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Haftara Bereshit

Isaiah 42:5 – 43:10

I have called you to be righteous. I took you by the hand and kept you. I made you into a covenant for the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring the prisoners out of the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness out of prison.

I am HaShem. That is My name. I will not give My glory to any other people. I will not give My powers to carved images. I am declaring new things. I am telling you of them before they happen.

Sing a new song to HaShem, and His praise from the end of the earth; you who sail the sea and all its fullness, the islands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its cities raise their voices, the villages which Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of the rock sing. Let them shout from the mountain tops. Let them give glory to HaShem, and proclaim His praise in the islands! I shall go forth as a mighty man and I shall prevail against my foes.

For a long time I held My peace; I kept still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry out like a woman in childbirth, gasping and panting all at once. I will lay waste mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation. I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools.

I will lead the blind in a way they do not know. I will guide them in paths they have not known. I will make the darkness bright before them, and smooth out the road ahead. I will do these things and not forsake them. Those who trust in idols, and say to molten images, “You are our gods,” shall be turned back, greatly ashamed.

Listen, you deaf ones. Look, you blind ones, so that you may see! Who is blind but My servant; who is deaf, as My messenger whom I send? Who is as blind as My devoted one, or as blind as HaShem”s servant? You see many things, but do not observe them. His ears are open, but he does
not hear.

HaShem was pleased for His righteousness sake, to enlarge the Torah and make it great. But this is a robbed and spoiled people. All of them are trapped in holes, and hidden in prisons. They are prey with no one to rescue them; spoils with no one to say, “Restore.”

Who among you will listen to this? Who will pay attention and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob as spoils, and Israel to the robbers? Was it not HaShem, against whom we have sinned? They would not walk in His ways; neither did they obey His Torah.

Therefore He poured upon him the fierceness of His anger, and the might of battle. It placed him in an encircling fire without his perceiving it; it burned him, but he did not take it to heart.

But now, thus says HaShem, who created you, Jacob, and who formed you, Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. Neither will the flame consume you. For I am HaShem, your Lord, The Holy One of Israel. I gave Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. You are precious in My sight, and honored, and I loved you; therefore I will give men in place of you, and nations in exchange for your lives. Fear not, for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west, will say to the north, “Give them up!” and to the south, “Do not withhold them. Bring back My sons from afar, and My daughters from the end of the earth; every one who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory; I formed him; I made him.” Bring forth the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears. Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this and show us past events? Let them produce their witnesses, to justify them, and let them hear, and say, “It is true.”

You are my witnesses, says HaShem, and My servant whom I chose, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed. Neither shall there be any after Me.