Parsha is the Hebrew word for portion.

A parsha (פָּרָשָׁה (Pārāšâ) “portion,” [plural: parshiot or parashiyot] formally means a section of the Torah (first five books of the Bible; also called the books of Moses).

The  parshiot are designated by various types of spacing between them, as found in Torah scrolls in the masoretic text. The division of the text into parshiot for the weekly readings is not dependent on chapter and verse numbers common to us today. Parshiot are not numbered, but some have special names. These names are usually derived from the first few Hebrew words of each reading.

For example, the very first parsha in the annual reading cycle is called ‘B’reisheet’ which means ‘in the beginning.” It begins in Genesis (or B’reisheet in Hebrew) chapter 1 verse 1. The parsha is named ‘B’reisheet’ because that is the first phrase of the beginning of the parsha in Hebrew.

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