Weekly Haftorah

by Reuben Ebrahimoff -
The Haftorahman



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The Haftarah for Parshat Va'etchnan 5762
Shabbat Nachamu (The Sabbath of Comforting).

Read on the Shabbat after Tisha Be'av (the Ninth of the month of Av) which is the anniversary of the destruction of both the 1st and 2nd Bait Hamikdashes (The Holy Temple).

The Haftarah is read from Isaiah Chapter 40:1-26.

The Storyline of this week's Haftarah: The End of Exile. (40:1-3)- "Nachamu, Nachamu Ami" "Comfort, comfort My people" The prophet Isaiah speaks to the city of Jerusalem and reassures it that her suffering will be over soon. The Return to Zion (40:3-5)-Isaiah informs to Jersualem's surrounding mountains and valleys that in the near future they will become all one level. This will make it easy for the Jews who will be returning to Mount Zion. Hashem's Words Endure Forever (40:6-8)- Man is like the grass in a field, in the sense that if Hashem wants to blow us away he can. However, we must always remember that Hashem's word is forever. The Scream of the Messenger of Good News Regarding Mount Zion (40:9-11)-Isaiah tells Mount Zion to rejoice by "climbing " a high mountain and to scream proudly "Hashem is here right now!" Hashem's Greatness and Man's Insignificance (40:12-26) Even the Biggest, greatest and strongest things in mans world are insignificant within Hashem' s domain. No nation, no idols or otherG-d's nothing even comes close to Hashem's power.

The connection between this week's Parasha and the Haftara: This Haftarah is the first of the Shivah Denechemtah or the seven weeks of consolation that start after the fast of Tisha Be'av and run until Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah(The Jewish New Year). There is no connection between the Parasha and the Haftarah.

Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: These Haftorahs contain prophecies that offered the people of the exile comfort and hope after the destruction of the 1st Temple. They are all taken from the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah's prophecies contain words regarding future affliction and future comfort. Did you know that the four fast days of Asarah Betevet (10thof the Month of Tevet), Shivah Assar Betamuz (the 17th of Tamuz), Tisha Be'av (the 9th of Av), and T'zom Gedaliah (the fast of gedaliah) were started from the same string of events that led up to the destruction of the temple in approximately 586 B.C.E.

Isaiah's Biography:

  • The name means "Salvation of G-d"
  • Issaiah wrote his own book that is 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.
  • Isaiah 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, Hezkiah.
  • He lived for 120 years
  • Isaiah had a vision describing that he saw the throne of G-d .
  • He had one wife and two sons.
  • Menaseh the King of Judah killed him .
  • He predicted the northern state of Israel's demise

Famous phrases from the Book of Isaiah : Chapter 58 Verse 13. Said during the daytime Kiddush for the Sephardim on Shabbat. It speaks of Shabbat and it's reward. " Im tashihv me'Shabbat raglechah asotchah-fatzechah beyom kadshi, V-karat la'Shabbat oneg likdosh hashem mechubad. Vchiybadito ma-asot derachecha mimtzoh cheftzecha v-daber davar. Az titanag alAdoshem vehirkavtechah al bamotai aretz v'ha'alticha nachalt Ya'akov aviycha kipi Adoshem Yidaber. " If you restrain your foot, because it is the Sabbath;refrain from accomplishing your own needs on my holy day. If you proclaim the Sabbath 'a delight' and the holy day of Hashem honored and you honor it by not engaging in your own affairs from seeking your own needs or discussing the forbidden - hence you will delight in Hashem, and I will provide you the heritage of your forefather Jacob, for the mouth of Hashem has spoken. (this is also the last few pesukim in Yom Kippur's Mussaf Haftarah).

Timeline: Isaiah's prophecies took place in the Holy city of Jerusalem.

Map: Isaiah prophecised in Jerusalem

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

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