Question: Must you perform Sh’nayim Mikra V’Echad Targum (“SMVT”) for Yom Tov leinings, the four special parshiyos, or the weekly haftarah?

Short Answer: While you do not need to recite SMVT for Yom Tov leinings or the four special parshiyos, some have the minhag to do it for the four special parshiyos. Many have the minhag to do SMVT (at least the Mikra part) for the weekly haftarah.


I. Yom Tov Leinings

The T’rumas HaDeshen (23) asks whether one must recite Sh’nayim Mikra V’Echad Targum (“SMVT”) in preparation for the leinings on Yom Tov. The T’rumas HaDeshen answers that the minhag is not to recite it, but he has not found an adequate reason or source explaining why not. Even though Rashi (Gemara B’rachos 8b) explains that SMVT is “for every Shabbos,” perhaps Rashi is merely listing the common example of SMVT, and not excluding Yom Tov.

The T’rumas HaDeshen then suggests that perhaps it is based on the reason for SMVT, which is to finish the Torah together with the community each year. This is accomplished even without reciting SMVT for each Yom Tov, as you will cover the entire Torah by simply doing SMVT for each Shabbos. However, according to the reason of Rabbeinu Chananel, in order that you become “ragil” (accustomed) to what the community is reading by K’rias HaTorah, you presumably should do SMVT for Yom Tov leinings, as well. Nevertheless, the T’rumas HaDeshen concludes by reiterating the clear minhag NOT to recite SMVT for Yom Tov leinings.

Even though the Tur does not cite the T’rumas HaDeshen, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 285:7) does codify and cite the T’rumas HaDeshen. One thus does not need to do SMVT for Yom Tov leinings.

As an aside, the Mishnah B’rurah (Orach Chayim 1:17) writes that one should not recite the Y’hi Ratzon in the Korbanos section of davening on Shabbos and Yom Tov, as there are no korb’nos n’davos brought on these days. Nevertheless, you may recite the parshah for that specific korban. The notes to the Dirshu Mishnah B’rurah (Orach Chayim 285, n. 34) cite Rav Chaim Kanievsky, who writes that this does not mean that one needs to perform SMVT for the Yom Tov leining.

II. The Big Four

But what about the four parshiyos around Adar time (Sh’kalim, Zachor, Parah, HaChodesh)? Must you read SMVT for these special leinings?

The T’rumas HaDeshen (ibid) actually mentions both Yom Tov and the four parshiyos in his above-mentioned discussion. These parshiyos thus do not need SMVT. Interestingly, the Shulchan Aruch and the Rama do not mention this halachah.

The Igros Moshe (Orach Chayim 3:40) assumes, without much discussion, that there is no SMVT for these four parshiyos, as the T’rumas HaDeshen explains that the reason is to finish the Torah each year, and you could do this without reading the four parshiyos separately. (For some reason, the Igros Moshe does not mention that the T’rumas HaDeshen actually rules this way explicitly). The Igros Moshe does acknowledge the reason of Rabbeinu Chananel, but notes that this is not the minhag.

On the other hand, Rav Moshe Halberstam zt”l (Divrei Moshe 1:12) cites the Zlatchov Rebbe, who had the minhag to perform SMVT for the four parshiyos. Rav Halberstam writes that he strove to find a basis for this minhag until he saw the Leket Yosher, who writes that the T’rumas HaDeshen himself read SMVT for the four parshiyos. Rav Halberstam explains that the T’rumas HaDeshen was actually careful himself to follow the reasoning of Rabbeinu Chananel and thus, at least for the four parshiyos – two of which are d’Oraisa – would recite SMVT, even though he would not do so for Yom Tov. Rav Halberstam likewise cites the Taamei HaMinhagim and the Chavos Yair who cite others who did this, as well.

III. What About the Haftarah?

The T’rumas HaDeshen (2:101) likewise discusses reading the haftarah as part of SMVT. He asks which haftarah should be recited as part of SMVT when there is an aufruf in shul (and the minhag was to do “Sos Asis” as the haftarah in shul). He acknowledges, as part of the question, that even though there is no obligation to do SMVT on the haftarah, “there is a minhag to do so.” He suggests that one should do SMVT on the regular haftarah (not “Sos Asis”) because the entire reason for SMVT on the haftarah is so that the reader knows the correct haftarah that is generally read for this parshah. There is no point in reading “Sos Asis” numerous times a year (if there are numerous aufrufs).

The Rama (Orach Chayim 285:7) adopts the ruling of the T’rumas HaDeshen, noting that even though there is no obligation to do SMVT on the haftarah, “there is a minhag to do so.” The Mishnah B’rurah (19), citing the Magen Avraham, explains the reason: to prepare in case you are asked to read the haftarah on Shabbos. [Note that the Shaar HaTziyun (20) clarifies that you don’t need to recite Targum on the haftarah, as we don’t do Targum anymore].

Based on the reasoning of the Mishnah B’rurah, the Ohel Yaakov (SMVT 8:3), citing the Sheivet HaK’hasi, explains that if you do SMVT after K’rias HaTorah on Shabbos afternoon, there is no need to do the haftarah as well, as you already heard the haftarah (and there is no need to “prepare” for the past!). However, the Sheivet HaK’hasi concludes that it still is correct to do SMVT on the haftarah based on the Magen Avraham (11), which suggests another idea: that we read Chumash (Torah), N’viim (haftarah), and then K’suvim (T’hilim) as part of SMVT. Accordingly, the fact that you already heard the haftarah in shul is inconsequential.

Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl (Gam Ani Odecha, SMVT 105) disagrees and writes that you still should recite SMVT on the haftarah here, as next year you may hear K’rias HaTorah before you do SMVT. Rav M. Mazuz (cited ibid) also writes that you still should do SMVT on the haftarah, because “lo plug,” we do not make distinctions based on personal scenarios.

Also based on the above Mishnah B’rurah, the Sh’miras Shabbos K’Hilchasah (42, n. 233) notes that there is no minhag to recite SMVT on the haftarah where the baal k’riah reads the haftarah for everyone (such as when you have a klaf). There is no need here to “prepare” for the haftarah if you anyway would not be the one reading it. Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l (cited in Gam Ani Odecha, SMVT 104) rules similarly. On the other hand, Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl (Gam Ani Odecha ibid) writes that you should still do SMVT because it is always possible that the baal k’riah doesn’t show up or you have to daven at a minyan where the oleh leins the haftarah himself.

Practically, the Ohel Yaakov cites the Kovetz Halachos, who rules that one should recite SMVT on the haftarah, but notes that many do not.

 Next Week’s Topic: Should you pronounce Hashem’s name when you recite Targum during Sh’nayim Mikra V’Echad Targum?

Rabbi Ephraim Glatt, Esq. is Associate Rabbi at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills and a practicing litigation attorney. Questions? Comments? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..