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Torah, reading of

Torah, reading of. The practice of reading the Jewish Torah publicly. The Babylonian Talmud refers to a fixed cycle of readings (B. Meg. 29a), with the entire Pentateuch being read over the course of three years. By the 12th cent., it became the universal practice to read it over an annual cycle. Before and after the reading the Torah scroll is carried in procession around the synagogue. The readers recite particular benedictions before and after their reading which is normally chanted (see CANTILLATION).

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