Weekly Haftorah

by Reuben Ebrahimoff -
The Haftorahman



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The Haftarah for Shabbat Rosh-Chodesh, Parashat Tazria-Metzorah 5762

The Haftorah is a special one read when Rosh Chodesh falls out on Shabbat.

The reading is selected from the book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) Chapter 66:1-24. The final chapter of the Book of Isaiah.

The Storyline of this week's Haftarah: The Tzaddikim (Righteous) Will Find Comfort in the Rebuilt City of Yerushalaim, While the Wicked Will Suffer. The story line of the Haftarah: The first part of the Haftarah discusses how Hashem does not desire the sacrifices of the wicked. Hashem says: "The heavens are my throne and the earth is my footstool. What house can you build me and what site can be my resting place?" What does this mean? The Bait Hamikdash is Hashem's resting place on earth and how dare we try to offer Hashem sacrifices that are not spiritually pure. The Haftarah continues with the reassuring words "The loyal Jews will be comforted by the ingathering of the exiles and a state of peace will exist in Jerusalem". The prophet Isaiah predicts that Jerusalem will flourish with the ingathering of the Jewish exiles. He reminds us that Hashem wouldn't bring us this far to let us down. The Haftarah continues with the explanation that in the future Hashem will punish the wicked. Hashem will let out his anger on the evil people and destroy them. On an upbeat note Isaiah informs us that all the nations of the world will help bring back the remaining Jews to Jerusalem from many distant lands via several forms of transportation. Isaiah concludes his book with the thought that: All the righteous people will find comfort in the rebuilt city of Jerusalem, while the wicked will suffer.

The Geopolitical situation in the time of Isaiah:The world superpower at the time was Babylonia. Their King was Nebuchadnezzar and he captured Jerusalem and burned down the Holy Temple and took the Jews as captives back to Babylonia.

The connection between Shabbat Rosh Chodesh and this Haftarah: We read this Haftarah because of the phrase in Passuk (verse) 23. "It will come to pass that every Rosh Chodesh and every Shabbat, all of mankind will come and bow before Me, Hashem."

Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: Just like any happy marriage there are two main rules. #1) don't do anything to "push your spouses buttons" that will result in them being upset with you and #2) Do something to make your spouse feel special. Spend time with them, say nice things, give them gifts, do acts of service for them. In the time of Isaiah many people were upsetting Hashem and he responded like an upset spouse. First Hashem removed himself from the Holy Temple and then he sent the Jews out of Israel into exile. Like the song says "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone." Hashem is saying you had me, you lost me, and you want me back? Make me feel special and don't do things that will upset me, and then I will take you back. Starting this week add doing something that will make Hashem feel even more special, pick a positive commandment and increase your observance of it. Then pick a negative commandment, and reduce the amount of it you do. Hashem will be touched by your commitment to him. How nice would life be if Hashem increased his love for each and every one of us?

Isaiah's Biography:

  • The name Isaiah means "Salvation of G-d".
  • He wrote his own book 66 chapters long.
  • His father was a prophet named Amoz.
  • He was from a royal family and had access to the Bait Hamikdash.
  • He was born in the year 765 b.c.e. (8th century) about 2760 years ago
  • He was 25 years old when he had his first prophetic vision.
  • After Moses he was considered to be the greatest of all prophets.
  • 4 prophets lived in Isaiah's time - Hosea. Amos, Michah and Isaiah.
  • He was born circumcised.
  • He survived 4 kings - Uzziah, Yotham, Ahaz, and Hezkiah.
  • He lived 120 years.
  • Isaiah said he saw a "vision" of G-d's throne.
  • He had one wife and two sons.
  • Menasheh the King of Judah killed him.
  • He predicted Israel's demise.

Famous phrases from the Book of Isaiah: Chapter 47:4 "Go-alenu Hashem Tzevaot shemo Yisroel". "Our redeemer, whose name is the Lord of Hosts, is the Holy one Israel". Said just before the final blessing before the Amidah.

Timeline: Isaiah prophecies took place from the Jewish years 3021 until 3074. Which is about 2738-2791 years ago.

Map: Isaiah's prophecies took place in the city of Jerusalem, just before the destruction of the first temple.

Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2002

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