יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – Haftarah

This chapter of יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – Isaiah looks like a song to me. A song of promise that we need right now so desperately.

Does it always seem that times are as difficult as they can be, or they are, indeed, more challenging than before?

I suppose that this is not a politically correct chapter mentioning women as suffering from their own “shame of thy youth”, or “reproach of thy widowhood”.

 

א  רָנִּי עֲקָרָה, לֹא יָלָדָה; פִּצְחִי רִנָּה וְצַהֲלִי לֹא-חָלָה, כִּי-רַבִּים בְּנֵי-שׁוֹמֵמָה מִבְּנֵי בְעוּלָה אָמַר יְהוָה.

1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear, break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

ב  הַרְחִיבִי מְקוֹם אָהֳלֵךְ, וִירִיעוֹת מִשְׁכְּנוֹתַיִךְ יַטּוּ–אַל-תַּחְשֹׂכִי; הַאֲרִיכִי, מֵיתָרַיִךְ, וִיתֵדֹתַיִךְ, חַזֵּקִי.

2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations, spare not; lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.

ג  כִּי-יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול, תִּפְרֹצִי; וְזַרְעֵךְ גּוֹיִם יִירָשׁ, וְעָרִים נְשַׁמּוֹת יוֹשִׁיבוּ.

3 For thou shalt spread abroad on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall possess the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

ד  אַל-תִּירְאִי כִּי-לֹא תֵבוֹשִׁי, וְאַל-תִּכָּלְמִי כִּי לֹא תַחְפִּירִי:  כִּי בֹשֶׁת עֲלוּמַיִךְ תִּשְׁכָּחִי, וְחֶרְפַּת אַלְמְנוּתַיִךְ לֹא תִזְכְּרִי-עוֹד.

4 Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed. Neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and the reproach of thy widowhood shalt thou remember no more.

ה  כִּי בֹעֲלַיִךְ עֹשַׂיִךְ, יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ; וְגֹאֲלֵךְ קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֱלֹהֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ יִקָּרֵא.

5 For thy Maker is thy husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer, the God of the whole earth shall He be called.

ו  כִּי-כְאִשָּׁה עֲזוּבָה וַעֲצוּבַת רוּחַ, קְרָאָךְ יְהוָה; וְאֵשֶׁת נְעוּרִים כִּי תִמָּאֵס, אָמַר אֱלֹהָיִךְ.

6 For the LORD hath called thee as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit; and a wife of youth, can she be rejected? saith thy God.

ז  בְּרֶגַע קָטֹן, עֲזַבְתִּיךְ; וּבְרַחֲמִים גְּדֹלִים, אֲקַבְּצֵךְ.

7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great compassion will I gather thee.

ח  בְּשֶׁצֶף קֶצֶף, הִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי רֶגַע מִמֵּךְ, וּבְחֶסֶד עוֹלָם, רִחַמְתִּיךְ–אָמַר גֹּאֲלֵךְ, יְהוָה.

8 In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

However, the image of a woman embraced by a husband who has been longing for her just as much as she was for him, is a powerful one for me.

ט  כִּי-מֵי נֹחַ, זֹאת לִי, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מֵעֲבֹר מֵי-נֹחַ עוֹד, עַל-הָאָרֶץ–כֵּן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מִקְּצֹף עָלַיִךְ, וּמִגְּעָר-בָּךְ.

9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

י  כִּי הֶהָרִים יָמוּשׁוּ, וְהַגְּבָעוֹת תְּמוּטֶינָה–וְחַסְדִּי מֵאִתֵּךְ לֹא-יָמוּשׁ, וּבְרִית שְׁלוֹמִי לֹא תָמוּט, אָמַר מְרַחֲמֵךְ, יְהוָה.

10 For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall My covenant of peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath compassion on thee.

 

It is such an uplifting Haftarah promising not only physical but spiritual prosperity for anyone who is searching for the truth.

 

א  הוֹי כָּל-צָמֵא לְכוּ לַמַּיִם, וַאֲשֶׁר אֵין-לוֹ כָּסֶף;

לְכוּ שִׁבְרוּ, וֶאֱכֹלוּ, וּלְכוּ שִׁבְרוּ בְּלוֹא-כֶסֶף וּבְלוֹא מְחִיר, יַיִן וְחָלָב.

1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye for water, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

ב  לָמָּה תִשְׁקְלוּ-כֶסֶף בְּלוֹא-לֶחֶם, וִיגִיעֲכֶם בְּלוֹא לְשָׂבְעָה; שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ אֵלַי וְאִכְלוּ-טוֹב, וְתִתְעַנַּג בַּדֶּשֶׁן נַפְשְׁכֶם.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your gain for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

ג  הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם וּלְכוּ אֵלַי, שִׁמְעוּ וּתְחִי נַפְשְׁכֶם; וְאֶכְרְתָה לָכֶם בְּרִית עוֹלָם, חַסְדֵי דָוִד הַנֶּאֱמָנִים.

3 Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

It is especially personal for me today, on the day of birth of a man who brought me to my path to Judaism. Today, over 20 years since his passing, the pain is no longer sharp, but the memories and gratefulness to his existence in my life do not subside. On this, naturally, rainy day of Parshat Noah, I am thanking Gd for those years you were at my site.

 

Shabbat Shalom!

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