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The Haftorah for Ha'azinu - Shabbat Shuva 5763
The Haftorah is read from three of the twelve short books in Trai Assar or The Twelve Prophets. Hosea 14:2-10; Joel 2:11-27; Micah 7:18-20.
The Storyline of this week's Haftarah: The Call to Repentance -The first portion of the Haftorah is read from: The Book of Hosea 14:2-4 "Shuvah Yisrael ad Hashem Elokecha" "Return, O Israel to Hashem, your G-d", for you have stumbled because of your sins. Confess to Hashem and return to him. Ask Hashem to forgive you. Stop the external reliance from other nations and pagan deities. Faith and Blessings 14:5-10. Hashem gives word that the rough years are over and Hashem will be rejuvenating the people and the land of Israel. The second part is read from: The Book of Joel 2:11-27 The Locust Attack 2:11 Hashem has the Prophet Joel inform the Jewish people that a plague of locusts will come and destroy all who are not observing his Torah. Repentance Is Still Possible 2:12-17 Hashem is saying that even at this late hour it is still possible to do "teshuvah" or repentance, but only if you do it wholeheartedly with fasting weeping and ! lamenting. Your hearts should be torn (feel it inside), not your clothing ("looking" bad, but not really feeling it). Hashem is patiently waiting for you to return to him. The Land Refreshed 2:18-20 Hashem will now cause the agriculture of Israel to blossom tremendously. Consolation and Blessings 21-27. Joel informs the Nation of Israel that Hashem is going to provide tremendous blessing in the way of food, that people will be startled. They will go from having nothing to having it all in a very short period of time. The last portion of the Haftorah is read from The Book of Micah 7:18-20. Forgiveness and Fulfillment of Promises - Hashem is forgiving of our sins, kind, merciful. Hashem is truthful and loves kindness. May the promises he made to our forefathers be fulfilled.
The connection between this week's Parasha and the Haftara: The ten days Starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are called The Ten Days of repentance. The Shabbat that falls in between the two is called Shabbat Shuva or the Sabbath of returning to Hashem. Once again the Haftorah is not connected to the Parasha, but it is connected to the time of year it is read.
Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: The words of the prophet Hosea is a loving call to do teshuvah (repentance) then and now. Even though the nation of Israel repeatedly sinned, their essence is basically good and pure. Hashem treats us as if we are not hopelessly evil, just that we have stumbled a little bit into sin. The potential for repentance always remains, and Hashem is always ready to accept it and forgive us.Famous phrases from the Book of Hosea : Chapter 2:21- "Ve'erastich li le'olam, Ve'erashtich li be'chesed uvemishpat uvechesed uverachamim, Ve'erashtich li be'emunah ve'yada'atah et Adoshem", " I will betroth you to me forever, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, with justice, with kindness and mercy, and I will betroth you to me with fidelity and you will know Hashem. Hosea's Biography: Hosea was the son of the prophet Be'eri. The meaning of his name is "G-d will save". His book is the first of the "Trai Assar" or the Book of Twelve Prophets. He wrote it him self and it is 14 chapters long. He lived during the 8th century b.c.e. and prophesied about the impending downfall of the Jewish State because of their worshipping of foreign deities. At the time the Jews were seeking help from neighboring nations when they should have been relying on Hashem to help them. Hoshea was married to Gomer, who later became unfaithful to him. He lived in the time of the King Jerob! oam II and Hosea was still living when the Assyrains destroyed the Kingdom of Israel in 721 b.c.e. Joel's Biography: The name Joel means, "Hashem is G-d." He was the son of Petuel. The Book of Joel is 4 chapters long and is the 2nd book in the Trai Assar. His most prominent vision is of the cloud of locusts approaching the land of Israel and of the destruction it would cause. He assures us that the benefits of the Jews doing teshuvah (repentance) is that Hashem will have mercy on us and that he will bless the land of Israel with prosperity. In the Last chapter of his book Joel describes what will happen in the messianic era. Michah's Biography: The name Michah means, "Who is like Hashem?" It is the 6th Book of the Trai Assar. The last two pesukim of his book are included in the Tashlich service said on Rosh Hashanah. He was from the city of Moreshet Gat a village in the lowland near the Philistine border. He spoke out against the moral and social evils of his day. He d! enounces the pursuit of wealth that led to mass corruption. He was the first prophet to predict the destruction of Jerusalem.
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2002
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