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The Haftarah for the Parshat Balak 5764
The Haphtarah is read from the book of Micha,
The Storyline of this week's Haftarah: The Haftorah begins with the prophet Micah predicting that prior to the war of Gog and Magog the mighty nations of the world will assemble against Israel. The Jewish people will not expect their salvation to come from any person; instead they will rely only on Hashem for their salvation, and the nation of Israel will triumph over all the nations of the world. Micah predicts the purification of Israel; after the war of Gog and Magog, Hashem will remove all the weapons of war from Israel because they will not be needed any longer. In the same vein, Hashem will eliminate sorcery, fortunetellers, and idols, including the Asherah trees because all the people in the world will realize the one true God. Israel is accused of not listening to Hashem's commandments, even though they had been warned many times. Hashem asks "Is this how you thank me for taking you out of the land of Egypt?" "Is this how you thank me for protecting you from the King Balak of Moab?" "Is this how you thank me for the way Balaam answered them?" Micah concludes the Haftorah with advice regarding what Hashem seeks from us. It is, to perform justice, love kindness and walk humbly with Hashem.
The connection between this week's Parasha and the Haftara: The prophecy of Micah recalls some of the ways in which Hashem protected the newly emerged nation during its forty years in the desert wilderness. Among the incidents mentioned by the prophet is Balak's plot to have Balaam curse Israel, and Balaam's advice to use lewdness as the bait to lure Israel into Idolatry. Thus this is an appropriate Haftorah for the Sidrah of Balak.
Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: Credibility is very important. When taking the role of a spiritual leader, make sure that you represent Hashem in the way he would want you to. (See Torah for guidelines.) When choosing a spiritual leader, choose someone who will inspire you to take the next step, and become closer to Hashem.
Micah Ha’morashti's Biography: The name Micah means, "Who is like Hashem?” He lived in the 8th century B.C.E. about 2800 years ago. He was from a country town of Morashet-Gat, near the Philistine border in Judah, which was a 1-day journey from Jerusalem. Morashet-Gat is marked on the Madaba mosaic floor map. The prophet was a village person who detested the capital cities of Samara & Jerusalem that symbolized luxury & graft that had corrupted the nation. His book is included in the Trai-Assar or the book of the twelve prophets. He prophesied in the kingdom of Judah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea were also alive at this time. Of the 613 mitzvoth told to Moses, Micah stressed three. "It has been told to you what Hashem requires of you. Only to do justly, to love kindness and to walk humbly with Hashem." He was the first prophet to predict the destruction of Jerusalem. Micah warned the Israelite people against worshipping foreign Gods, which were made by the hands of the men and women who worshipped them. Micah was especially focused on the leaders of Israel who were corrupt and taking advantage of the population. Micah never questioned the justice of severe punishment given by Hashem. Micah repeatedly mentions the revival of heathenism under King Menashe, which worshipped the Baal idol. He was a spokesman of the poor and he believed that true faith comes from the heart and not from formal sacrifices. Micah looks forward to the Messianic period and kingdom.
Famous phrases: Key me'zion tay tse torah udvar Hashem may Yerushalayim. From out of Zion shall go the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Timeline: Micah Prophesied from 739 B.C.E. to 687 B.C.E. about 2740 years ago in the Jewish year 3220.
Map: The Haftorah takes place in Jerusalem.
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2002
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