Reuben Ebrahimoff




The Haftorah for Parshat Vayikra

The Haftorah is read from the book of Yishayahu (Isaiah) 43:21-44:23

The Isaiah Scroll – Israel Museum

The connection of the Haftorah to the Parsha: The Parsha of Vayikra speaks of the procedures involved in performing Korbanot (sacrifices). This weeks Haftorah also speaks of Korbanot. In the Haftorah’s case Isaiah says that Hashem was aware that the same Jews that were performing sacrifices were  also worshipping idols. That’s called “Judaism Plus” which is not acceptable to Hashem.

Israeli Stamps Featuring quotes by Isaiah

The storyline of this week’s Haftorah: The purpose of the Jewish people is to honor Hashem.  Hashem is disappointed.  Instead of honoring Hashem, we insult Hashem with sacrifices that are not acceptable. Hashem promises to accept B’nai Yisrael’s Teshuvah (repentance). Hashem's prophet, Isaiah, restates that B’nai Yisrael deserves punishment. The Haftorah takes a turn for the better: Isaiah speaks on behalf of Hashem and promises us future blessings. Hashem declares he is "The one and only G-d and there is no other!" The Haftorah explains the absurdity of idol worshiping. The Prophet Isaiah encourages the Jews to do teshuvah. The Haftorah concludes with a declaration that Teshuvah will bring about the redemption of the Jewish People.

Seal of the King Hezekiah, who lived at the same time as Isaiah.

Yishayahu’s Biography:

  • The meaning of his name is “Salvation of G-d”.
  • Born circumcised in the year 765 B.C.E. (8th century) about 2760 years ago to his father Amoz, also a prophet. They belonged to a royal family who had access to the Bait Hamikdash.
  • Received his first vision at age 25, and was considered the greatest of all prophets after Moses. He claimed to have seen the throne of G-d. He predicted Israel’s demise. Yishayahu wrote his own lengthy (66 chapter) book.
  • Lived through the reigns of four different kings; Uzziah, Yotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah. Three other prophets were Yishayahu’s contemporaries: Hosea, Amos, and Micah.
  • Lived 120 years, having two children with his only wife.
  • Was killed by Menashe, the King of Judah. Yishayahu was hiding from Menashe, the King of Judah, in a tree, but as Menashe was passing by the tree, he spotted Yishayahu’s tzitzit hanging out of the tree. Menashe then cut clean through the tree, killing Yishayahu. Yishayahu was killed cut through his mouth as a midah kineged midah, measure for measure, for speaking lashon ha’ra about the nation of Israel.

Famous phrases: Isaiah 40:29, “Hanotain laya’ef koach”  “Who gives strength to the weary” This is the second to last of the Birchot Hashachar, morning blessings.

The Prophet Isaiah’s Tomb in Israel

Haftorahman's lesson of the week: From the Haftorah we can learn the Theory of Expand and Control.  During the Prophet Isaiah's time, the Jews thought they were "expanding" Judaism by adding idol worshipping and they failed to control their procedures when performing sacrifices. Today, we must notice, are we expanding the doing of mitzvoth that we should be doing and then are we controlling ourselves from things we should not be doing. This week's Spiritual Homework is to pick one mitzvah that you can expand on andincrease what you do. Extra Credit: Choose something you shouldn’t be doing and decrease it.

Map: Isaiah prophecies took place in Jerusalem and according to some whilethe Israelites were in the Babylonian exile.

Timeline: Isaiah’s prophetic period lasted about 45 years. Isaiah’s visions took place about 2750 years ago


Timeline is from Ephraim Waxman’s Book Dor L’dor published by Feldheim.


Written by: Reuben Gavriel Ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5770-2010