Reuben Ebrahimoff




The Haftorah for Parshat Bo

Egypt Will be Defeated By Babylona

The Haftorah is read from the book of Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah), 46: 13-28

The Prophet Jeremiah Mourning over the Destruction of Jerusalem by Rembrandt

The connection of the Haftorah to the Parsha: In the Parsha, Egypt is punished for committing atrocities against the Jews. One of them was the plague of locusts. This Haftorah was picked because it has a reference to locusts. Another connection is that towards the end of the Parsha, B’nei Yisrael set out on their journey of freedom from Egyptian bondage towards the Land of Israel. Similarly, the Haftorah concludes with B’nei Yisrael’s liberation from exile.

The storyline of this week's Haftorah: The Haftorah begins with Yirmiyahu's prophecy predicting that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and his army will destroy Egypt. Not that it mattered, but Egypt was told to prepare her army for war. There was one thing that could save them: if the Egyptians did teshuvah (repentance). Yirmiyahu continues to predict that Egypt will be defeated and exiled. Nebuchadnezzar was coming to invade Egypt and he would eventually destroy Egypt. All the Egyptians will be sent into exile. So, everybody get ready to march, including the nobleman. There is no hope for victory for the Egyptians. It is explained why Hashem punishes Egypt. It is because of all the hardships that Egypt had oppressed upon the Jews over the years. It's payback time, measure for measure. After the Egyptian exile, they will return to their land. The Haftorah concludes with encouragement from Hashem that if the Egyptians will be permitted to return to their land, then without a doubt, the Jews will be able to return from Babylon to their homeland, The Land of Israel.

King Nebuchadnezzar’s Diary mentioning Jerusalem

Yirmiyahu’s Biography:

  • The meaning of his name is “Hashem will elevate”.
  • Born circumcised, to Chilkiya, also a prophet, in 640 B.C.E. about 2650 years ago, on Tisha B’Av in Anatot, 2 miles north of Jerusalem, in the land of Binyamin.
  • Was a Kohen and a descendant of Rachav, the Yericho (Jericho) innkeeper that Yehoshua saved.
  • Spoke at childhood, cursing the day he was born. Began prophesying at age 18, continuing for 40 years.
  • Lived in Jerusalem. He never married, and had no children.
  • Was the head of the Mishmeret Hakohanim (The Guard by the Priests doing work in the Holy Temple). They were the custodians of the Ark of the Lord.
  • Known as the Weeping Prophet, for he endured the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash. Symbolically, he wore a wooden yolk around his neck.
  • His prophecies took place before, during, and after the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple). Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon destroyed the Temple. He remained in Jerusalem after its destruction with Gedaliah ben Achikam, the man whom the fast of Gedaliah is named after. Shafan was his scribe. Shafan brought the scroll he found in the Beit HaMikdash to Yirmiyahu, which was originally written by Moses. It was open to the verse, "Hashem will bring you and your elected King to a nation unknown to your fathers." That scared people into changing their ways.
  • Was stoned to death after fleeing to Egypt, Alexandria.
  • Wrote 3 Books: His own, Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah); Eicha (Lamentations), read on Tisha B’Av; and Melachim (The Book of Kings). The time span of the book Jeremiah was 66 years.

Famous phrases: Jeremiah 31:1: “Ko amar, ko amar Hashem, matzah chain bamidbar “Thus said Hashem-This people that survived the sword found favor in the wilderness, as I lead Israel to its place of tranquility."

Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: At times it may seem that there is no justice in the world. We see - either in our personal lives or as a part of the Jewish religion - others taking advantage of us. However the prophet Jeremiah reassures us that the day will come, when our past enemies will pay restitution to us. We must remember that as Jews a fundamental principal that we should live by is, "midah kineged midah" or "measure for measure," and that one day Hashem will "settle the score" with our enemies. We can plainly see this today. After 2,000 years, we have Israel, our homeland, back. Another example is how the money that was stolen from the Jews during the years of the Holocaust will now be returned to them. Hashem is orchestrating these events; let's all stay close to Hashem so we can see the Grand Finale, together and up front.

Timeline: This story took place about 2600 years ago.


Map: Jeremiah’s prophecies took place in Jerusalem.

Written by: Reuben Gavriel Ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5770-2010