Weekly Haftorah

by Reuben Ebrahimoff -
The Haftorahman



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The Haftarah for Shabbat Hagadol 5762

This week's Torah reading is Parashat Tzav. The Subject of the Haftorah is: The Reproof of Bnai Yisrael and The Description of the Great Day of Judgement Read from Malachi Chapter 3:4-24

The Outline of this week's Haftarah: The Prophet Malachi predicts that Hashem will be pleased by Bnai Yisrael's future sacrifices. Hashem finds fault with Bnai Yisrael's wrong doings and he will deal firmly with them. Hashem disapproves of the Jews withholding the priestly dues. Jewish people can keep up to 90% of their earnings and as an acknowledgement of Hashem being the source of the blessing we are given the choice to give at least 10 % of our profits to people who need the money more than we do. Hashem dares the Jewish people to take him on with this commandment. Hashem says that if you keep the laws of ma'aser (giving one tenth of your profits to charity) you will be rewarded so much that your lips will become raw from saying " Baruch Hashem " "Thank You Hashem, I have a lot to be grateful for". Israel is then scolded for denying Hashem's guardianship. In the future Hashem will give great rewards to the people who have been loyal. The great day of Judgment is coming and the bad people will be punished and the good people will be rewarded. Hashem then firmly suggests keeping the Torah. The Haftara concludes with a promise that one day the prophet Eliyahu will reappear. Eliyahu will be the predecessor to the Mashiach.

The conditions in Jerusalem at the time were as follows:

1. The Temple service was not observed.
2. The Kohanim (Priests) were remiss in their duties. They offered animals that were blemished, lame and sick.
3. People were indifferent or skeptical of religion
4. Men divorced their wives and intermarried
5. Morals were lax.
Messages in the Book of Malachi were delivered in dialectical (question & answer) style.

1. Hashem still loves Israel
2. The people must restore the Temple ritual and meet their religious obligations as a show of love of Hashem.
3. Not only ritual, but also ethical behavior as well must be observed. Malachi denounced adultery, perjury and oppression of widows and orphans. He condemned the divorce of Jewish wives and marriage with gentiles as disloyalty to Hashem and the nation.
4. Sincere heathen worship is an offering to Hashem, this is a concept of universalism, later developing Judaism.
5. The day of the Lord, Judgment day will come on it.

- Israel will be judged and not other nations
- The wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will be rewarded.
- Elijah's coming will proceed and foretell this event.
- The messianic era will follow Judgment day and bring peace and harmony to the world
6. The last of the prophets, Malachi preached strict observance of the Torah.

The Haftorah's Connection between the Parasha and Haftorah: Just before leaving Egypt the Jewish people experienced the miracle of being able to select a lamb, which was one of the G-ds of the Egyptians without being punished.

Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: : Hashem says in the Haftara: "Return to me and I will return to you". It's actually that Hashem has never removed himself from us we have removed ourselves from him. In the week just before Pesach we should take advantage of the opportunity to reconnect ourselves to Hashem, The source of all our freedom in life.

The Prophet Malachi's Biography: The translation of the name Malachi is "My messenger" or " My angel". Which describes the prophet's mission.

  • The Book of Malachi was written after The Book of Esther.
  • Malachi's prophecies took place from 420 to 397 B.C.E.
  • He was the last prophet to appear in the book of Trai Assar, The Twelve Prophets.
  • Lived in the time of Socrates, Plato and Pythagoras.
  • Lived in the time of the Persian Empire.
  • Darius the son of Achashverosh & Esther was King of Persia.
  • There were no longer Kings of Israel or Judah. Israel was a little corner of the Persian Empire.
  • His prophecies took place almost 100 years after the return of the Jews from exile to Babylon.
  • 50,000 Jews returned from Persia and began rebuilding the Second Temple. However building was shortly thereafter stopped. Later the Prophets Zechariah and Chaggai Motivated the Jews to complete rebuilding by 520 b.c.e. 3607 from the time of creation.
  • He administered in Jerusalem during the Persian period after the Temple had been rebuilt
  • The Jews were permitted to rebuild the Second Temple providing that they put on the floor of the entranceway a mosaic tile that stated, "The Temple was permitted to be rebuilt by the King Darius of Persia.
  • This time is after Zerubavel the Governor of Jerusalem and before Nehemiah, Daniel, Ezra, Esther, Mordachai.
  • He was one of eight postexilic prophets.
  • Probably born in Judah and prophesied in Judah as well.
  • 39th and final book chronologically in the Ternate - afterwards prophecy and avodah zarah (idol worshipping) left Bnai Yisrael.
  • The author is anonymous

Famous phrases from the Book of Malachi: : Chapter 3 Verse 4 "Vearvah laHashem minchas yehuda v'yerushalaim c'yemai olam ucheshanim kadmaniyot". Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to Hashem as in the days of old and in previous years. This is the final sentence of the Amidah prayers, that is said after we request of Hashem to rebuild the Third Bait Hamikdash or Holy Temple.

Timeline: Malachi lived in the Jewish year of 3392, 369 B.C.E., About 2367 years ago. This Haftorah took place after the destruction of the First Temple and just before the rebuilding of the Second Temple.

Map: Malachi prophesied in the Holy city of Jerusalem.

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

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