Torah Reading for Shemot

Parshat Shemot
Shabbat, 21 Tevet, 5783
14 January, 2023
Select a portion:
Haftarah: (Isaiah 27:6 - 28:13; Isaiah 29:22-23)
Please note: These Haftarah texts follow Chabad custom. Other communities could possibly read more, less, or a different section of the Prophets altogether. Please consult with your rabbi.
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Isaiah Chapter 27

6Those who came, whom Jacob caused to take root, Israel flourished and blossomed and they filled the face of the world with fruitage.   והַבָּאִים֙ יַשְׁרֵ֣שׁ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב יָצִ֥יץ וּפָרַ֖ח יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וּמָֽלְא֥וּ פְנֵֽי־תֵבֵ֖ל תְּנוּבָֽה:
Those who came, whom Jacob caused to take root: Do you not know what I did at first? Those who came to Egypt which Jacob caused to take root, flourished and blossomed there until they filled the face of the world with fruitage.  
7Like the smiting who smote him did He smite him: like the slaying of his slain ones, was he slain?   זהַכְּמַכַּ֥ת מַכֵּ֖הוּ הִכָּ֑הוּ אִם־כְּהֶ֥רֶג הֲרֻגָ֖יו הֹרָֽג:
Like the smiting of him who smote him did He smite him: Have you seen My might, that like the smiting of the one who smote Jacob, I smote him. They drowned them in the water, and I drowned them in the water. There are some other rhetorical questions that warrant an affirmative answer, e.g. (I Sam. 2:27), “Did I appear to the house of your father?” Also (Ezek. 8:6), “Do you see what they are doing?”  
like the slaying of: Israel, who were the slain ones of Pharaoh, were Pharaoh and his people slain?  
8In that measure, when they sent them out, it strove with it; He spoke with His harsh wind on the day of the east wind.   חבְּסַאסְּאָ֖ה בְּשַׁלְחָ֣הּ תְּרִיבֶ֑נָּה הָגָ֛ה בְּרוּח֥וֹ הַקָּשָׁ֖ה בְּי֥וֹם קָדִֽים:
In that measure: (בְּסַאסְּאָה) in that measure.  
when they sent them out, it strove with it: When Egypt sent Israel out, it strove with it, the seah of the measure with its seah.  
He spoke with His harsh wind: (הָגָה) He spoke with His harsh speech.  
on the day of the east wind: On the day (concerning which Scripture states) (Ex. 14:21): “And the Lord led the sea with a strong east wind.”  
9Therefore, with this shall Jacob's iniquity be atoned for, and this is all the fruit of removing his sin; by making all the altar stones like crushed chalkstones; asherim and sun-images shall not rise.   טלָכֵ֗ן בְּזֹאת֙ יְכֻפַּ֣ר עֲו‍ֹֽן־יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְזֶ֕ה כָּל־פְּרִ֖י הָסִ֣ר חַטָּאת֑וֹ בְּשׂוּמ֣וֹ | כָּל־אַבְנֵ֣י מִזְבֵּ֗חַ כְּאַבְנֵי־גִר֙ מְנֻפָּצ֔וֹת לֹֽא־יָקֻ֥מוּ אֲשֵׁרִ֖ים וְחַמָּנִֽים:
Therefore: Now, too, with this, Jacob’s iniquity would be atoned for, to merit to be redeemed as then.  
and this is all the fruit: that is best for Me to remove his sin, if he makes all the altar stones of his high places, like crushed chalk-stones. מְנֻפָּצוֹת means crushed. Comp. (Ps. 137:9) “And crushes (וְנִפֵּץ) your babies.” Comp. (Jer. 13:14) “And I will crush them (וְנִפַּצְתִּים) one against the other.” גִּיר is a kind of dye.  
asherim and sun images shall not rise: So that they shall not retain their idolatry.  
10For a fortified city is solitary, a dwelling is forsaken and abandoned like a pasture; there a calf shall graze, and there he shall lie and consume its branches.   יכִּ֣י עִ֚יר בְּצוּרָה֙ בָּדָ֔ד נָוֶ֕ה מְשֻׁלָּ֥ח וְנֶעֱזָ֖ב כַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר שָׁ֣ם יִרְעֶ֥ה עֵ֛גֶל וְשָׁ֥ם יִרְבָּ֖ץ וְכִלָּ֥ה סְעִפֶֽיהָ:
For a fortified city is solitary: For, when they do this, a fortified city of Ishmael (ms. Esau) will be solitary and the dwelling will be forsaken by its inhabitants and abandoned like a pasture.  
there a calf shall graze: Ephraim shall inherit it, for he is called a calf, as it is said (Jer. 31:17): “Like an untamed calf.”  
and shall consume its branches: (סְעִיפֶיהָ) its branches.  
11When its branches dry out, they shall be broken; women shall come and ignite it, for it is not a people of understanding; therefore, its Maker shall not have compassion on it, and He Who formed it shall not grant it favor.   יאבִּיבֹ֚שׁ קְצִירָהּ֙ תִּשָּׁבַ֔רְנָה נָשִׁ֕ים בָּא֖וֹת מְאִיר֣וֹת אוֹתָ֑הּ כִּ֣י לֹ֚א עַם־בִּינוֹת֙ ה֔וּא עַל־כֵּן֙ לֹֽא־יְרַֽחֲמֶ֣נּוּ עֹשֵׂ֔הוּ וְיֹֽצְר֖וֹ לֹ֥א יְחֻנֶּֽנּוּ:
When its branches dry out: The branches of its roots. Comp. (Ps. 80:12) “It sent forth its branches (קְצִירֶיהָ).” Also (Job 14:9): “And produce branches (קָצִיר).” I.e., when the little merit that Edom has for honoring his father, is depleted, then its branches shall be broken.  
women shall come and ignite it: A people weak as women shall ignite them. Jonathan renders in this manner. מְאִירוֹת means ‘ignite.’ Comp. (Mal. 1:10) “And you shall not light (תָּאִירוּ) My altar in vain.” Dunash too interpreted it in this manner, for since the wood will be dry, it will be easy to ignite. Menahem, however, interpreted it to mean ‘gather.’ Comp. (Song 5:1) “I gathered (אָרִיתִי) my myrrh.” Also (Ps. 80:13): “All passersby gathered from it (וְאָרוּהָ).” (Machbereth Menahem p. 32) Dunash replied, “Does it not say, ‘When its branches dry out’? And with dry grapes, no one gathers fruit.” (Teshuvoth Dunash p. 45)] Likewise, our Sages, who prohibited accepting charity from them because of this reason, for they stated in Baba Bathra ch. 1, (10b,) “Does he not believe, ‘When its branches dry out, they shall be broken?’”  
12And it shall come to pass on that day, that the Lord shall gather from the flood of the river to the stream of Egypt, and you shall be gathered one by one, O children of Israel.   יבוְהָיָה֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא יַחְבֹּ֧ט יְהֹוָ֛ה מִשִּׁבֹּ֥לֶת הַנָּהָ֖ר עַד־נַ֣חַל מִצְרָ֑יִם וְאַתֶּ֧ם תְּלֻקְּט֛וּ לְאַחַ֥ד אֶחָ֖ד בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
that the Lord shall gather: יַחְבֹּט, lit., shall beat. Jonathan renders: shall fall dead. I.e., the nations from the banks of the Euphrates to the stream of Egypt. I say, however, that these two expressions, (viz.) beating and gathering, coincide with one another, like one who bears his olive trees and goes back and gathers them and (ms. or) others gather them from the ground, so will the Holy One, blessed be He, commence the gathering, as it is said: A great shofar shall be sounded.  
from the flood of the river: These are those lost in the land of Assyria.  
to the stream of Egypt: Those are the ones exiled in the land of Egypt.  
the river: Euphrates. They are those in Assyria who live by the Euphrates.  
to the stream of Egypt: These are those who live in Egypt, He shall gather them like one who gathers olives.  
and you shall be gathered: from the exiles.  
one and one: Whoever finds one of you will bring him as an offering.  
13And it shall come to pass on that day, that a great shofar shall be sounded, and those lost in the land of Assyria and those exiled in the land of Egypt shall come and they shall prostrate themselves before the Lord on the holy mount in Jerusalem.   יגוְהָיָ֣ה | בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יִתָּקַע֘ בְּשׁוֹפָ֣ר גָּדוֹל֒ וּבָ֗אוּ הָאֹֽבְדִים֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ אַשּׁ֔וּר וְהַנִּדָּחִ֖ים בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲו֧וּ לַֽיהֹוָ֛ה בְּהַ֥ר הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
those lost in the land of Assyria: Since they were scattered in a distant land, within the Sambatyon River, he calls them, ‘lost.’  

Isaiah Chapter 28

1Woe is to the crown of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim and the young fruit of an inferior fig is the position of his glory, which is at the end of a valley of fatness, crushed by wine.   אה֗וֹי עֲטֶ֚רֶת גֵּאוּת֙ שִׁכֹּרֵ֣י אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְצִ֥יץ נֹבֵ֖ל צְבִ֣י תִפְאַרְתּ֑וֹ אֲשֶׁ֛ר עַל־רֹ֥אשׁ גֵּֽיא־שְׁמָנִ֖ים הֲל֥וּמֵי יָֽיִן:
the drunkards of Ephraim: who would become intoxicated with the wine of the state of Prugitha, as (the Rabbis) stated (Shabbath 147b): The water of Damascus and the wine of Prugitha robbed away the ten tribes.  
and the young fruit of an inferior fig is the position of his glory: And the position of the planting of his glory - the young fruit of his blossom shall be  
inferior figs: (נֹבֵל) They are the spoiled figs, as we learned in Berachoth (40b): For noveloth. And our Sages explained: Burned by the heat.  
young fruit: (צִיץ) synonymous with נֵץ, as the Targum renders: (Num. 27:13) וַיָּצֵץצִיץ, “and it produced young fruit,” as וְאָנֵץנֵץ.  
which is: planted.  
at the head of a valley of fatness: That is Kinnereth, whose fruits are sweet, and there they crush themselves with wine.  
crushed with wine: הֲלוּמֵי יַיִן. This may also be interpreted as follows: תפארתו אשר על ראש וכו׳ צבי, (his glorious beauty, which is, etc.): His glorious beauty, which is on the head of the ten tribes, anointed with pride with the best oils, as it is said (Amos 6:6): “With the best oils they anoint themselves.” גֵּיא is an expression of pride, as (supra 16:6): “Moab, they have become very proud.” (And that blossom will be like a wilting blossom) crushed by wine. So he calls them because of their drunkenness, and it is said concerning them (Amos 6:6): “Those who drink with basins of wine.”  
2Behold God [has] a strong and powerful [wind], like a downpour of hail, a storm of destruction, like a stream of powerful, flooding water, He lays it on the land with [His] hand.   בהִנֵּ֨ה חָזָ֚ק וְאַמִּץ֙ לַֽאדֹנָ֔י כְּזֶ֥רֶם בָּרָ֖ד שַׂ֣עַר קָ֑טֶב כְּ֠זֶרֶם מַ֣יִם כַּבִּירִ֥ים שֹׁטְפִ֛ים הִנִּ֥יחַ לָאָ֖רֶץ בְּיָֽד:
Behold: The Lord has a strong and powerful wind, which is like a downpour of hail and a storm of קֶטֶב מְרִירִי, bitter destruction.  
He lays it on the land with [His] hand: He shall place it on their land with His strong hand and cast down the inferior figs from fig trees.  
3With the feet, they shall be trampled, the crown of the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim.   גבְּרַגְלַ֖יִם תֵּֽרָמַ֑סְנָה עֲטֶ֥רֶת גֵּא֖וּת שִׁכּוֹרֵ֥י אֶפְרָֽיִם:
4And his glorious beauty shall be the young fruit of an inferior fig, which is on the head of the valley of fatness; as a fig that ripens before the summer, which, if the seer sees it, he will swallow it while it is still in his hand.   דוְהָ֨יְתָ֜ה צִיצַ֚ת נֹבֵל֙ צְבִ֣י תִפְאַרְתּ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־רֹ֖אשׁ גֵּ֣יא שְׁמָנִ֑ים כְּבִכּוּרָהּ֙ בְּטֶ֣רֶם קַ֔יִץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִרְאֶ֚ה הָֽרֹאֶה֙ אוֹתָ֔הּ בְּעוֹדָ֥הּ בְּכַפּ֖וֹ יִבְלָעֶֽנָּה:
as a fig that ripens before the summer: like the ripening of the young fruits of an inferior fig.  
before the summer: the time of the ripening of other figs, which, because of its early ripening, he pounces on it and swallows it while it is still in his hand. So (Dan. 9:14), “He hastened the evil and brought it upon us.”  
5On that day, the Lord of Hosts shall be for a crown of beauty and for a diadem of glory, for the rest of His people.   הבַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יִֽהְיֶה֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת לַֽעֲטֶ֣רֶת צְבִ֔י וְלִצְפִירַ֖ת תִּפְאָרָ֑ה לִשְׁאָ֖ר עַמּֽוֹ:
On that day: When the transgressors are destroyed.  
for a crown of beauty: for the remaining righteous men among them.  
6And for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and for might for those who bring back the war to the gate.   ווּלְר֖וּחַ מִשְׁפָּ֑ט לַיּוֹשֵׁב֙ עַל־הַמִּשְׁפָּ֔ט וְלִ֨גְבוּרָ֔ה מְשִׁיבֵ֥י מִלְחָמָ֖ה שָֽׁעְרָה:
And for a spirit of justice: will the Holy One, blessed be He, be, i.e., to teach justice, to him who sits in judgment.  
and for might: will He be for those who bring back the war, the war of Torah.  
7These, too, erred because of wine and strayed because of strong wine; priest and prophet erred because of strong wine, they became corrupt because of wine; they went astray because of strong wine, they erred against the seer, they caused justice to stumble.   זוְגַם־אֵ֙לֶּה֙ בַּיַּ֣יִן שָׁג֔וּ וּבַשֵּׁכָ֖ר תָּע֑וּ כֹּהֵ֣ן וְנָבִיא֩ שָׁג֨וּ בַשֵּׁכָ֜ר נִבְלְע֣וּ מִן־הַיַּ֗יִן תָּעוּ֙ מִן־הַשֵּׁכָ֔ר שָׁגוּ֙ בָּֽרֹאֶ֔ה פָּק֖וּ פְּלִֽילִיָּֽה:
These too: who sit in judgment and return the war in this generation, i.e., the best and most esteemed among them, erred because of wine, for now there is no good in them.  
they erred against the seer: They mocked the words of the prophets. Jonathan renders: with eating delicacies, which they saw as a pleasure to them.  
they caused justice to stumble: (פָּקוּ פְּלִילֶיהָ), they caused justice to stumble. פָּקוּ is an expression similar to (Nahum 2:11), “The stumbling (פִּיק) of knees;” (I Sam. 25:31) “A stumbling block (פּוּקָה).”  
8For all tables were filled with vomit and ordure, without place.   חכִּי כָּל־שֻׁלְחָנ֔וֹת מָֽלְא֖וּ קִ֣יא צֹאָ֑ה בְּלִ֖י מָקֽוֹם:
For all tables: I.e., all their tables are of sacrifices for the dead, i.e., the pagan deities, which are like vomit and ordure.  
without a place: (I.e.) the mind cannot tolerate them.  
9Whom shall he teach knowledge and to whom shall he explain the message? To those weaned from milk, removed from breasts?   טאֶת־מִי֙ יוֹרֶ֣ה דֵעָ֔ה וְאֶת־מִ֖י יָבִ֣ין שְׁמוּעָ֑ה גְּמוּלֵי֙ מֵֽחָלָ֔ב עַתִּיקֵ֖י מִשָּׁדָֽיִם:
Whom shall he teach knowledge: Perhaps to babes who know not to understand, since the adults have turned to an evil way?  
those weaned from milk: separated from milk.  
removed from breasts: (עַתִּיקֵי) an expression similar to (Gen. 12:8), “And he removed (וַיַּעְתֵּק) from there.” Alternatively, separated from the Torah, which is called milk, and removed from breasts, removed from before Torah scholars.  
10For a precept for a precept, a precept for a precept, a line for a line, a line for a line, a little there, a little there.   יכִּ֣י צַ֚ו לָצָו֙ צַ֣ו לָצָ֔ו קַ֥ו לָקָ֖ו קַ֣ו לָקָ֑ו זְעֵ֥יר שָׁ֖ם זְעֵ֥יר שָֽׁם:
For a precept for a precept, a precept for a precept: The prophet commands them from the Holy One, blessed be He, but they - they have a precept of the idols, equal to this precept, and the prophet repeatedly admonishes them, and they always say, “We have a precept for the precept.” Ours is superior to yours.  
a line for a line: They have a plumb-line of wicked judgments equal to the plumb-line of justice.  
a little there, a little there: The prophet says to them, “In a short time evil will come upon you,” and they say, “A little there, let Him hurry, let Him hasten His deeds in a short time.”  
11For with distorted speech and in another language, does he speak to this people.   יאכִּי בְּלַֽעֲגֵ֣י שָׂפָ֔ה וּבְלָשׁ֖וֹן אַחֶ֑רֶת יְדַבֵּ֖ר אֶל־הָעָ֥ם הַזֶּֽה:
With distorted speech: שָׂפָה) (בְּלַעֲגֵי Similarly, לְעָגִים and (infra 32:4), עִלְּגִים, are both expressions of distorted speech, which is not readily grasped.  
he speaks to this people: Everyone who speaks to them words of prophecy or admonition is to them like a distorted language, which they cannot understand.  
12For he said to them, "This is the rest; give rest to the weary, and this is the tranquility," but they would not listen.   יבאֲשֶׁ֣ר | אָמַ֣ר אֲלֵיהֶ֗ם זֹ֚את הַמְּנוּחָה֙ הָנִ֣יחוּ לֶֽעָיֵ֔ף וְזֹ֖את הַמַּרְגֵּעָ֑ה וְלֹ֥א אָב֖וּא שְׁמֽוֹעַ:
For he said: The prophet said to them, “This is the rest,” that you should have rest, “give rest to the weary,” that you shall not rob him, “and this” shall be “tranquility” for them (var. for you).  
13And the word of the Lord shall be for them a precept for a precept, a precept for a precept, a line for a line, a line for a line, a little there, a little there, in order that they go and stumble backwards and be broken, and be trapped and caught.   יגוְהָיָ֨ה לָהֶ֜ם דְּבַר־יְהֹוָ֗ה צַ֣ו לָצָ֞ו צַ֚ו לָצָו֙ קַ֚ו לָקָו֙ קַ֣ו לָקָ֔ו זְעֵ֥יר שָׁ֖ם זְעֵ֣יר שָׁ֑ם לְמַ֨עַן יֵֽלְכ֜וּ וְכָֽשְׁל֚וּ אָחוֹר֙ וְנִשְׁבָּ֔רוּ וְנֽוֹקְשׁ֖וּ וְנִלְכָּֽדוּ:
And the word of the Lord shall be, etc.: According to their measure, He shall mete out to them; He shall decree upon them with His word upon them, a precept of the nations that enslave them, upon a precept, a command upon a command, labor upon labor; a line of retribution commensurate with the line of sins that they committed (lit., in their hand); קַו לָקָו, derived from קוה, a hope instead of a hope; they will hope for light, and behold, there will be darkness.  
a little there, a little there: In a short time, it shall come upon them, and they shall become few there in the land of their enemies.  

Isaiah Chapter 29

22Therefore, so said the Lord to the House of Jacob, Who redeemed Abraham, "Now Jacob shall not be ashamed, and now his face shall not pale.   כבלָכֵ֗ן כֹּֽה־אָמַ֚ר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב אֲשֶׁ֥ר פָּדָ֖ה אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֑ם לֹֽא־עַתָּ֚ה יֵבוֹשׁ֙ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְלֹ֥א עַתָּ֖ה פָּנָ֥יו יֶֽחֱוָֽרוּ:
Who redeemed Abraham: from Ur of the Chaldees.  
Now Jacob shall not be ashamed: of his father.  
and now his face shall not pale: because of his father’s father, for no imperfection has been found in his bed, and his bed is perfect.  
23For, when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, who shall hallow My name, and they shall hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and the God of Israel they shall revere.   כגכִּ֣י בִ֠רְאֹתוֹ יְלָדָ֞יו מַֽעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדַ֛י בְּקִרְבּ֖וֹ יַקְדִּ֣ישׁוּ שְׁמִ֑י וְהִקְדִּ֙ישׁוּ֙ אֶת־קְד֣וֹשׁ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְאֶת־אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל יַֽעֲרִֽיצוּ:
For, when he sees his children: who will be the work of My hands, i.e., righteous men, in his midst, for when he sees in his midst that his children, the work of My hands, shall hallow My name, e.g., Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (see Dan. 3), therefore, his face shall not pale.  
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