Haftarah of Ki Teitzei

Yeshayahu 54:110

 

This Haftarah is the fifth of the "Chapters of Comfort" of that we read between Tisha B'Av and Rosh HaShanah. As with the other Haftarot in the series, its purpose is to give hope to all the generations of the Jewish People and to reassure them that one day, Jerusalem will be rebuilt, that the Jewish People will be living there in safety and security, that their unique relationship with G-d will grow and deepen, and the entire world will acknowledge it and create a world of justice and righteousness. According to this Haftarah, the fifth step is the point at which the Jewish People begin to realize that the Exile is truly over, and the Redemption cannot be reversed.

 

Jerusalem has been left alone, abandoned and empty. G-d warns her that she is about to experience a sudden and significant expansion. She needs to build, and build quickly.

 

1) Sing, barren one, who has not given birth!

Burst out in song and rejoice, she who has not felt birth pangs!

For the sons of the forsaken one are more numerous

than the sons of the secure one, says Hashem.

(א) רָנִּי עֲקָרָה לֹא יָלָדָה

פִּצְחִי רִנָּה וְצַהֲלִי לֹא חָלָה

כִּי רַבִּים בְּנֵי שׁוֹמֵמָה

מִבְּנֵי בְעוּלָה אָמַר ה':

2) Expand the dimensions of your tent,

spread out the tarps of your dwelling do not hold back!

Lengthen your tent ropes

and reinforce your poles.

(ב) הַרְחִיבִי מְקוֹם אָהֳלֵךְ

וִירִיעוֹת מִשְׁכְּנוֹתַיִךְ יַטּוּ אַל תַּחְשֹׂכִי

הַאֲרִיכִי מֵיתָרַיִךְ

וִיתֵדֹתַיִךְ חַזֵּקִי:

3) For, to the right and to the left you will burst out;

your children will inherit nations,

and desolate cities will be resettled.

(ג) כִּי יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול תִּפְרֹצִי

וְזַרְעֵךְ גּוֹיִם יִירָשׁ

וְעָרִים נְשַׁמּוֹת יוֹשִׁיבוּ:

 

 

Even though the Redemption has begun, the Jewish People are still carrying the burden and shame of G-d's rejection throughout their Exile. When the entire world sees that G-d has been running history all along, and that the Jewish People have been His people throughout, this shame will fade from their consciousness. The perceived rejection was temporary, but the reconciliation will be permanent.

 

4) Do not fear, for you will not be shamed,

do not be troubled, for you will not be disgraced;

for you will forget the shame of your youth,

the disgrace of your loneliness you will recall no more.

(ד) אַל תִּירְאִי כִּי לֹא תֵבוֹשִׁי

וְאַל תִּכָּלְמִי כִּי לֹא תַחְפִּירִי

כִּי בֹשֶׁת עֲלוּמַיִךְ תִּשְׁכָּחִי

וְחֶרְפַּת אַלְמְנוּתַיִךְ לֹא תִזְכְּרִי עוֹד:

5) For your spouse is your Maker,

Hashem Tzva-ot is His name;

and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,

G-d of the entire world, He will be called.

(ה) כִּי בֹעֲלַיִךְ עֹשַׂיִךְ

ה' צְבָא-וֹת שְׁמוֹ

וְגֹאֲלֵךְ קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל

אֱ-לֹהֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ יִקָּרֵא:

6) You were like a woman abandoned, depressed,

when Hashem called to you;

"Could one reject the wife of one's youth?"

asks your G-d.

(ו) כִּי כְאִשָּׁה עֲזוּבָה וַעֲצוּבַת רוּחַ

קְרָאָךְ ה'

וְאֵשֶׁת נְעוּרִים כִּי תִמָּאֵס

אָמַר אֱ-לֹהָיִךְ:

7) For just a tiny moment I have abandoned you,

but with great mercy I will gather you up.

(ז) בְּרֶגַע קָטֹן עֲזַבְתִּיךְ

וּבְרַחֲמִים גְּדֹלִים אֲקַבְּצֵךְ:

8) In a foam of fury I hid My face but for a moment from you,

but with an eternity of constancy I will show mercy to you,

says your Redeemer, Hashem.

(ח) בְּשֶׁצֶף קֶצֶף הִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי רֶגַע מִמֵּךְ

וּבְחֶסֶד עוֹלָם רִחַמְתִּיךְ

אָמַר גֹּאֲלֵךְ ה': ס

 

G-d swears that no matter what happens, the Jewish People will never again feel His anger, just as He swore to Noach not to destroy the entire world. From this point on, the Redemption cannot be reversed.

 

9) For it is like the Waters of Noach to Me,

as I swore not to let the Waters of Noach pass over the land,

so too I have sworn not to be angry at you, nor to chastise you.

(ט) כִּי מֵי נֹחַ זֹאת לִי

אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מֵעֲבֹר מֵי נֹחַ עוֹד עַל הָאָרֶץ

כֵּן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מִקְּצֹף עָלַיִךְ וּמִגְּעָר בָּךְ:

10) Would even mountains wear away,

and hills erode,

My constancy will not wear away from you,

and My covenant of peace will not erode,

says He who shows mercy to you, Hashem.

(י) כִּי הֶהָרִים יָמוּשׁוּ

וְהַגְּבָעוֹת תְּמוּטֶנָה

וְחַסְדִּי מֵאִתֵּךְ לֹא יָמוּשׁ

וּבְרִית שְׁלוֹמִי לֹא תָמוּט

אָמַר מְרַחֲמֵךְ ה': ס

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Kira Sirote

In memory of my father, Peter Rozenberg, z"l

לעילוי נשמת אבי מורי פנחס בן נתן נטע ז''ל