Hacking the Haftorah: VAYERA

This series explores the connection between the weekly Torah portion read in synagogues (Parashat HaShavuah) and the Haftorah reading that follows from the writings of the prophets. The Five Books of Moses are read publicly in synagogues on 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 the 4th. He issued many decrees banning the practice of Judaism, including the prohibition against publicly reading from the Torah (Five Books of Moses). In response, the sages chose passages from the writings of 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 deals with the Torah portion of Vayera (Genesis chapters 18-22) and the Haftorah from Second Kings 4:1-37.

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3 Responses

  1. Absolutely wonderful. Makes me love the haftorah so much, whereas before I didn’t quite understand how it worked and skipped them…:(
    Never more!

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