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Zachary Beer and Rabbi Barry Kornblau

Haftarah Helper for Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot

Download PDF Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot: Ezekiel 38:18-39:16 This dramatic Haftarah describes the final, apocalyptic stages of God’s redemption of His people at the End of Days. This is similar to the Haftarah for the First Day of Sukkot, Zechariah’s apocalyptic prophecy of the End of Days. In the verses before the Haftarah’s opening, Ezekiel […]

Haftarah Helper for Tzom Gedaliah

Download PDF The Haftarot recited between the 17th of Tammuz and Sukkot relate not to the weekly Torah reading, but instead to the workings of the covenant between God, His people, His Land, and humanity. After the Temple’s destruction described in the Haftarot of the “Three of Affliction” (תלת דפורענותא) and Tisha B’Av, the “Seven […]

Shabbat Rosh Chodesh

Download PDF This Haftarah, Isaiah’s final prophecy, presents visions of Israel in the Land, in exile, and in an apocalyptic redemption with the rest of humanity. In the Land, many Jews, falsely convinced of their own righteousness, reject and mock those who truly fear God. These mockers sacrifice to God but otherwise act evilly and reject […]

Erev Rosh Chodesh: Machar Chodesh

Download PDF In memory of Ira Beer, Yitzchak Dov ben Tzvi Mendel, on the occasion of his second Yahrtzeit. After Israel’s first king, Saul, failed to obliterate the nation of Amalek as God commanded, the prophet Samuel told him that God rejected him and would replace him with a better king. Samuel then privately anointed a […]

Haftarah Helper: Tisha B’Av

Download PDF In Tisha B’Av’s Torah reading, Moses prophesies that God will eventually annihilate and exile His people for defecting to idolatry after their conquest of the Land. In the Haftarah, Jeremiah describes the coming brutal fulfillment of that prophecy. In God’s voice and with his own blistering words, Jeremiah lambasts Judah for its idolatry, […]

Haftarah Helper for Shavuot

Download PDF God’s revelations in the Haftarot of Shavuot and the Torah reading for its first day (Exodus 19-20) terrified those who experienced them. They share elements such as God’s voice and light, yet also differ markedly. In the Torah reading, God descends a remote desert mountain to strike a covenant with His entire people […]

Haftarah Helper: First Two Days of Passover

Download PDF The Haftarot of the first two days of Passover recount how two celebrations of the holiday, each at a moment of national transformation, renewed its commitment to its covenant with God. As recited on Day 1, Joshua’s celebration of Passover forty years after the Exodus renewed their covenantal connection to God and His […]

Haftarah Helper for Chanukah

Download PDF Shabbat Chanukah: Zechariah 2:14-4:9 After defeating the Seleucid Greeks and returning to the Temple, the Maccabees faced a dire situation: a completely defiled Temple, devoid of God’s presence. Hundreds of years earlier, the prophet Zechariah faced a similarly hopeless situation.  After Persia’s conquest of Babylon, Cyrus the Great decreed that Jewish exiles there could […]

Haftarah Helper: Final Two Days of Passover

Download PDF [1] The final days of Passover commemorate the conclusion of the Israelites’ redemption with Egypt’s defeat at the Red Sea. Their Haftarot relate to two later episodes of God’s redeeming His people: King David from his many enemies, and Isaiah’s prophecy of Assyria’s defeat, the end of the Northern Kingdom’s exile, and the […]