For the week of March 30, 2019
Shabbat Parah – Sabbath of the Red Heifer
Torah: Num 19:1–22
Haftarah: Eze 36:16–38
This is the third of the four special Shabbats and is the Shabbat immediately preceding Shabbat HaChodesh (see next entry below). The additional Torah portion is Num 19:1–22 that describes purification by the ashes of the red heifer. Since participation in the Pesach festival required ritual purity for each individual, and since it was presumed that everyone had most likely contracted corpse impurity, Shabbat Parah was a reminder to plan one’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem to give sufficient time for the purification ritual (which required eight days).