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The Haftarah for Shabbat Parashat Shemini 5762
King David Brings the Aron Hakodesh (The Ark of the Covenant) to Yerushalaim. (Jerusalem.) Sephardim read from Shmuel Bait (Samuel II) Chapter 6 Verses 1-19.
The Story Line of This Week's Haftorah: The Haftorah begins with King David gathering together 30,000 men from the Nation of Israel to bring the Ark of the Hashem and The Ten Commandments to Jerusalem. They started the journey from Baalei Yehuda also known as Kiryat Yeraim, which is located about 10 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Uzzah and Ahio placed the Ark of the Covenant on a new wagon and they started the journey from the house of Avinadav in the city of Givah (also north of Jerusalem). David wanted to create a lively atmosphere for this special event, so he and all his men played musical instruments while they sang and danced their way to Jerusalem. When they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the ark began to slip off the wagon and Uzzah stretched out his hand to try to stop the ark from falling. Hashem perceived this as showing a lack of faith in the Arks ability to hold itself up, without the help of man. Hashem was quick to anger and struck down Uzzah and he died instantly. King David was upset with Hashem's anger toward Uzzah. He named that place Perez Uzzah or the Breach of Uzzah because that's where Hashem burst out against Uzzah. King David changed his plans to bring the Aron (Ark) to the City of David and he decided to deposit the Aron in the house of Oved Edom's the Gittite. The ark remained there for three months during which Hashem blessed Oved Edom and his entire family. When King David heard that the energy around the Ark had changed from bad to good he decided to try to bring the Ark to Jerusalem for a second time. David danced and clapped his hands with all his might and his men made many celebratory sacrifices and blew their shofars loudly. When King David arrived to the City of Jerusalem also known as the City of David his wife Michal (Israel's first King, Saul's Daughter) looked out of her window and when she saw that her husband was dancing like a crazy person and she disapproved of him behaving that way. She thought it was disrespectful for the King of Israel to behave that way. King David brought the Ark of Hashem to Jerusalem and set it in the tent he had prepared for it, where it would rest until it would be moved to the Bait Hamikdash. Then David offered sacrifices to Hashem. The Haftorah concludes with King David distributing many different kinds of foods to the people in attendance and blessed them before they went home.
The Haftorah's Connection between the Parasha and Haftorah: In Parashat Shemini it deals with the dedication of the Mishkan or Tabernacle. Similarly the Haftorah describes the ceremony of the bringing of the Aron or Ark to Yerushalaim, which was to come before the dedication of the Bait Hamikdash or Holy Temple.
Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: When Uzzah reached over to prevent the ark from falling off the wagon and onto Nacon's threshing floor, Hashem killed him on the spot. It seems that Hashem dealt with him very strictly, as Hashem did in the case of Moses being punished and forbidden to enter the Land of Israel because he hit the rock instead of tapping it. Hashem has different expectations from each and every one of us. We cannot look around and say we are all rewarded and punished based on the same criteria. Hashem looks at each person as an individual. Hashem looks at where you came from, where you are at but most importantly Hashem looks at where you can go. He looks at your potential vs. your actual spiritual development. Hashem had a very high level of expectation from Moses. So from our perspective a simple thing like hitting a rock is no reason to keep one of the greatest spiritual giants that ever lived out of the land of Israel. How about ourselves? We may not be on the level of Moses or Uzzah but Hashem has spiritual expectations of us. Remember that a disappointment can only occur when an expectation is not met. Do you want to let Hashem down? No! So live up to you're potential and be spiritually ambitious.
King David's Biography: David's father's name was Ishai. but his mother's name is unknown. His name means "beloved." He was a descendant of Ruth the Moabite. He was a shepherd and used to tend to flocks of sheep. He was a warrior, who killed lions with his bare hands and is famous for killing Goliath with a single slingshot. He was a musician that played music to calm Saul. (Former King of Israel, and David's father in law.) Faithful friend of Avshalom. Died when he was 70 years old. (David was supposed to be still born but Adam prophetically saw this and gave 70 of his 1000 years to David. Adam lived 930 years. He was an empire builder. A failed father. His son was King Solomon. He had 18 wives. Always felt cold from the time he cut a corner off of King Saul's robe. His name occurs more than a thousand times in the Tanach. He wrote Tehilim (Psalms) the most popular words worldwide used to pray. Brought the Holy Ark containing the two tablets that had the Ten commandments written on them. The Mashiach (messiah) will be a descendant of King David. He had red hair. He was a prophet. The "fourth" meal of (after) Shabbat is called the meal of David. David was told by G-d that he was going to pass away on Shabbat. He also knew that the angel of death couldn't get to you while your learning torah. So he would learn torah from the beginning to end of Shabbat and once Shabbat would end he would have a meal celebrating that he was going to make it one more week.
Famous phrases by Isaiah: Poteach et yadecha u'masbeah lechol chai ve'ratzon. From Tehilim or Psalms 145:16 written by King David, also found in the prayer Ashrai, "You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing." It is our custom to hold our palms upward to the heavens when saying this prayer and to concentrate on Hashem "dropping" into our hands a blessing.
Timeline: Our Haftora took place in the Jewish year of 2892 869 BCE about 2867 years ago. Just before the Building of the First Temple.
Map: The Haftorah begins in the city Kiryat Yeraim and concludes in Jerusalem.
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2002
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