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Zachary Beer and Rabbi Barry Kornblau

Haftarah Helper – Simchat Torah

Download PDF Joshua 1:1-18 The Haftarah picks up immediately after Moses’s death in today’s Torah reading. Joshua takes the reins of leadership with multiple tasks before him, including crossing the Jordan River and conquering the land of Canaan.  He must also ensure that the two and a half tribes whom Moshe permitted to settle the […]

Haftarah Helper – Shemini Atzeret

Download PDF 1 Kings 8:54-66 After the hubbub surrounding the placing the Ark in the Holy of Holies, which was read on the Second Day of Sukkot[1], Solomon and the people embark on the actual consecration of the Temple. Solomon blesses the people, and they engage in a 14-day consecration feast. On Shemini Atzeret itself […]

Haftarah Helper: Sukkot

Download PDF  Sukkot commemorates forty years of God’s care for His people in the wilderness after redeeming them from Egypt; its Haftarot carry that theme forward in history. One of its Haftarot recounts the peaceful, political culmination of that redemption 480 years later with Solomon’s building of the Temple (see below)[1]. Its other two Haftarot […]

Haftarah Helper: Shabbat Shuva (Ashkenaz)

Download PDF Hosea 14:2-10, Joel 2:15-27 Always read on Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, this Haftarah calls for repentance and shows its practical effects.  This Shabbat is named “Shabbat Shuva” after its Haftarah’s opening word: Hosea 14:2 הושע י״ד:ב Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled in your […]

Haftarah Helper: Shabbat Shuva (Sephardi)

Download PDF Hosea 14:2-10, Micah 7:18,20 Always read on Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, this Haftarah calls for repentance and shows its practical effects.   This Shabbat is named “Shabbat Shuva” after its Haftarah’s opening word: Hosea 14:2 הושע י״ד:ב Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled in your […]

Haftarah Helper: Yom Kippur Afternoon

Download PDF Jonah 1:1-4:11, Micha 7:18,20 The haftarah of Yom Kippur afternoon recounts the collective repentance in the capital, Nineveh, of Israel’s arch-enemy, Assyria.  Like this morning’s haftarah chastising Jews who fast for God while doing evil, this selection about a Jewish prophet, Jonah, who flees from God’s command while an entire city of Gentiles […]

Haftarah Helper 5781: Yom Kippur Morning

Download PDF Isaiah 57:14-58:14 In the morning haftarah of the ultimate fast day and the holiest day of the year, God lambasts His people for their hypocrisy when fasting for Him. Such fasting is worthless unless their society actively promotes the welfare of its most vulnerable, with whom He primarily dwells. Indeed, greed and callousness […]

Haftarah Helper: Rosh Hashanah

Download PDF Rosh Hashanah is a day not only when we hear God’s call, but when God hears our call. As the Talmud states: Berakhot 29a ברכות כ״ט עמוד א On Rosh Hashanah, Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were remembered [and the divine decree that they would conceive their sons was issued.] בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה נִפְקְדָה שָׂרָה […]

Haftarah Helper 5780: Tisha B’Av

Morning – Jeremiah 8:13-9:23 Despite King Josiah’s efforts to inspire repentance in Judah, the people, at best, have only repented outwardly- all are sinning. A despairing Jeremiah recounts the societal failings for which God will destroy Jerusalem.  Nobody will escape the oncoming calamity.   Haftarah Breakdown Due to the frequent back and forth between perspectives […]

Haftarah Helper: Fast Days

Download PDF Isaiah 55:6–56:8 Ashkenazim read this Haftarah at Mincha on all fast days except for Yom Kippur.  (Sepharadim generally recite no Haftarah on these days.) This is done to encourage the giving of charity, which the Talmud deems the most important aspect of fast days: Tosafot on Megillah 21a-  s.v. “One who Reads” תוספות […]