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The Haftarah for Tishah Be'av - Mincha
The Haftora is read from the book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 55:6-56:8
The Origins of the Fast of Tishah Be'av: Tishah Be'av is the day on which we commemorate all of the evils, and hardships which we have had to endure. Most notably, it commemorates the destruction of both temples.
The Summary of the Haftarah: 55:6-7 All the Jewish sinners are urged to do Teshuva. 55:8-9 Hashem's kindness is abundant. 55:10-11 Hashem's decrees come true. 55:12-13 Joy at the future redemption. 56:1-2 Prerequisites for the redemption to take place 56:3-5 Comfort and advice to the childless and the convert. A Jewish person must give Tzedaka on a Fast day. 56:6-8 All the righteous will serve in the future Bait Hamikdash.
The connection between this week's Parasha and the Haftara: This Haftorah is read during Mincha on the following 5 fast days. 1) *10th of Tevet, 2) Ta'anis Esther, 3) *17 of Tammuz, 4) *Tishah Be'av 5) Tzom Gedalia.
* These fast days commemorate the Destruction of the Holy Temple. The purpose of these fast days is to inspire us to repent. The Haftorah was chosen for its opening sentence,"Let the wicked man leave his evil way and the sinful one his evil thought."
Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: Think about this, if somehow you were mistakenly locked up in jail for a long time you couldn't get out and someone came and bailed you out, how would you feel about that person? Then if that person brought you to their mansion on an estate, and said "I am going to leave you here, alone, to live as you please, just follow these house rules". Then our host finds out that not only have we not listened to his directions, you have done some really bad damage to his property. He looks closer only to find that you have brought the evil people into his home and while they were there you spoke nastily to each other, that hurt other people's reputations and finances not to mention their feelings. The owner of the house says "Hey! Wait a minute! I don't understand something, I took you out of jail and I put you into a beautiful house, all I asked of you is to treat this place as you would your own. But what do you do? You d! estroyed it. You won't even stop when I reprimand you and even threaten to throw you off the premises. So you have left me with no other option but to take action and physically remove you from my place. You have run it down and I will have to tear my house down to the ground and rebuild it. This is the story of Tisha Be'av. How many times do we need to be reminded and reprimanded before we understand what our role as good Jews is supposed to be . How many places do we have to get thrown out of before we get the message?
Isaiah's Biography: The name Isaiah means "Salvation of G-d". Isaiah wrote his own book, which is 66 chapters long. His father was a prophet named Amoz, and he was from a royal family who had access to the Bait Hamikdash. He was born in the year 765 B.C.E. (8th century) about 2760 years ago. Isaiah was twenty-five when he received his first vision. He was also considered to be the greatest of all prophets after Moses. Three other prophets lived in Isaiah's time; Hosea, Amos, and Michah. Isaiah was born circumcised, and lived through the reigns of four different kings; Uzziah, Yotham, Ahaz, Hezkiah. Isaiah lived 120 years, and he had two children with his only wife. He claimed to have seen the throne of G-d, and he predicted Israel's demise. Isaiah was killed by Menaseh, the King of Judah. Isaiah was hiding from Menashe, the King of Judah, in a tree, but as Menashe was passing by the tree, he spotted Isaiah's tsitsit hanging out of the tree. Menashe then cut clean through the tree, and killed Isaiah. Since Isaiah spoke lashon ha'ra about the nation of Israel, as a midah ki-neged midah when he was killed, he was cut through the mouth.
Famous phrases from the Book of Isaiah : lo mahshevotai mahshevotachem, velo darkaykhem derachai. Hashem says: "My thoughts are not similar to your thoughts, neither are your ways similar to my ways" Thus, seek the lord while he may be found. Isaiah 55:8 Hashem's thought process is different from ours. Just as we cannot understand Hashem's existence, we also cannot understand Hashem's thoughts and ways.
Timeline: Isaiah prophesized about 2600 years ago
Map: Isaiah prophecised in Jerusalem
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2002
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