After the Torah is read every Shabbat morning, we read a selection from the Prophets—known as the haftorah—generally thematically related to the week’s Torah portion. During the summer months, however, we read a series of 10 haftorahs related to our national experiences at that time of year.

Three of Destruction (Tlat DePuranuta)

The three weeks from the 17th of Tammuz until the 9th of Av mark a period of mourning for the Jewish nation, as we relive and lament the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 69 CE. It begins with a fast on the 17th of Tammuz, when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, and reaches its climax with another fast on 9th of Av, when the Temple was set aflame (many other tragedies befell us on that day as well).

The haftorahs of these three weeks, drawn from the books of Jeremiah and Isaiah, tell of G‑d’s disappointment with Israel’s faithlessness, and the impending doom that would befall them if they would not mend their ways.

The third week’s selection, from the beginning of the Book of Isaiah, opens with the words, “The vision (chazon) of Isaiah son of Amotz . . .” Thus this Shabbat is commonly known as Shabbat Chazon (Shabbat of Vision). The chassidic masters teach that on this Shabbat—at the height of the desolation—every Jew is shown a vision of the Third Temple yet to be built.

The three readings are:

Divrei Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah 1:1–2:3)

Shim’u Devar Hashem (Jeremiah 2:4–28 followed by 4:1–2 or 3:4)

Chazon Yeshayahu (Isaiah 1:1–27)

Seven of Consolation (Shivah DeNechemata)

For the next seven weeks, from after the 9th of Av until Rosh Hashanah, we read seven selections from the book of Isaiah, each one with a message of hope, consolation and closeness to G‑d. Many include predictions of the ultimate redemption that will take place in the era of Moshiach.

On the first week we read a selection from Isaiah 40, which begins with the line, “‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your G‑d . . .”; in Hebrew, “nachamu nachamu ami.” This Shabbat is commonly known as Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of comfort and consolation.

The seven readings are:

Nachamu, Nachamu Ami (Isaiah 40:1–26)

Vatomer Tziyon (Isaiah 49:14–51:3)

Aniyah Soarah (Isaiah 54:11–55:5)

Anochi, Anochi (Isaiah 51:12–52:12)

Rani Akarah (Isaiah 54:1–10)

Kumi Ori (Isaiah 60:1–22)

Sos Asis (Isaiah 61:10–63:9)