Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum

Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum (Hebrew: שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום, trans. "Twice Scripture and once translation"), is the Jewish practice of reading the weekly Torah portion in a prescribed manner. In addition to hearing the Torah portion read in the synagogue, a person should read it himself twice during that week, together with a translation and/or Rashi's commentary (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 285:1-6), and it is customary to also read the portion from the Prophets (ibid. 285:7).[1]


According to the Gemara in Tractate Berakhot 8a:

"...אמר רב הונא בר יהודה אמר רבי אמי "לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הצבור שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום
Rav Huna bar Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Ammi: "one should always complete the reading of one's weekly Torah portion with the congregation, twice from the mikra (i.e. Torah) and once from the Targum."

This statement was interpreted as the ritual of Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum.


Times of Recitation (starting with most ideal)
1. On Friday, after the morning prayer
2. On Friday, after midday
3. On the Sabbath morning, before the lunch meal
4. After the Sabbath lunch meal but before the time for the Mincha prayer
5. Up until Tuesday evening following the Sabbath of a particular weekly portion
6. Up until Shemini Atzeret of that particular year

As above, the basic obligation of Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum involves reciting the Hebrew text of the weekly portion twice and then reciting Targum Onkelos once.

Specialized books

Although one may read Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum from any text, special books have been published which print the Hebrew text twice consecutively followed by the Aramaic Targum so as to assure that the reader will recite the requisite repetitions of each verse. Examples include Chumash Haavarat HaSidra and Chumash Shnayim Mikra Ve'Echad Targum (and with translation ). Electronic versions for use in Tablet computers and E-book readers are also available.

Other works designed for daily Torah study - such as Chok l'Yisrael which includes the Torah with other study texts divided by the weeks of the year - will print the Hebrew text once, and, as with a standard Chumash, the reader must remember to repeat the Hebrew text before going on to the Targum. Further, these works tend to divide the weekly portion by day and, generally correspondingly, by Aliyah (Sunday: first Aliyah, Monday: Second Aliyah...). Some books, again, will divide the weekly portion differently.

See also

For other study cycles, see Torah study#Study cycles



  1. Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld: Orach Chayim Summary; Ch. 20
  2. Mishnah Berurah 285:2; Aruch Hashulchan 285:3,13
  3. including the Rosh (Berachot 1:8) and the Tur (O.C. 285)
  4. including the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 285:2)
  5. 285:5
  6. Tosafot (Berachot 8a, “Shnayim”) acknowledge the opinion that any translation of the Torah into one’s own language is acceptable, but they do not conclude agreeing with this opinion, since Targum Onkelos is a unique combination of translation and commentary.
  7. " least one posek ruled that by reciting Mendelssohn’s translation of the Torah (for those not adept at reading Rashi’s commentary on the Torah), one has fulfilled the rabbinic obligation of שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום, no small matter."
  8. Hayyim ben Joseph Vital, Peri Etz Chaim, Sha'ar Hanhagat Limmud. This may not always have been the case. Some fragmentary manuscripts from Israel contain passages from the Targum with cantillation marks: Paul Kahle, Masoreten des Westens. This may have been for public synagogue reading rather than private study.

Further reading

External links

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