on the previous reasons]

 

The full article on the subject

 

Missed weekly Shabbos reading of Shacharis:[7]

If a community [or the majority of a community[8]] did not read the weekly portion one Shabbos [from a Kosher Sefer Torah[9] due to reasons beyond their control[10]], then they are to make it up the next Shabbos by reading both the previous weeks Parsha, and the current weeks Parsha. [They are not to make it up on Monday or Thursday, and are to continue with the regular Monday and Thursday reading.[11] In such a case the first Aliyah of Kohen is to read the entire previous Parsha, plus the section of Rishon of the current weeks Parsha.[12] If the congregation began the previous weeks Parsha, but did not finish it for whatever reason, such as a dispute, then they are to make it up the next Shabbos by reading it together with that week’s Parsha.[13] In such a case, they are to restart from the beginning of the Parsha.[14] In a case that the previous weeks Parsha was not read then it is proper to make up the previous weeks Haftorah together with the current weeks Haftorah.[15]]

Missed two or more Parshiyos:[16] If the previous weeks Parsha was a double portion, such as Matos Maasei, then some Poskim[17] rule that they are not to make up the previous weeks Parsha at all [neither the first or the second[18]]. [Likewise, if the current weeks portion is a double Parsha then one is not to make up the previous weeks Parsha.[19]] Likewise, if the congregation missed two weeks’ worth of Parshiyos [or more], then they may not make up both missed Parshiyos, [and are to only make up the Parsha of the previous week[20], and not that of two weeks ago or of any previous week].[21] Other Poskim[22], however, rule that the next Shabbos one may make up the Parsha of the previous week even if it was a double portion and one ends up reading three Parshiyos. Likewise, they rule that one may make up even two Parshiyos of the two previous weeks if the congregation missed the reading of the previous week and that of two weeks ago as well, and thus they end up reading three Parshiyos in total.[23] Furthermore, one may make up all the missed Parshiyos of the previous weeks, irrelevant of number.[24] [However, see next regarding making up from previous Chumash, in which case an additional dispute is recorded. According to this opinion, all the previous week’s Parshiyos are to be made up in their correct order.[25] Practically, regarding the final ruling amongst the above opinions, all the opinions are a valid option in Halacha for a Rav to weigh and follow, and hence different Rabbanim rule in different ways, each according to their viewpoint of which of the above opinions is the main approach, and in accordance to the facts on ground in his community.[26] The Mara Desra in each community is to publicize his opinion to his community based on the above opinions and the facts on ground, and they are to follow his ruling whether like the 1st, 2nd, or third approach.]

Missed Parsha at end of Sefer: If the congregation missed the Parsha at the end of a Sefer, such as Parshas Vayechi, then some Poskim[27] rule that they cannot make it up the next Shabbos.[28] Other Poskim[29], however, rule that one is to read both Parshiyos the next Shabbos even if the previous Parsha is from the end of the previous Sefer and on that Shabbos they begin to read a new Sefer.

 

Q&A

If the Maftir/Haftorah of the previous week was not read, is it to be read the next week?[30]

If the congregation read the entire weekly portion the previous week but did not read that weeks Maftir or Haftorah, then it is not to be read the next week. Thus, for Maftir and Haftorah only the current weeks reading is read.

If a community missed a word or verse in the previous weeks Parsha, are they to re-read the Parsha the next Shabbos?[31]

Yes. If even one word or verse was not read in the previous weeks portion, then one is to make it up the next week, and read from the beginning of last week’s Parsha.

What is the law if by a double Parsha the Minyan only read the first Parsha, is the second Parsha to be made up the next Shabbos?[32]

Remembered that Shabbos: If the congregation remembered their mistake that Shabbos prior to sunset[33], then they are to make up the reading of the second Parsha that Shabbos. A single Aliyah is to be called up to read the entire second Parsha.

Remembered after Shabbos: If they only remembered after Shabbos, then they are to make up the skipped Parsha the next week. If the second Parsha is the end of a Sefer, then this is subject to the debate explained above.

What is the law if a congregation accidentally read two Parshiyos, thinking that week was a double Parsha?[34]

They do not need to re-read the Parsha of that week even though the seven Aliyos were not called up in the weekly Parsha. The next Shabbos, they are to repeat the reading of that weeks Parsha.

 

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[1] So rule in all cases: Maharikash 135:2 [although we do not rule like his opinion in all cases]; So rule regarding all cases that people did not have a Minyan the previous week: Shaareiy Efraim 7:39; Daas Torah 13; Toras Chaim Sofer 135:3; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11 footnote 18; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 405. So rule regarding all cases that majority of the congregation already heard Kerias Hatorah the previous week: Toras Chaim Sofer 135:4; M”B 135:7; Shaareiy Rachamim 7:16; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11 footnote 18; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:5; So rule regarding all cases that at least one Minyan read the Torah in the city that week: See Olas Tamid 282 in name of Mahram that they do not need to make it up, and so rules Ben Ish Chaiy Ki Sisa 1:6; However, see Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 135:6 who negate this ruling; See Toras Chaim Sofer 135:4

[2] M”A 135:4 [in quote of Mahariy Mintz]; Shut Maharam Mintz 85; Beir Heiytiv 135:4; Kneses Hagedola 282; Yad Aaron on Hagahos Hatur; Olas Tamid 282:4; Ateres Zekeinim 135:2; Zera Emes 3:14; Chochmas Shlomo 135:2; Digul Merivava 135; Soles Belula 135:1; 1st opinion in M”B 135:7; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim ibid; Shaareiy Efraim 7:9 in his main opinion; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11; All Poskim in coming footnotes

The reason: As we never read three Parshiyos in one Shabbos, and there is no Takan to read only one of last week’s Parshiyos, which is only half the portion of the previous week’s portions. [M”A ibid]

The opinion of the Magen Avraham: The M”A ibid mainly brings the opinion of the Mahariy Mintz as his main and Stam opinion. He then adds in parentheses the opinion of the Hagahos Minhagim, recorded next. It seems clear from the wording of the M”A that he mainly rules like the opinion of the Mahariy Mintz, and so is clearly evident from many Poskim, including the Beir Heiytiv ibid who summarizes the M”A as rules the Mahariy Mintz and completely omits the parentheses ruling of the Hagahos Minhagim, and so is also evident from the Diggul Merivava ibid and Chochmas Shlomo ibid and Kaf Hachaim ibid in his opinion of the M”A. So likewise writes the Chaim Sheol 2:16 in opinion of M”A ibid in name of Masas Moshe; See also Admur 442 Kuntrus Achron 1. Whatever the case, it seems that the M”A ibid mainly rules like the opinion of Mahariy Mintz and thus so conclude all the Poskim ibid, although leaves room for someone to argue, as writes the Hagahos Minhagim, and as rules the Shaareiy Efraim ibid “Sheiyn Maznichin Oso”

May they nevertheless make up the Parsha if they choose?: No. It is evident from the wording of the above Poskim that it is forbidden to make up the Parsha, and not just that they don’t have to. [See Aterez Zekinim ibid]

[3] M”A 135:4; Maharam Mintz 85; Digul Merivava 135; Opinion in M”B 135:7

The reason: As the end of the 1st Parsha and start of the second Parsha must be read in a single Aliyah and it is improper to read from two different Chumashim in a single Aliyah. [M”A ibid]

[4] Possible understanding of Or Zarua ibid; Hagahos Minhagim [Of Rav Yitzchak Issac of Tirina] Shacharis Shel Shabbos 41 who writes “One should not skip any Parsha..and the Mahariy Mintz argues that one is to only make up two Parshiyos and not three…however I do not agree with his opinion (Lo Nirin Devarav)”, brought and negated by M”A ibid; Elya Raba 135:2, brought in P”M ibid; Beis David Shabbos 106; Mateh Yehuda 282:14; Devar Moshe O.C. 50; Emes Leyaakov Taaus Kerias Hatorah 2; Ledavid Emes 9:2; Chaim Sheol 1:71-5 and 2:16; Leaning opinion of Magen Giborim; 2nd opinion in M”B 135:7; Conclusion of Kaf Hachaim ibid; Yalkut Yosef 2 Hilchos Kerias Hatorah  p. 20; Shulchan Hatahor 135:3; Aruch Hashulchan 135:6; Mahram Shick 335 in name of Chasam Sofer that so did Rav Nasan Adler

The opinion of the Or Zarua: From the Or Zarua ibid, which is the source of this entire Halacha brought in the Rama ibid, it is unclear as to how he would rule in the event that one needs more than two Parshiyos on a given Shabbos on behalf of making up missed portions. On the one hand he argues that one should always make up missed Parshiyos, although on the other hand he clearly mentions the idea of reading two Parshiyos total and how it’s not Tircha Detzibura. Thus, one can argue that so long as the congregation agrees, one may make up as many Parshiyos as they missed. Vetzaruch Iyun

[5] Shulchan Hatahor 135:3; Aruch Hashulchan 135:6; Opinion in M”B 135:7 who concludes in name of Atzei Shitim that one who does so is not to be protested

[6] Possible implication of Or Zarua ibid and all Poskim in previous footnote and so explicitly rule: Elya Raba 135:2 [brought in P”M ibid] “or three Shabbasos, read all the Parshiyos consecutively”; 2nd opinion in M”B 135:6; Shulchan Hatahor 135:3; Aruch Hashulchan 135:6; Mahram Shick 335 in name of Chasam Sofer that so did Rav Nasan Adler; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Sefer Ishei Yisrael 38 footnote 75 in name of Gr”a; See M”B 135:6

[7] Rama 135:2; Or Zarua 2:45; See Kaf Hachaim 135:5-10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:4-6

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the custom is to never make up a previous Parsha that was missed. [Custom of Egypt, brought in Maharikash 135:2]

[8] Toras Chaim Sofer 135:4; M”B 135:7; Shaareiy Rachamim 7:16; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11 footnote 18; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:5

The law if majority of the congregation heard Kerias Hatorah: If majority of the congregation already heard Kerias Hatorah, then there is no requirement to make it up on behalf of minority of the congregation who could not hear it. [Poskim ibid] Nonetheless, if they are to make their own Minyan and read both Parshiyos. [See Toras Chaim ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

The law if there was no Minyan the previous Shabbos: If the reason that the Shul did not read the Torah the previous Shabbos is because there was not a Minyan present then they are not obligated to make it up the next Shabbos. [Shaareiy Efraim 7:39; Daas Torah 13; Toras Chaim Sofer 135:3; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11 footnote 18; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 405]

The law if the other Shuls in the community read from the Sefer Torah: See Olas Tamid 282 in name of Mahram that they do not need to make it up, and so rules Ben Ish Chaiy Ki Sisa 1:6; However, see Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 135:6 who negate this ruling; See Toras Chaim Sofer 135:4

[9] Meaning, that even if it was read from a Chumash, or Pasul Sefer Torah, due to lack of choice, it is considered that it was not read.

[10] Shaareiy Efraim 7:8; See Biur Halacha 135

[11] Digul Merivava 135; Shaareiy Efraim 7:39; Aruch Hashulchan 135:6; Kaf Hachaim 135:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:4

[12] HaShomer Emes 15:1; Pesach HaDvir 135:4; Kaf Hachaim 135:5; See M”A 135:4 that the end of the 1st Parsah and start of the second Parsha must be read in a single Aliyah. However, he does not mention that this must be done by the first Aliyah of Cohen; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that one is to read three Aliyos in the previous Parsha, and then have the fourth Aliyah connect between the two Parshiyos, as is normally done by a double portion. [Shaareiy Efraim 7:9; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11] Other Poskim rule that the first Aliyah is to read the previous Parsha and the coming Aliyos are to read from the current weeks Parsha. [Kerem Shlomo 133 in name of Sefer Lashon Chachamim, brought in Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[13] M”A 135:4; Maharam Mintz ibid; Shaareiy Efraim 7:11; Biur Halacha 135:2 “Kerias”; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim ibid

[14] Shaareiy Efraim 7:11; Biur Halacha 135:2 “Kerias”; Kaf Hachaim 135:6

[15] Aruch Hashulchan 135:7

[16] See Kaf Hachaim 135:5 for all the opinions on this matter

[17] M”A 135:4 [in quote of Mahariy Mintz]; Shut Maharam Mintz 85; Beir Heiytiv 135:4; Kneses Hagedola 282; Yad Aaron on Hagahos Hatur; Olas Tamid 282:4; Ateres Zekeinim 135:2; Zera Emes 3:14; Chochmas Shlomo 135:2; Digul Merivava 135; Soles Belula 135:1; 1st opinion in M”B 135:7; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim ibid; Shaareiy Efraim 7:9 in his main opinion; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11; All Poskim in coming footnotes

The reason: As we never read three Parshiyos in one Shabbos, and there is no Takan to read only one of last week’s Parshiyos, which is only half the portion of the previous week’s portions. [M”A ibid]

The opinion of the Magen Avraham: The M”A ibid mainly brings the opinion of the Mahariy Mintz as his main and Stam opinion. He then adds in parentheses the opinion of the Hagahos Minhagim, recorded next. It seems clear from the wording of the M”A that he mainly rules like the opinion of the Mahariy Mintz, and so is clearly evident from many Poskim, including the Beir Heiytiv ibid who summarizes the M”A as rules the Mahariy Mintz and completely omits the parentheses ruling of the Hagahos Minhagim, and so is also evident from the Diggul Merivava ibid and Chochmas Shlomo ibid and Kaf Hachaim ibid in his opinion of the M”A. So likewise writes the Chaim Sheol 2:16 in opinion of M”A ibid in name of Masas Moshe; See also Admur 442 Kuntrus Achron 1. Whatever the case, it seems that the M”A ibid mainly rules like the opinion of Mahariy Mintz and thus so conclude all the Poskim ibid, although leaves room for someone to argue, as writes the Hagahos Minhagim, and as rules the Shaareiy Efraim ibid “Sheiyn Maznichin Oso”

May they nevertheless make up the Parsha if they choose?: No. It is evident from the wording of the above Poskim that it is forbidden to make up the Parsha, and not just that they don’t have to. [See Aterez Zekinim ibid]

[18] P”M ibid; Ateres Zekeinim ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Shaareiy Efraim 7:9 in his main opinion

[19] Implication of all Poskim in previous footnote, and so explicitly rule: Kneses Hagedola ibid; Ateres Zekeinim ibid; Chochmas Shlomo ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid in the opinion of the previous Poskim; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11

[20] Ateres Zekeinim 135 [although may make up the previous Parsha]; P”M 135 A”A 4

[21] Implication of M”A ibid [even though he omits this scenario] and all Poskim in previous footnote that one may not make up all three Parshiyos, and so explicitly rule: Maharam Mintz 85; Ateres Zekeinim 135 [although may make up the previous Parsha]; P”M 135 A”A 4 [although may make up the previous Parsha]; 1st opinion in M”B 135:6, and that so is implied from Gr”a; Shaareiy Efraim 7:9 in his main opinion; Ketzos Hashulchan 84:11

The reason: As we never read three Parshiyos in one Shabbos, and there is no precedent to do so. [Mahariy Mintz ibid; See M”A ibid] Alternatively, the reason is because its like Tahslumin for Davening, of which we rule that we never make up more than one prayer. [Shaar Hatziyon 135:8]

[22] Possible understanding of Or Zarua ibid; Hagahos Minhagim [Of Rav Yitzchak Issac of Tirina] Shacharis Shel Shabbos 41 who writes “One should not skip any Parsha..and the Mahariy Mintz argues that one is to only make up two Parshiyos and not three…however I do not agree with his opinion (Lo Nirin Devarav)”, brought and negated by M”A ibid; Elya Raba 135:2, brought in P”M ibid; Beis David Shabbos 106; Mateh Yehuda 282:14; Devar Moshe O.C. 50; Emes Leyaakov Taaus Kerias Hatorah 2; Ledavid Emes 9:2; Chaim Sheol 1:71-5 and 2:16; Leaning opinion of Magen Giborim; 2nd opinion in M”B 135:7; Conclusion of Kaf Hachaim ibid; Yalkut Yosef 2 Hilchos Kerias Hatorah  p. 20; Shulchan Hatahor 135:3; Aruch Hashulchan 135:6; Mahram Shick 335 in name of Chasam Sofer that so did Rav Nasan Adler

The opinion of the Or Zarua: From the Or Zarua ibid, which is the source of this entire Halacha brought in the Rama ibid, it is unclear as to how he would rule in the event that one needs more than two Parshiyos on a given Shabbos on behalf of making up missed portions. On the one hand he argues that one should always make up missed Parshiyos, although on the other hand he clearly mentions the idea of reading two Parshiyos total and how it’s not Tircha Detzibura. Thus, one can argue that so long as the congregation agrees, one may make up as many Parshiyos as they missed. Vetzaruch Iyun

[23] Possible implication of Or Zarua ibid and all Poskim in previous footnote and so explicitly rule: Elya Raba 135:2 [brought in P”M ibid]; 2nd opinion in M”B 135:6; Shulchan Hatahor 135:3; Aruch Hashulchan 135:6; Mahram Shick 335 in name of Chasam Sofer that so did Rav Nasan Adler; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Sefer Ishei Yisrael 38 footnote 75 in name of Gr”a; See M”B 135:6

[24] Possible implication of Or Zarua ibid and all Poskim in previous footnote and so explicitly rule: Elya Raba ibid “or three Shabbasos, read all the Parshiyos consecutively”; 2nd opinion in M”B 135:6; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Maharam Shick 335 in name of Chasam Sofer that so did Rav Nasan Adler; Sefer Ishei Yisrael 38 footnote 75 in name of Gr”a

[25] Kaf Hachaim ibid

[26] Shaareiy Efraim 7:9 concludes that one who follows the second opinion “Ein Maznichin Oso”; Rav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita ruled to the public like the last opinion, to initially make up all the previous Parshiyos.

[27] M”A 135:4; Maharam Mintz 85; Digul Merivava 135; Opinion in M”B 135:7

[28] The reason: As the end of the 1st Parsha and start of the second Parsha must be read in a single Aliyah and it is improper to read from two different Chumashim in a single Aliyah. [M”A ibid]

[29] Shulchan Hatahor 135:3; Aruch Hashulchan 135:6; Opinion in M”B 135:7 who concludes in name of Atzei Shitim that one who does so is not to be protested

Vezos Habracha: If a congregation missed Vezos Habracha, it cannot be made up the next Shabbos, Shabbos Bereishis. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 135 footnote 34]

[30] Aruch Hashulchan 135:7

[31] Piskeiy Teshuvah 135:4

[32] Kaf Hachaim 135:5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:6

[33] The Sephardic custom: According to the Sephardi custom, they do not make up the Torah reading once it is past midday.

[34] Emes Leyaakov Taus Kerias Sefer Torah 4 in name of Peri Ha’aretz; Ledavid Emes 9:4; Kaf Hachaim 135:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 135:6

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