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Zachary Beer and Rabbi Barry Kornblau

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 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[1] that Jewish exiles there could return to Judah […]

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 […]

Haftarah Helper: Shabbat HaGadol

Download PDF Malachi 3:4-24[1] Initially, things were looking up for the Judeans who returned from the Babylonian exile and rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem. But after a few generations, the restoration was losing spirit. The grand promises of the previous generation’s prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, were unfulfilled. The Bible’s final prophet, Malachi[2], once again directed […]

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 […]