Hacking the Haftorah: BEREISHIS

This series explores the connection between the weekly Torah portion (Parashat HaShavuah) and its Haftorah.

The Five Books of Moses are read publicly in synagogues each Shabbat morning and completed over the course of a year. There is an ancient custom to follow this with a portion from the writings of the Prophets.

The most common view of the origin of this practice is that it dates back to around 165BCE. At that time, the Syrian/Greek empire occupied Israel under the rule of Antiochos IV. He issued many decrees banning the practice of Judaism, including the prohibition against publicly reading from the Torah. In response, the sages chose passages from the prophets (like Isaiah) to take the place of the Torah portion that was pre-empted. This reading is called the Haftorah.

Often, the connection between the Torah portion and the Haftorah is obvious, but usually there are deeper connections under the surface. This series explores these connections.

This video focuses on the first Torah portion of the year, Bereishis (Genesis 1:1- 6:8). In most years, the Haftorah is from Isaiah 42:5 – 43:10.

(When Rosh Chodesh (the New Moon) falls out on Sunday, a special Haftorah is read from I Samuel 20:18-42. This was the case this year.)

Hacking the Haftorah

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