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Haftara Tazria

II Kings 4.42-5.19

 A man came from Baal Shalishah, and brought the man of God bread of the first fruits, 20 loaves of barley and fresh ears of corn in his sack. He said; “Give to the people, that they may eat.”

But the servant said; “How can I set this before one hundred men?” He said: “Give the people that they may eat; for God has said; That they shall eat and have some left.”

So he set it before them. And they ate and left some of it over, according to God’s word.

Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a man of great note with his master, and highly esteemed, because through him God had given victory to Aram. He was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now the Arameans on one of their raids, had taken a little maid captive from the land of Israel, and she attended Naaman’s wife.

She said to her mistress: “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would heal him of his leprosy.”

So he went in and told his lord: “Thus and thus said the maiden from the land of Israel.”

The king of Aram said: “Then go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed, taking with him ten talens of silver, six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing.  He brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying: “When you receive this letter, know that I have sent my servant Naaman to you, so that you may heal him of leprosy.”

When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothing and said: “Am I god,, to kill and make alive, that this man send me a leper to cure? Only consider, please, and see how he seeks an excuse to quarrel with me.”

But when Elisha, a man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothing, he sent to the king saying: “Why have you torn your clothing? Let him come to me now, and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

Naaman came with his horses, and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to him saying: “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored, and you will be clean.”

But Naaman was angry, and went away saying: “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me, and stand and call the name of God his Lord, wave his hand over the place and heal the leper. Are not Amanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Can I not wash in them, and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.

But his servants approached him and said to him: “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? How much more so then, when he said to you: “Wash and be clean?” He went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, accoring to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came back to the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. Then he and all his company returned to the man of God. He came and stood before him saying: “Now I know there is no God in all the earth but in Israel. Now please accept a present from your servant.”

But he said, “As God lives, before whom I stand I will not receive it.” He urged him to take it, but he refused. Then Naaman said: “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mules burden of earth, for from now on your servant will never again offer burnt offerings or sacrifice to other gods, but to God. But my God pardon your servant in this matter: When my master enters the house of Rimmon to worship there, he leans on my hand and I prostrate myself in the house of Rimmon; when I prostrate myself in the house of Rimmon; God pardon your servant in this matter.”

He said to him: “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a little way.