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The Haftarah for Shabbat Chanukah
The Prophet Zechariah's Vision of the Menorah or Candelabrum.
The Haftorah begins… Rani V'simchi Bat Zion - Sing and be glad "daughter" of Zion, Jerusalem, "we" the exiled nation of Israel, is returning home.
Taken from the Book of Zecharya Chapter 2:14-17, 3:1-7.
The Story of This Week's Haftorah: 2:14-17 Zechariah predicts that Mount Zion should "jubilate and rejoice" because in the time of the second Bais Hamikdash the Shechina or Hashem's Spirit will "return" to Yerushalyim. On that day many nations of the world will believe in Hashem but Hashem will remember his "chosen people". 3:1-5 Hashem shows Zechariah in a prophetic vision the Kohen Gadol or High priest Yehoshua standing before the angel of mercy and the Satan or accusing angel. They are there to decide whether to oust Yehoshua from his position. Why? Because of the sins of his children. His sons were married to non-Jewish women. 3:6-10 A message to Yehoshua. He is told that if his children to teshuva, then they would be rewarded with being able to enter the "Garden of Eden". Zechariah is then promised that Hashem is already and waiting to rebuild the second Holy Temple. Hashem has already placed the "foundation stone" for the rebuilding of the 2nd Bais Hamikdash. Hashem will then reward his nation with the bringing of the Mashiach. We are promised that in the time of the Mashiach there will be world peace and abundance of good things for everyone. 4:1-3 The Vision of the Menorah. Zechariah tells us that the angel who had spoken with him earlier has now woken him from his dream to tell him that his next vision is soon to come. His next vision inspires him to complete the rebuilding of the second Bais Hamikdash which had been ceased for a while. Zechariah tells the angel that he sees a vision of a golden menorah with a bowl on top of it. The menorah has seven lamps and each lamp has seven pipes attached to the bowl on its top from which the oil flowed into the lamps. Two olive trees were on either side of the menorah. 4:4-7 Interpretation of the vision. Zechariah questions the angel as to the meaning of the vision. The angel replied to Zechariah, "don't you understand the vision?" and Zechariah answers "No!" The angel proceeds to explain the vision. "Not by physical might or power, but only through the spirit of Hashem will these events occur". Faith will triumph over logioc and the spiritual will trancend the physical. just like the message of Chaunakah.
The Haftorah's Connection to Shabbat Chanukah: The Haftorah speaks of the prophet Zechariah's vision of the golden in the Bais Hamikdash. Similarly a Menorah was present at the miracle of Chanukah. The Haftorah connects to the Holiday of Chanukah and not to this week's Parasha. Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: Zecharya's vision explains to us that it's not with our individual power that our successes come from, but with the spirit of Hashem. Let's remember that to the degree that we re-connect ourselves to Hashem via the Torah, our own personal lights will shine brighter.
Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: Zecharya's vision explains to us that it's not with our individual power that our successes come from, but with the spirit of Hashem. Let's remember that to the degree that we re-connect ourselves to Hashem via the Torah, our own personal lights will shine brighter.
The Prophet Zecharya's Biography: The meaning of Zechariah's name is "Hashem remembered". He was the son of the prophet Ido. He was a Kohen. His prophecies took place in the year 520 b.c.e., about 2500 years ago. He was the 11th of the 12 prophets in the Book of the Tray Assar. Zechariah wrote his own book - it is 14 chapters long. He lived in the time of the return from Babylon and Persia. Curesh, Esther & Achashveroshe's son permitted the rebuilding of the 2nd temple. Zechariah had a second name Meshulam. He lived in Jerusalem and was buried in the Kidron Valley. His piers were Zerubavel governor of Jerusalem, Yehoshua the Kohen Gadol, Mordechai, Nechemia, Ezra, Chaggai, Yonah. Zecharya was one of the men who hid the temple treasures. Shortly after Zecharya's time prophecy departed from Israel. He was a member of the men of the great assembly.
Famous Phrases: From the book of Zecharya Chapter 14:9. V'haya Hashem Lemelech al kol ha'aretz, bayom hahu yeheyeh hashem echad ushemo echad. Translated, "and Hashem will be the ruler over the world". This is the concluding sentence of prayer of Alenu Leshabeach said at the end of the 3 daily prayers.
Timeline: The Haftarah took place about 2500 years ago.
Map: Zecharya's prophecy takes place in Jerusalem.
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2001
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