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Haftara of the Week: Lech Lecha –

Rav Listman goes through the different Haftorot and the customs that were passed down throughout the generations regarding the Haftorot.  The Haftora of Lech Lecha deals with Israel in the state of distress, galut versus Israel in their ideal state, geula. 

Haftara of the Week: The Unique Teshuva of Eretz Israel!

Isaiah the Prophet focuses on Teshuva in Eretz Israel and the redemption of Israel, which is a major theme in the series of consolation haftarot.  What is the unique aspect of the Teshuva in Eretz Israel? How does Kibbutz Galuyot effect the global redemption?

The Haftorot of Nechama #4: Build, Build, Build!

The 4th Haftorah of Nechama, from the Book of Yesha'ayahu is רוני עקרה לא ילדה (Yesha'aya ch. 54 / ישעיהו פרק נד). The prophet Yesha'ayhu explains in a command to build up Jerusalem, a city that is barren - עקרה. Yesha'ayhu's main message is for Israel to not let themselves...

Haftara – Matot-Masei: Lessons for The Three Weeks

Haftarat Matot-Masei is the second Haftara in the series of 3, three Haftaras of "Pur'anut" - destruction . Each Haftara is a lesson from one of the Prophets discussing lessons from the destruction of the (1st) Temple.  This Haftara is from the book of Yirmiyahu.  Rav Listman discusses the differences...

Haftarah of Parashat Balak: Bilam’s Council

The book of Micha, at the end of Trei Asar, is the source for the Haftara of Parashat Balak. Micha prophesizes about the character of the Nation of Israel, and specifically points out the many character flaws in Israel's population of his time, the end of the First Temple Era. ...

Polarizing Leadership Styles – King Saul vs. Korach

The Haftorah of Parashat Korach discusses Shmuel's choice of Israel's first king - King Saul. Shmuels annoints Saul as King of Israel, in light of Israel's protest declaring they want a king at all cost! In Shmuel I Chapter 10 - Shmuel warns the nation of the power King Saul,...

Beha’alotcha: The Menorah Connection

The Haftorah of Parashat Be'ha'alotcha is from the book of Zecharya, and focuses on the Menorah, just as Parashat Be'ha'alotcha itself begins with describing the lighting of the Menorah. Rav Listman delves into the Menorah Connection between Bamidbar and the Book of Zecharya, in addition to alluding to some of...

Parashat Naso: Why is Samson the Prototype for a Nazir?

Why does the Tanach only mention the character of Samson, Shimson, as the prototype of a Nazir? Is a Nazir an ideal situation, removing himself from general impurity specifically defilement of the dead, drinking wine and grape related products, and not cutting his hair. Is the Nazir someone to aspire...

Haftorah Parashat Emor: Are there limitations to serving in the Temple?

Yechezkel the prophet, a Kohen himself provides several restraints to the future kohanim serving in the future (Third) temple. Several of these restraints are novelties not found in the Torah. The Radak explains that Yechezkel is adding on an additional level of holiness for the future kohanim, whereas the Malbim...

Haftarah of Parashat Emor:

Yechezkel prophecizes about the vision of the future Third Temple and future State of Israel. The book of Emor discusses the laws of the Kohanim and the laws of the Kohanim's conduct in the Temple during their service. That is why we read the prophecy of Yechezkel (ch. 44) regarding...