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Bereishit Haftorah in a Nutshell

Bereishit Haftorah in a Nutshell


Isaiah 42:5-21.

The haftorah of this week's reading opens with a statement by "the Almighty G‑d, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who laid out the earth and made grow from it." This echoes the Torah portion's recounting of the creation of the world in six days.

G‑d speaks to the prophet Isaiah, reminding him of his life's purpose and duty, namely that of arousing the Jewish people to return to being a light unto the nations, "To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out of a dungeon; those who sit in darkness out of a prison."

The prophecy continues with a discussion regarding the Final Redemption, and the song that all of creation will sing to G‑d on that day. G‑d promises to punish all the nations that have persecuted Israel while they were exiled. The prophet also rebukes Israel for their errant ways, but assures them that they will return to the correct path and will be redeemed.

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. Additionally, specific calendrical conditions can cause another Haftorah to be read instead of this one.
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Anonymous Fairfield, CT October 13, 2012

My prayer is that all of Israel would return to the Maker of heaven and earth whether in the "Land" or scattered among the nations. That we would be a "kingdom of priests.'"To open blind eyes, to bring prisoners out of a dungeon; those who sit in darkness out of a prison."May Hashem during this season restore our creative purposes to bring glory unto His Name. Blessed is He!!!! Reply

David Russell Port Huron, MI October 12, 2012

HafTorah Reading I find this section of Isaiah both containing example and mercy. The onus of self-stubborn pursuit can only be assuaged by one receiving the limitless loyalty G-d offers day and night to the one who is practicing the act of teshuvah. I often need reminders from my limitelessly loyal G-d to keep on keeping on. Reply

P. A. Gallett Brooklyn, NY September 30, 2010

Jejeune message This reading does nothing for me spiritually. Like many other readers, I already know the story from many repeatings and would wish for a more nourishing, more "now-relevant" conclusion than the admonitions presented, which many of us know and follow already.

I do thank you, nonetheless, for taking the care and trouble of preparing and sending it and assure you this comment is intended as a useful observation and not as a criticism. Reply

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