of Parshat Re'eh
and Storm-Tossed One, and Not Comforted"
of Re'eh is the third of the "Haftarot of Consolation," in the
series of seven such Haftarot. Both
communities take this Haftarah from the Book of Yeshayahu, beginning with
"Perek"/Chapter 54, Verse 11, through (and including) Chapter 55,
conversation that Avudraham constructs from these Haftarot, among HaShem,
His Prophets and the People of Israel, this is the one in which the People
of Israel complains that it is not comforted, because it is receiving the
consolation indirectly, from the Prophets, rather than from HaShem.
Next week, the Master of the Universe gets into the act, when He
says, "I, even I (using the unusual form 'Anochi) am the One Who
comforts you" (Yeshayahu 51:12). But in truth, HaShem already has declared Himself to be the
"Menachem," the Comforter, in this Haftarah, where He says in the
first "Passuk" (54:11),
I ('Anochi') will set your stones in fair colors,"
it is I ("Anochi") Who created the blacksmith,
Haftarah - Translation and Commentary
"O afflicted and
commentators relate this promise of comfort to Yerushalayim. Targum Yonatan says, "
the walls about which the
nations of the world said that you would never be comforted, HaShem says,
"I will lay its foundation with diamonds."
will make your pinnacles of rubies,
return to the City of Jerusalem, once a beautiful "wonder of the
world," its aspect of physical beauty.
But that's not all.
all your children shall be taught by HaShem,
situation will be the opposite of
that described by Yirmiyahu in the Haftarah of Parshat Masei (Yirmiyahu
2:8), the Second of the "Haftarot of Punishment,"
Priests did not ask, 'Where is HaShem?'
out that this idea is like that
stated by Yirmiyahu,
longer will one person have to teach another, because everybody will know
Me, from children to adults."
"Passuk" is also the source of the following Talmudic statement (Masechet
Berachot 64a), "Rabbi Elazar said in the name of Rabbi Chanina, 'Torah
scholars increase peace in the world,' as it is said, 'And all your
children will be taught by HaShem,
and great will be the peace of your children;' do not read 'your children' (banayich),
but 'your builders' (bonayich)."
righteousness shall you be established -
once again be the City described in Yeshayahu 1:21 as "full of Justice,
in which Righteousness would lodge
they may gather together,
I have created the blacksmith,
weapon made to attack you will succeed,
"I am the One Who brought against you enemies whose aim was to
destroy you, such as Sancheriv and Nevuchadnezzar, because I used
them to punish you when you
rebelled against Me. But now,
your enemies have no authorization from
Me. They are Gog and
Magog, who will fight against you immediately prior to the
Coming of the Mashiach, and be defeated by you.
And when they attack you in the
Halls of "Diplomacy" (such as the UN, Oslo or Wye (Why
indeed?)), with false speech, where you will find "Long has my soul dwelt with those
who hate peace; I am for peace - but when I speak, they are plotting for
war" ("Tehillim"/Psalms 120:7), I will help you defeat them
there as well."
following chapter in Yeshayahu is dedicated to two great themes: Torah and Teshuvah,
Repentance. The first five
P'sukim, that are part of our Haftarah, deal with Torah, the precious gift
from HaShem to us and, through us, to humanity at large.
The rest of the Perek deals with Teshuvah and, appropriately, is read
as the Haftarah on a "Taanit Tzibbur," a Public Fast Day, the
purpose of which is the arousal of feelings of Repentance.
everyone who is thirsty, come for water;
the "Drink of Life," means here and in many other locations, the
Torah. Here, Yeshayahu points
to our priceless possession, the Torah.
for our People, is as vital as is water.
We are destined to be Teachers of Torah to the world, who ultimately
will seek it and value it as they do food and drink.
you spend your money on that which is not bread?
understands this Passuk as strongly advocating the study of Torah, which is
called "good" in the verse, "for I have given you a good
teaching; do not forsake My Torah!" ("Mishlei"/Proverbs
that the part of the Passuk that speaks of delighting the soul also speaks
of the Torah, and is referring to the World-to-Come, for just as something
that is fat and rich delights the body, so is the Torah a delight for the
your ear, and come to Me,
understands this Passuk as referring to the time of the Mashiach, when the
everlasting kindness that HaShem showed to David will be revealed in the
person of the Mashiach, who will be a descendant of the House of David.
David also understands the Passuk to mean "Obey Me, and you will merit
to be brought back to life at the time of the Mashiach."
I have given him as a witness to the nations,
relates this Passuk to the Mashiach, whose greatness will compel the nations
of the world to accept him as their commander.
you shall call a nation that you did not know,
David explains that just as I have fulfilled My kindness with David, will I
fulfill My Promise of Kindness to you.
And this will be manifested in that nations from the ends of the
earth will come and do your bidding, because they sense in your behavior the
special quality of holiness, implanted in you by the Presence in your midst
of the Holy One of Israel.
Rabbi Pinchas Frankel
Rabbi Frankel is an Educational Coordinator at the OU