Haftarah for Nitzavim

Isaiah 61:10-63:9

Jerusalem and the nation will rejoice that G-d has wrapped them with garments of salvation and righteousness, adorned like the happy couple on their wedding day. G-d will cause righteousness and praise of Israel to sprout like the flora of a garden.

Chapter 62

G-d says that for the sake of Israel and Jerusalem, He will not be silent and He will not “rest” until their righteousness and salvation burn brightly. Nations will see Israel’s righteousness and they will be called by a new name, which G-d will designate. (Radak says Hephzibah – “My desire in in her” – as in verse 4 of this chapter.) The Jews will be G-d’s “crown jewel.” No longer will Israel be called forsaken and desolate. Instead, they will be called Hephzibah – “My desire is in her.” (See? Told you.) G-d loves the people and wishes for the land to be inhabited.

The Jewish people will start a new life, like a young couple, and G-d will rejoice over them like a groom over his bride. G-d has placed 24-hour guardians on the walls of Jerusalem. Rashi explains that this refers to angels, who will constantly remind G-d of the merits of Israel.(This verse is sung as the song “Al Chomosayich, Yerushalayim,” with its refrain of “Ah, Yerushalayim!”) These guardians will not relent until G-d restores Jerusalem to be the place of glory on Earth. G-d promised that He would no longer allow Israel’s enemies to pillage their fields and vineyards. Rather, those who toiled will enjoy the fruits of their labors in the Holy Land.

Pass through the gates, clear the way, pave the road ahead and raise a flag! G-d calls out to the ends of the world that Israel’s salvation has come! G-d has brought the reward of the righteous with Him. Israel will be called the holy nation, redeemed by G-d, desired and not abandoned.

Chapter 63

Someone is coming from Edom, which is Rome, wearing clothes soiled in battle, and from Batzra girded in strength. It’s G-d, who said previously (34:5) that He would personally take care of Edom. Why are His clothes red? From “treading the wine press” of Edom by Himself. The day of vengeance was in G-d’s heart and the year of redemption has arrived. G-d trampled nations in His anger and brought them down to the ground.

Isaiah says he will praise G-d for His acts, reminding Israel of all the good that He has done for them. G-d saved them because they are His children. He redeemed them and carried them in the old days.

Excerpted from The OU’s Nach Yomi