Weekly Haftorah

by Reuben Ebrahimoff -
The Haftorahman



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The Haftarah for The Second Day of Shavuot 5762

The Haftorah is taken from Habakkuk the 8th of the 12 prophets in the Book of Trei-Assar.

The Connection between the Torah reading and the Haftorah: On Shavuot we celebrate Hashem giving Bnai Yisrael (The Jewish people) the Torah (5 Books of Moses). Habakkuk recalls how Hashem lead the nation if Israel "from the south" through the Sinai dessert to the land of Israel. The Kohanim carried the Holy Ark containing the Ten Commandments into battle where Hashem never let us down and enabled us to triumph over our enemies.

The Story line of this weeks Haftorah: Habakkuk's sings a song of prayer to Hashem, regretting his false utterances. Habakkuk says that Hashem will show his anger against the Jews by exiling them from their homeland. Eventually Hashem will save the Jewish people and they will rejoice because they will be reunited with Hashem after returning to their homeland of Israel.

Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: This Haftorah is a great example of "Keep it short". Habakkuk's whole book is only 3 chapters long with a total of 56 sentences. In his short book Habakkuk is able to "Point his finger at Hashem" and say "How can you let these bad guys walk all over us? How are you going to let the Babylonians conquer Jerusalem? I thought you said you were never going to abandon us?" Hashem then responds "You call yourselves the "Chosen People" Why? Take a look at what you choose". Originally Hashem asked all the nations of the world if they wanted to be G-d's people and wanted the Torah. The Israelites were the only nation to say "We will do, and then we will listen." Hashem continues "Not only did you not listen, look at what you did! Idol worshipping in the Holy Temple, Lashon Hara (Slander), Jealousy, Adultery, Dishonest business deals, paying off Judges and on and on. Do I need to say more? You shouldn't be disappointed with me. You're lucky that I am a merciful G-d. I should wipe you out, but I am not. I'm just going to straighten you out. Then you will behave yourselves and appreciate me. It's so easy to point the finger at someone else to blame them. Remember when you point your finger at another person, you are pointing three at yourself.

Habakkuk's Biography: The definition of his name is Embrace or Caress. Habakkuk was known as the Philosopher Prophet. He was a Levy. He lived in the time after the Assyrian's defeated the ten Northern Tribes, and just before the destruction of the 1st Bait Hamikdash or Holy Temple that King Solomon built. Habakkuk's prophecies lasted for 55 years (not in a row). He was the son of the Shunamite woman (Ovadia was his father) that the prophet Elisha (Eliyahu's Disciple) performed miracles for. The miracle Elisha performed on Habakkuk was resurrecting him from the dead. It is said that 4 people spoke harshly against Hashem: Jeremiah, Habakkuk, David and Moses. He drew a circle around himself in the ground and said I'm not moving until Hashem explains why the Jews are suffering so much. At the time Menasheh was the (evil) King of Judah. Habakkuk wrote his own book. The prophets Joel, Nahum, Jeremiah and Zephaniah were alive during his lifetime. He was one of the Bnai Haneve'em, the students enrolled in the school for prophecy called "The Sons of the Prophets". He questioned "Why do the evil people prosper?" Specifically regarding the injustice of the Babylonian's having power over the Jews.

The Outline of the Book of Habakkuk:
His book is 3 chapters long. The Book starts with Habakkuk's questioning Hashem. Habakkuk wanted to know "Why evil continues to happen to the Jewish people". Then he speaks about the terrible Chaldeans (also known as the Babylonians) who will one day march into the land of Israel and declare it their own. Habakkuk then pleads to Hashem to save the Jews and Hashem answers Habakkuk "I won't wipe them out, but I will straighten them out". Habakkuk prophecies that Israel has earned its punishment and Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, a treacherous enemy of the Jews will advance towards Jerusalem. The book concludes with this weeks Haftorah. (See story line from this weeks Haftorah).

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 from Habakkuk: In the prayer "Yehallelu et Shem Adonai" "Praise the name of Hashem" that is said before returning the Torah scroll to the Ark. The congregation responds with "Hodo al Eretz, veshamayim" ("His glory covers the earth and the heavens"). This sentence refers to the world after the Torah was presented to the Jewish people. In the time before we had the Torah the Sentence from Habakkuk said "Kisah shamayim hodo" "His glory covered the heavens" and not the earth. Habakkuk 3:3.

Timeline: Habakkuk lived 3200's about 2530 years ago, before the destruction of the 1st Bait Hamikdash.

Map: His prophecies took place in the City of Jerusalem in the State of Judah.

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

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