Haftorah of the Week

  1. There was a period in History when ancient Israel was under Roman rule.
  2. Strained relations along with suspicion of Jewish Revolt, led the Romans to pass severe laws aimed against their subjects. Among those laws was the prohibition of reading Torah in public.
  3. Roman Sentries were dispatched to Synagogues to ensure that their edicts were followed.
  4. The Jews, however, were both resourceful as well as creative. While the Torah was off limits, study of the Prophets was not. Our sages would choose a theme from the prophets that typically highlighted one of the messages of the Torah that would have been read (were it not for the Romans). This was intended solely as an emergency measure. It was known as the Haftorah. (Haftorah means completion in that once the edict was rescinded, the designated prophetic selection continued to be read as “completion” to the weekly Torah reading.)