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Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein

Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein

Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein currently serves as the Rosh Kollel of the Yeshiva University Community Kollel based at HAFTR.

Tetzaveh- Haftarah

January 31, 2014, by

This haftarah, as so many others, comes in the middle of a longer discussion. In the original context, Ezekiel is giving a lengthy description of a Temple. It is not clear whether he intended his predictions about the second one (which had not yet been built) or the third, but it is clear that his […]

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Terumah- Haftarah

January 25, 2014, by

In a fairly obvious relationship between the haftarah and the Torah reading, we read about King Solomon building the Temple. Among the many issues this haftarah raises, we here only have room to deal with four: (1) Why focus on this part of the building process? (2) The ethics of making pacts with non-Jews, (3) […]

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Mishpatim – Haftarah

January 17, 2014, by

This week’s Torah reading, the first after telling us of the greatest mass revelation ever claimed by any people, starts with the laws of slaves. Especially considering our current revulsion for the whole institution, we might find it odd verging on problematic that the Torah would open its presentation of Jewish law with this. Stranger […]

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Yitro – Haftarah

January 11, 2014, by

The connection of the first half of this haftarah to our Torah reading is clear, since it is Isaiah’s vision of God; just as the Jews’ saw God at Sinai, Isaiah sees God here. The second half does not fit so well, either with the first half or with the Torah reading, since it takes […]

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Beshalach – Haftarah

January 4, 2014, by

The tempting answer to this question is that it contains a song of praise to God, like in the Torah reading itself. Indeed, Sefardi custom limits the haftarah to the Shirah, the Song. Ashkenazic custom, which reads the story leading up to the Song, seems to add another element; along these lines the Mechilta says […]

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Bo – Haftarah

December 28, 2013, by

The prophet Jeremiah gives a date for this week’s haftarah that puts it at just about the same time as in last week’s, although that one was by Ezekiel. Apparently, Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Egypt inspired both prophets, living hundreds of miles apart, Ezekiel in Bavel and Jeremiah still in Israel. That fact alone raises the […]

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Vaeira – Haftarah

December 21, 2013, by

This haftarah is a complex piece of writing, with many themes, but repeated review shows that it overall deals with how and when nations should see world events as connected to the hand of God, a question central to our times as well. Many people instinctively recoil from the topic, since it is so widely […]

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Shemot – Haftarah

December 14, 2013, by

In obvious parallel to the Torah reading, the haftarah discusses redemption, starting with the actual fact of the Jewish return and “rooting” in their Land, but focusing more with the (sometimes unpleasant) steps leading up to the redemption. For Jews stuck in Exile, the promise of return might itself be attractive enough, but the Talmud […]

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Vayechi – Haftarah

December 7, 2013, by

Although we generally leave a discussion of famous phrases from that week’s haftarah for the end, one of the early phrases I wanted to focus on captures the theme of the haftarah so well I am leading off with it. In the second verse, David tells Solomon that he is going “in the way of […]

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Vayigash – Haftarah

November 30, 2013, by

Like the weather, it is easy to speak about unity but harder to do anything about it. Here this week, we will only have enough time to understand what the haftarah assumes by that word, and what that kind of unity can bring about. Ezekiel is told to unite two sticks, symbolically according to Radak, […]

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