Reuben Ebrahimoff




The Haftorah for Parshat Toldos

Malachi reproves the Israelite Nation & its Kohanim (Priests) for disrespecting the Bait Hamikdash (Holy Temple).

The Haftorah is read from the Book of Malachi, 1:1 – 2:7.

The Prophet Malachi,
Painting by Duccio di Buoninsegna
c. 1310 Museo dell'Opera Del Duomo,  

1) The Connection between the Parsha and the Haftorah: In the Haftorah, we read a sentence that says “A son honors his father, but where is my honor?” Hashem expected the nation of Edom (a descendant of Aisav, Jacob’s brother and Isaac’s son) to be dishonorable. The Prophet Malachi says that Hashem never expected the Jewish people to desecrate His House. In this week’s Torah reading we see how Aisav would try to pose as a decent person to his father Isaac, while actually being an evil person. Hashem can see right through that.

2) The Storyline of this week’s Haftorah: The Haftorah begins with the Prophet Malachi bringing to our attention Hashem’s love for Yakov (Jacob).  The Kohanim (priests) despise the Temple service, and are told off for their unacceptable behavior.  To be Jewish is an opportunity and not a burden. The Kohanim honored Hashem even less than the Gentile Nations. Hashem’s criticizes Bnei Yisroel for bringing unacceptable animals to the Bait Hamikdash (Holy Temple). There is severe punishment for misusing Hashem’s House and His name.  The Haftorah concludes with the proper role of the Kohen and it recounts Aharon’s qualities for he was the image of the ideal Kohen.

The Garments of the Kohen Gadol

3) Malachi’s Biography: The meaning of the name Malachi is “my messenger.” He was born and prophesized in Jerusalem during the 5th century B.C.E.  Some say that he was Mordechai; others say he was none other than Ezra and some say that he was a “Malachi” or messenger of Hashem (G-D). At the time, the Temple service was not observed properly. The Kohanim (priests) were remiss of their duties. They offered animals that were blemished, lame and sick. People were indifferent to or skeptical of religion. Men freely divorced their wives and then intermarried. Overall, people’s morals were lax. Adultery, perjury and oppression of widows were all too common. Malachi was one of the 120 Men of the Great Assembly, who authored almost every blessing we make including the Amidah or Shemonah Esray. Malachi’s book contains four chapters. It is the final Book of the “Trey Assar” (The Twelve Prophets). He was the last person to experience prophecy that was recorded in the Tanach.

4) Haftorahman’s lesson of the week:  When interacting with others, we must ask ourselves how much we adapt to another person’s values.  When do we accept another person’s opinion and when do we listen and discount it based on our own ideas?  Yaakov was very careful to maintain a relationship with his brother, Aisav.  Yet, he did not permit Aisav to negatively influence him.  We need to be clear as to our spiritual destination in life and surround ourselves with people that could aid us on our spiritual journey.  However there are those people that you may feel will not help you, so in that case, try and be strong.  Do not allow them to have a negative effect on you rather be a positive effect on them.

5) Famous Phrases from the Book of Malachi: This is said right before Kaddish. “V’arvah la Hashem minchat yedudah v’yerushalaim keyemai olam uschshanim Kadmaniyot” 3:4. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to Hashem as in the days of old and previous years.

6) Timeline: Approximately 3340 on the Jewish calendar, about 2300 years ago.


7) Map:The Prophet lived in Jerusalem.

Written by: Reuben Gavriel Ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5773-2012