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Mishpatim Haftorah in a Nutshell

Mishpatim Haftorah in a Nutshell

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Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26.

In this week's haftorah, Jeremiah describes the punishment that would befall the Jews because they continued enslaving their Hebrew slaves after six years of service--transgressing the commandment discussed in the beginning of this week's Torah reading.

King Zedekiah made a pact with the people according to which they would all release their Jewish slaves after six years of service--as commanded in the Torah. Shortly thereafter, the Jews reneged on this pact and forced their freed slaves to re-enter into service. G‑d then dispatched Jeremiah with a message of rebuke: "Therefore, so says the Lord: You have not hearkened to Me to proclaim freedom, every one to his brother and every one to his neighbor; behold I proclaim freedom to you, says the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine, and I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth." The haftorah then vividly depicts the destruction and devastation that the Jews would experience.

The haftorah concludes with words of reassurance: "Just as I would not cancel My covenant with the day and night and I would not cancel the laws of heaven and earth, so too I will not cast away the descendents of Jacob . . . for I will return their captivity [to their land] and have mercy on them."

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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