Reuben Ebrahimoff




The Haftorahman for Parshat Tazria

The Haftorah is read from the book of Melachim Bet (Kings 2), 4: 42-44, 5:1-19

The connection of the Haftorah to the Parsha: The Parsha speaks of the laws concerning a Jew that has Tzara'at, Leprosy (not Hansen's disease) and how the Kohen, Priest, helps them. The second part of the Haftorah tells how the prophet Elisha cured Na'aman, an Aramean General of Tzara'at. 

The storyline of this week's Haftorah: A man from Ba'al Shalisha (lord of Shalisha), possibly a site about 12 miles SW of the city of Samaria, brought the prophet 100 loaves of bread. Elisha makes a blessing upon the food. Elisha's students are miraculously satiated with tiny portions of food. From only 100 portions of bread, Elisha performed a miracle that his 2200 students were satiated. A Jewish maid servant advises Na'aman, general of the Aramean (Syrian) army, to consult the prophet Elisha for a cure of Tzara'at. Na'aman prepares to travel to the Jewish king, Yehoram Ben Achav, in Eretz Yisrael. Elisha advises Na'aman to immerse himself into the Jordan River, a very simple task. After initially refusing, Na'aman follows Elisha's advice and is cured. Na'aman accepts Hashem's authority upon himself and wishes to reward Elisha; Elisha refuses his gift. Na'aman requests earth from Eretz Yisrael so that he may build an alter for Hashem in Aram-Syria.

Elisha's Biography:

  • The meaning of his name is "Hashem is salvation."
  • Lived about 2850 years ago in the town of Abel-Mehola in the Jordan Valley. Elisha came from a wealthy family, and was initially a farmer. 
  • Was the head teacher of the school called B’nai Haneviem, otherwise known as the “Sons of the Prophets.” He had 2200 students that he took responsibility to provide for and teach the skills of prophecy. 
  • Was Eliyahu (Elijah) Hanavi's disciple and successor. He traveled everywhere with him.  Elisha's own lengthy ministry began when Eliyahu was taken to heaven by a fiery chariot and a whirlwind. Just before a fiery chariot appeared that would carry Eliyahu up to heaven, he asked Elisha what he would like from him. Elisha replied "Let me inherit a double share of your spirit". Eliyahu, unable to guarantee that G-d would grant the blessing, gave Elisha a signal to know if the blessing would materialize: if his robe would drop down from the heavens. It did. Eliyahu performed eight miracles and one resurrection of the dead. His student, Elisha, performed sixteen miracles and two resurrections of the dead. They were:
    1. The Crossing of the Jordan.
    2. The Healing of the Waters of Jericho.
    3. Cursing Several Young Jeering Men.
    4. Filling ditches with water to win the battle.
    5. Multiplying a widow's oil.
    6. Promising a pregnancy.
    7. Raising the Shunamite's son from the dead.
    8. Rendering the poisonous stew harmless.
    9. Multiplying loaves of bread.
    10. Healing Na'aman's leprosy.
    11. Cursing Gaichazi with Leprosy.
    12. Making an iron ax head float.
    13. Blinding an Aramean army.
    14. Showing his servant an angelic army.
    15. & 16. Elisha resurrected two people.

Famous Phrases: Melachim II 13:21, “Vayeegah ha’ish b’atzmot Elisha, vayechi”.This verse tell us how it came to pass, as they were burying a man they spied a raiding party, so they cast the man into the tomb of Elisha. “And the dead man touched the bones of Elisha and he was revived, standing up on his feet”.  This teaches us “Gedolim Tzadikim bemitatam yotayr mibechayayhem” “The righteous are greater after death than in life" (Hullin 7b) In order to revive the dead in his lifetime, Elisha had to exert himself both in action and prayer (2 Kings 4:33-35), but after his death, his mere touch revived a man; thus, it tends to prove that the righteous are more powerful after death than when alive. 

Haftorahman’s lesson of the week: Many of us are very careful about avoiding speaking Lashon Hara. Did you know that if one would speak Lashon Hara in biblical times you would get a physical reminder and break out in a rash called Tzara'at, a type of leprosy?

Timeline: Elisha prophesied from 3043-3108 on the Hebrew Calendar, 2655-2720 years ago, or from 717-652 b.c.e.


Map: The Haftorah took place in Shomron an alternate name for the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Written by: Reuben Gavriel Ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5766-2006