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Haftara VaYera

II Kings 4:1 – 4:37

Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant, my husband,  is dead; and you know that your servant feared God; but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his bondmen.”

Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She replied, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house, except for a pot of oil.”

He said, “Go borrow vessels from your neighbors, empty vessels; do not get too few. Then go in, shut the door behind yourself and your sons, and pour oil into all the vessels, setting them aside as they are filled.”

So she left him, and shut the door behind herself and her sons. They brought the vessels to her and she poured. When the vessels were full, she said to her son: “Bring me another vessel.” He said to her, “There are no more vessels.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She came and told the man of God, who said, “Go sell the oil, and pay your debt; you and your sons can live on the rest.”

One day, Elisha went to Shunam, where there was a prominent woman who urged him to eat some food. And later, whenever he passed that way, he stopped to eat.

She said to her husband, “I perceive that this man who is constantly passing our way is a hold man of God. Let’s make him a little room on the roof; and setup for him a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us he will have a place to stay.”

One day he came there and went to the roof to rest. He said to Gechazi his servant, “Call the Shunammite.” When he called her she stood before him.

And he said to [his servant], “Tell her now: ‘Look, you have taken all this trouble for us; what can we do for you? Do you want a word spoken on your behalf to the king, or to the captain of the army?'” She answered “I live among my own  people.”

He said, “What can be done for her?” And Gechazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.”

He said, “Call her.” When he called her, she stood in the doorway. He said, “Next season, about this time, you will embrace your son.” And she said, “No My master, man of God, do not lie to your maidservant.”

But the woman conceived, and gave birth to a son at the next season, as Elisha had told her.

One day when the child had grown, he went out to his father who was among the harvesters. He said to his father, “My head, my head. [The father] said to his servant, “Carry him  to his mother.”

When he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door and went out. She called her husband, and said, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys so that I can go to the man of God and return.”

He said, “Why will you go to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” She said, “It will be well”

[Sephardi conclude here]

Then she saddled a donkey and said to her servant, “Hurry! Don’t slow down unless I tell you to.”

She went, and came to the man of God on Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her approaching he said to Gechazi his servant: “Look, there is that Shunammite. Run and meet her, ask her “Are you well? Is your husband well? Is your child well?” She answered “It is well.”

When she came to the man of God on the mountain, she caught hold of his feet. Gechazi cane to push her away, but the man of God said, “Let her alone for she is in bitter distress, and God hid it from me and did not tell me.”

Then she said, “Did I ask my master for a son? Did I not say, Do not lie to me?”

Then he said to Gechazi, “Gird your loins, take my staff in your hand, and go; if you meet anyone, do not greet him and if anyone greets you do not reply; and place my staff on the child’s face.”

Then the child’s mother said, “As God lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So she arose, and he followed her.

Gechazi went on ahead and placed the staff on the child’s face; but there was neither sound nor sign of life. Therefore, he returned to meet him and told him, “The child cannot be awakened.”

When Elisha cane to the house, the child was indeed dead, lying on his bed. So he went in and shut the door upon the two of them, and prayed  to God. Then went up to the child, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. Then he stretched himself on him, and the child’s body became warm. Then he returned, and walked back and forth in the house; and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

He called Gechazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her and she arrived he said, “Take your son.”

Then she came and fell down at his feet, bowing to the ground. She took her son and went out.