Parashat Vayeitzei: Torah Reading - Trop
In general, the text of a Torah scroll is a bunch of words that make up neatly arranged columns. But, if you pay attention, you can see that there are breaks in the words all over the place. Look at this column from Parashat Noah. You can see a bunch of different breaks in the text here.
One kind of break is called a סְתוּמָה (setumah), meaning, “stopped up.” This is basically a space in the middle of a line, with words on both sides.
Sometimes, the break begins in the middle of the line and goes all the way until the end. This kind of break is called a פְּתוּחָה (petuhah), meaning “open,” because it is open all the way to the end.
Most columns in the Torah have breaks in them, and almost every parashah has breaks. In fact, there are only two parashiyot that have no breaks, where the whole parashah is one long paragraph—and Vayeitzei is one of them. So, if you are ever up on the bimah reading this parashah from the Torah, you better keep your place, because there are no breaks to help you find it if you lose it!