Why do we read the Torah reading that discusses the Exodus some three months before Passover? Why doesn't the reading coincide with the festival that commemorates the event?


If we would try to synchronize the reading of the parshiot (weekly Torah readings) with the times of the year when the events they describe occurred, we would run into hosts of practical problems.

Examples: The Torah relates the story of the Giving of the Torah right after the Exodus—but Shavuot, the holiday that commemorates the Sinai event, is celebrated seven weeks after Passover. The last four parshiot of Deuteronomy all took place on the day Moses passed away, the seventh of Adar (which falls during the end of winter, beginning of spring time). It would be impossible to read all of them on one day. Right after we read about Moses' passing, we start the Torah again from the beginning, reading about the creation of the world—which took place in the fall... As you can see synchronization would be impossible.

Keep in mind that the festival Torah readings don't follow the order of the weekly parshiot. Rather, we read sections that are related to the festival that we are celebrating. For example, on the first day of Passover we read about the Paschal Sacrifice and the ensuing Exodus. On the seventh day of Passover we read about the splitting of the sea—which took place on that day. On Shavuot we read about the Giving of the Torah.

Rabbi Eliezer Posner