Before the haftarah is read, the reader of the haftarah is called up to the Torah for a final aliyah. The last few lines of the weekly reading are reread in an aliyah called maftir. On holidays and special occasions, the maftir is read from a different section of the Torah that connects to the theme of the day.

What Does Maftir Mean?

The word maftir has two possible but completely opposite meanings: “conclude”, referring to the fact that the Maftir reading concludes the readings from the Torah Scroll, or “beginning”, referring to the fact that it is the opening of the haftarah reading.1

What Is the Reason for Maftir?

The Talmud tells us that this reading was instituted to show honor to the Torah, so that the reading of the haftarah is not seen as just a continuation of the weekly Torah reading.2

How Is It Done?

The maftir functions just as a standard aliyah does. The person who will read the haftarah is called up, they make the blessings before the reading, the maftir is read, and the blessings after the reading are recited.