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The Haftarah for Vayigash
TBnai Yisrael's Future Union
Selected from the Book of Ezekiel chapter 37:15-28
The Summary of This Week's Haftorah: 37-15-17 Yehezkel symbolically holds two pieces of wood together. One block of wood represented the Northern tribes and the second block of wood represented the Southern tribe of Judah (where the Holy Temple stood). 37:18-24 That symbol meant, that at the time of the redemption both Jewish kingdoms would be united. 37:25-28 The Prophet Ezekiel predicts that Bnai Yisrael will live securely in Eretz Yisrael forever, with the return of Hashem's presence or Shechina will be in their midst.
The Haftorah's Connection between the Parasha and Haftorah: After King Solomon's death, Eretz Yisrael was split into two kingdoms - the kingdom of Yehuda (& Benyamin) and the northern kingdom of Israel, which consisted of the ten soon to be lost tribes. Since the first king of "Israel" was from the tribe of Ephraim, the prophet Ezekiel refers to this kingdom as the kingdom of Ephraim. Ezekiel hints of the future division of the Jewish nation in this week's Haftorah reading. In Parashat Vayigash, the brothers Yehuda and Joseph confront each other. Ezekiel's prophecy tells us that in the future, perfect unity will bring together all Jews. In the future there will be two Mashiachs. The first Mashiach will come from the tribe of Joseph. Then the second Mashiach will come from the tribe of Yehuda. He will be a descendant of David hamelech.
Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: Ezekiel placed two pieces of wood together that symbolically showed that the once divided nation of Israel would one day be unified again. We too must take the initiative to unite our world together. Whether it be with our spouses, siblings, workmates, friends whomever. We must go out of our way to create "achdus", or harmony in our circle of friends and family. If we show a desire for oneness, we hope that Hashem will bless us with peace and unity.
The Biography of Ezekiel: Ezekiel's name means "Hashem strengthens" or may Hashem strengthen. He was a Kohen. He was born in the village of Anatot surrounding Jerusalem. His wife died suddenly before his prophecies began. Ezekiel was a part of the 8000 exiles in 597 b.c.e. to go to Babylon. He prophecies for 30 years, several of the prophecies are date, month and year specific. He was the only person in the Tanach (Bible) to be called "Ben Adam" The son of man.The Book of Ezekiel:Ezekiel wrote his own book that is 48 chapters long. The first 24 chapters are about the future siege and fall of Jerusalem. The second part of the book, chapters 25 -48 talk of the hope that Hashem will favor the mountains of Israel and remove the Idol worshipping and repopulate the land. Ezekiel goes on to predict the annihilation of the hostile Heathen nations. We are told about the rejoining of the two halves of the divided Land of Israel, Judea and Samaria. Finally, we hear about the plans for the Third Temple and the redistribution of the land among the tribes with a President for the people. There are major warnings to the exiles in Babylon, which take place before the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple.
Some interesting parts of the Book of Ezekiel are: The Book of Ezekiel begins with the prophet's vision of the Ma'aseh Hamerkavah (The Throne of Hashem) lifting itself up from the Bais Hamikdash. 2nd there is the story of the Valley of the Dry bones and their resurrection. 3rd We have the description of the 3rd Temple to be built in the messianic period.Famous phrases: "Vatesaeni ruach Vaeshma kol ra'ash Gadol". "And a spirit lifted me and I heard a great sound".
Timeline: This Haftorah occurred about 2600 years ago.
Map: This Haftorah took place in Bavel (Babylonia). Ezekiel was one of the only prophets to experience prophecies outside of the Land of Israel.Dedicated in loving memory of Mr. Abraham Schwerd
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2001
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