This week’s haftarah 1 is read twice: once with on Parshat Noach and then again as the fifth haftorah of consolation on the week of Ki Teitzei.

The haftorah has a double theme. First, that when Moshiach comes, things will be so good that we will forget the hardships of the exile. Second, that the redemption will be final, never to be followed by another exile.

The haftarah begins: “Sing, barren one who has not given birth.”2 Who is the “barren one”?

The simple explanation is that G‑d is talking to the city of Jerusalem, which feels like a barren woman, bereft of children. Although she had been desolate during this long exile, G‑d tells her to sing—as now that Moshiach is here, her streets are once again filled with her children, the Jewish people. She doesn’t feel barren any more.

On a deeper level, Hashem is talking to those Jews who claim they are barren and have not given birth to Him. Meaning, he has totally disassociated himself from the Jewish nation. G‑d is saying that even He will sing a “new song”—the song we will sing when Moshiach comes.

The revelation will be so great that we will break out in song, just as we did at the splitting of the sea. Every Jewish person will be included, even one who is “barren” of mitzvahs and in the darkest place. The revelation and transformation will be so great that he, too, will break out into song.3

The exile will then seem as a fleeting dream, as the haftorah says, “for a brief moment I forsook you.”4 We read in Tehillim (Psalms), when G‑d returns the exiles of Zion, we will say that “we will have been as dreamers.”5 A dream feels real, but when you wake up, it fades away. This will be because, as the next verse continues:6 “With a little wrath, I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness, I will have compassion on you . . . ”7

When Moshiach comes, it will be so good, that the exile will feel like a brief moment.

Now the haftorah says: “Like the waters of Noach this is to me. Just as I swore to never again cover the earth with the waters of Noach, so have I sworn not to be wrathful with you and not to rebuke you.”8

This verse is self-explanatory, except that G‑d calls the flood “the waters of Noach.” Why?

Because the word “Noach” is like the word nachat9 (“satisfaction”), indicating that it is positive because it changed the world for good. The same is true about this exile. When Moshiach comes, we will see how everything we went through in this exile directly made the world ready for Moshiach.10 The reading concludes, that when Moshiach comes “ . . . My kindness will never depart from you, and my covenant of peace will never falter.”11

Like bookends, this haftorah is read before and after the holiday season, and it sets the tone for the whole year because bringing Moshiach is at the core of our mission as the Jewish people. Like beacons of light, it is read at the beginning and the end of the year to remind us that though our work is difficult and the exile dark, what we are accomplishing is tremendous and our reward is even greater.

Perhaps it is your effort, your mitzvah, which will finally tip the scale and bring Moshiach.

May he come soon.