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Haftorah in a Nutshell

Haftorah in a Nutshell


Amos 2:6-3:8.

This week's haftorah contains an allusion to the sale of Joseph by his brothers, an incident discussed in this week's Torah reading.

Amos opens with a rebuke to the Jewish People. G‑d had been patient with them notwithstanding their transgression of the three cardinal sins -- sexual impropriety, idolatry and murder. Their fourth sin, however, crossed the line -- the mistreatment of the innocent, widows, orphans and the poor.

G‑d reminds the Jewish people how He lovingly took them out of Egypt and led them through the desert for forty years and settled them in the Holy Land. There, He bestowed the gift of prophecy on some and inspired others to become Nazirites. Yet the Jewish people did not respond appropriately, giving wine to the Nazirites and instructing the prophets not to prophesy. Amos then goes on to describe G‑d's punishment for the errant behavior: "And the stout-hearted among the mighty shall flee naked on that day, says the L-rd."

The haftorah ends with an admonition from G‑d, one that also recalls His eternal love for His people: "Hearken to this word which the Lord spoke about you, O children of Israel, concerning the entire nation that I brought up from the land of Egypt. 'Only you did I love above all the families of the earth; therefore, I will visit upon you all your iniquities…'" As opposed to other nations to whom G-d does not pay close attention, G-d's love for His nation causes Him to punish them for their misdeeds, to cleanse them and prod them back onto the path of the just.

This is a synopsis of the Haftorah that is read in Chabad synagogues. Other communities could possibly read more, less, or a different section of the Prophets altogether.
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Discussion (4)
November 23, 2013
Observation, Not Prophesy
I personally don't believe that there are any new prophets, but only those who tell their stories,and those who worship the storytellers to manifest the storyteller's stories into a continuous repeat of the stories that the storytellers tell. My support of this observation is from the reasoning observed in America's Hollywood phenomenon. A true believer of G-d doesn't create new cult phenomenon, but the true Jews in Hollywood are often misinterpreted into others saying that they are creating a new cult phenomenon. This is why I'd love to move to Israel (it would give my mind more peace). However, I feel I have a responsibility to America for America's progress.
Manhattan Beach
November 22, 2013
To be precise, the Talmud (Yuma, 9b) states: "with the passing of the later prophets.. the holy spirit departed from [the people of] Israel". Nowhere does it say that a core belief in Judaism is to believe that it cannot happen. All it states is a fact: at a certain point in our history Jewish prophets ceased to be found.

In fact, what IS a core belief in Judaism is (as Maimonides writes in Mishneh Torah, laws of the Basics of Torah Ch. 7, Halacha 1) "to know that God conveys prophecy to man".

As it has it, Maimonides writes in his "Iggeret Teiman" that in the year 4976, prophecy will return to the Jewish people and "there is no doubt that [the return of prophecy].. is a prelude to Moshiach, as it is written (Joel 3,1) "and your sons and daughters shall prophesy"".

In addition to the above mentioned, the Rebbe (in a talk on Parshat Shoftim, 5751) announced that not only does the concept of prophecy exist in our time, but that there actually is a prophet in our time. He added that it is important to publicize it, hence my comment.

Gut Shabbos to all!
November 17, 2013
re: Are there still Prophets?
Hi Linda,

There is nowadays a phenomenon called divine inspiration, but prophecy no longer exists. This is a core belief of Judaism. Google it or look around this site for more :)
December 8, 2012
Are there still Prophets?
Amos 2:6-3:8.

"There, He bestowed the gift of prophecy on some....."

Are there still prophets? It seems to me, there are people who are gifted. What do you believe? I believe there are prophets.
Linda M. Schulman