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Haftarah Parashat Va-yishlach

Haftarah Parashat Va-yishlach

Obadiah 1:1- 21

11:7 וְעַמִּ֥י תְלוּאִ֖ים לִמְשֽׁוּבָתִ֑י וְאֶל־עַל֙ יִקְרָאֻ֔הוּ יַ֖חַד לֹ֥א יְרוֹמֵם׃

11:8 אֵ֞יךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ֣ אֶפְרַ֗יִם אֲמַגֶּנְךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵ֚יךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ֣ כְאַדְמָ֔ה אֲשִֽׂימְךָ֖ כִּצְבֹאיִ֑ם נֶהְפַּ֤ךְ עָלַי֙ לִבִּ֔י יַ֖חַד נִכְמְר֥וּ נִחוּמָֽי׃

11:9 לֹ֤א אֶֽעֱשֶׂה֙ חֲר֣וֹן אַפִּ֔י לֹ֥א אָשׁ֖וּב לְשַׁחֵ֣ת אֶפְרָ֑יִם כִּ֣י אֵ֤ל אָֽנֹכִי֙ וְלֹא־אִ֔ישׁ בְּקִרְבְּךָ֣ קָד֔וֹשׁ וְלֹ֥א אָב֖וֹא בְּעִֽיר׃

11:10 אַחֲרֵ֧י יְהוָ֛ה יֵלְכ֖וּ כְּאַרְיֵ֣ה יִשְׁאָ֑ג כִּֽי־ה֣וּא יִשְׁאַ֔ג וְיֶחֶרְד֥וּ בָנִ֖ים מִיָּֽם׃

11:11 יֶחֶרְד֤וּ כְצִפּוֹר֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וּכְיוֹנָ֖ה מֵאֶ֣רֶץ אַשּׁ֑וּר וְהוֹשַׁבְתִּ֥ים עַל־בָּתֵּיהֶ֖ם נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה׃

12:1 סְבָבֻ֤נִי בְכַ֙חַשׁ֙ אֶפְרַ֔יִם וּבְמִרְמָ֖ה בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וִֽיהוּדָ֗ה עֹ֥ד רָד֙ עִם־אֵ֔ל וְעִם־קְדוֹשִׁ֖ים נֶאֱמָֽן׃

12:2 אֶפְרַ֜יִם רֹעֶ֥ה ר֙וּחַ֙ וְרֹדֵ֣ף קָדִ֔ים כָּל־הַיּ֕וֹם כָּזָ֥ב וָשֹׁ֖ד יַרְבֶּ֑ה וּבְרִית֙ עִם־אַשּׁ֣וּר יִכְרֹ֔תוּ וְשֶׁ֖מֶן לְמִצְרַ֥יִם יוּבָֽל׃

12:3 וְרִ֥יב לַֽיהוָ֖ה עִם־יְהוּדָ֑ה וְלִפְקֹ֤ד עַֽל־יַעֲקֹב֙ כִּדְרָכָ֔יו כְּמַעֲלָלָ֖יו יָשִׁ֥יב לֽוֹ׃

12:4 בַּבֶּ֖טֶן עָקַ֣ב אֶת־אָחִ֑יו וּבְאוֹנ֖וֹ שָׂרָ֥ה אֶת־אֱלֹהִֽים׃

12:5 וָיָּ֤שַׂר אֶל־מַלְאָךְ֙ וַיֻּכָ֔ל בָּכָ֖ה וַיִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֑וֹ בֵּֽית־אֵל֙ יִמְצָאֶ֔נּוּ וְשָׁ֖ם יְדַבֵּ֥ר עִמָּֽנוּ׃

12:6 וַֽיהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַצְּבָא֑וֹת יְהוָ֖ה זִכְרֽוֹ׃

12:7 וְאַתָּ֖ה בֵּאלֹהֶ֣יךָ תָשׁ֑וּב חֶ֤סֶד וּמִשְׁפָּט֙ שְׁמֹ֔ר וְקַוֵּ֥ה אֶל־אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ תָּמִֽיד׃

12:8 כְּנַ֗עַן בְּיָד֛וֹ מֹאזְנֵ֥י מִרְמָ֖ה לַעֲשֹׁ֥ק אָהֵֽב׃

12:9 וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶפְרַ֔יִם אַ֣ךְ עָשַׁ֔רְתִּי מָצָ֥אתִי א֖וֹן לִ֑י כָּל־יְגִיעַ֕י לֹ֥א יִמְצְאוּ־לִ֖י עָו‍ֹ֥ן אֲשֶׁר־חֵֽטְא׃

12:10 וְאָנֹכִ֛י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם עֹ֛ד אוֹשִֽׁיבְךָ֥ בָאֳהָלִ֖ים כִּימֵ֥י מוֹעֵֽד׃

12:11 וְדִבַּ֙רְתִּי֙ עַל־הַנְּבִיאִ֔ים וְאָנֹכִ֖י חָז֣וֹן הִרְבֵּ֑יתִי וּבְיַ֥ד הַנְּבִיאִ֖ים אֲדַמֶּֽה׃

12:12 אִם־גִּלְעָ֥ד אָ֙וֶן֙ אַךְ־שָׁ֣וְא הָי֔וּ בַּגִּלְגָּ֖ל שְׁוָרִ֣ים זִבֵּ֑חוּ גַּ֤ם מִזְבְּחוֹתָם֙ כְּגַלִּ֔ים עַ֖ל תַּלְמֵ֥י שָׂדָֽי׃

The commentary about the connection between the Haftarah and Torah reading was written by

1. Sending gifts to Esau
2. Struggling with God and receiving the name of Israel
3. Meeting with Esau
4. Rape of Dina and the slaughter in Shechem
5. Renewal of the blessing at Beth-el
6. Death of Isaac and his burial by Jacob and Esau
7. Lineage of Jacob and Esau

Hosea lived during the reign of Jeroboam II—a period of prosperity, moral turpitude and idol worship—and prophesied the conquest of the kingdom by Assyria. In his prophesies he beseeches the nation to return to God, and warns of punishment if they refuse:
"The Lord once had a controversy with Judah, and punished Jacob for his conduct; He requited him for his deeds " (Hosea 12:3).
The prophet reminds the people of Jacob's courage, which is described in the parasha: "…by his strength he strove with a divine being; he strove with an angel and prevailed; the other wept and begged him. At Beth-el he would find him and would commune with him" (Hosea 12:4-5).
In this parasha Jacob once again visits Beth-el, where he had dreamt his dream and received God's blessing: "I am the Lord God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the ground upon which you lie, I will give to you and to your seed; Your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth: you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. And in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 28:13-14).
This time, too, God repeats his blessing: "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; you shall become a nation, yea, an assembly of nations, and kings shall issue forth from your loins. The land which I gave unto Abraham and Isaac, to you I will give it, and to your seed after you will I give the land" (Genesis 35:11-12).
Hosea implores the people: "Return to your God; keep mercy and justice, and constantly trust in your God" (Hosea 12:7). Only then will He "yet again have you dwell in tents, as in days of old" (Hosea 12:10)—the people will be restored to the simple life, and God will dwell among them, as he did in ancient times.

Rinah Sheleff

Rinah Sheleff is a retired lecturer in Bible Studies at the Kibbutzim College of Education, Tel Aviv.  She specialized in teaching methodologies that incorporate the creative arts as a way of emotionally connecting students with the human dilemmas inherent in Bible stories. Rinah is also a professional storyteller and a movement instructor.  Currently she is working with a team of storytellers on a project designed to make Talmudic and Hassidic  stories accessible to the public at large. She is a founding member of a women's Rosh Hodesh group that has been meeting for over 20 years, and was also active in creating the Tali School in Hod HaSharon. And she loves Susie Dvoskin.

Recorded by
Liat Shapiro

I was born in Washington D.C. in 2000. I grew up in Congregation Adat Israel, an egalitarian Conservative synagogue where I learned to read Torah and Haftarah. My love of Judaism was nurtured in the Jewish community school I attended. I celebrated my bat mitzvah at age 12 in my congregation, after studying with a private teacher, our rabbi, and my father. I served as the shlichat tzibur (cantor), read the entire portion of the week (Korach), and delivered a sermon. Today I live in Israel and am continuing my Jewish education in a pluralistic school and at Camp Ramah. Susie Dvoskin taught me how to prepare youngsters for their bar/bat mitzvahs. I am active in my congregation (Hod v'Hadar), and read Torah on a regular basis.

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