Community Development
 

Haftarah for Va-yikra

Isaiah 43:21 - 44:23

This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh

21 The people I formed for Myself
That they might declare my praise.

22 But you have not worshiped Me, O Jacob,
That you should be weary of Me, O Israel.
23 You have not brought Me your sheep for burnt offerings,
Nor honored Me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with meal offerings,
Nor wearied you about frankincense.
24 You have not bought Me fragrant reed with money,
Nor sated Me with the fat of your sacrifices.
Instead, you have burdened Me with your sins,
You have wearied Me with your iniquities.
25 It is I, I who — for My own sake —
Wipe your transgressions away
And remember your sins no more.
26 Help me remember!
Let us join in argument,
Tell your version,
That you may be vindicated.
27 Your earliest ancestor sinned,
And your spokesmen transgressed against Me.
28 So I profaned the holy princes;
I abandoned Jacob to proscription
And Israel to mockery.

Chapter 44

1 But hear, now, O Jacob My servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus said the Lord, your Maker,
Your Creator who has helped you since birth:
Fear not, My servant Jacob,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen,
3 Even as I pour water on thirsty soil,
And rain upon dry ground,
So will I pour My spirit on your offspring,
My blessing upon your posterity.
4 And they shall sprout like grass,
Like willows by watercourses.
5 One shall say, "I am the Lord's,"
Another shall use the name of "Jacob,"
Another shall mark his arm "of the Lord"
And adopt the name of "Israel."

6 Thus said the Lord, the King of Israel,
Their Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts:
I am the first and I am the last,
And there is no god but Me.
7 Who like Me can announce,
Can foretell it — and match Me thereby?
Even as I told the future to an ancient people,
So let him foretell coming events to them.
8 Do not be frightened, do not be shaken!
Have I not from of old predicted to you?
I foretold, and you are My witnesses.
Is there any god, then, but Me?
"There is no other rock; I know none!"

9 The makers of idols
All work to no purpose;
And the things they treasure
Can do no good,
As they themselves can testify.
They neither look nor think,
And so they shall be shamed.

10 Who would fashion a god
Or cast a statue
That can do no good?
11 Lo, all its adherents shall be shamed;
They are craftsmen, are merely human.
Let them all assemble and stand up!
They shall be cowed, and they shall be shamed.

12 The craftsman in iron, with his tools,
Works it over charcoal
And fashions it by hammering,
Working with the strength of his arm.
Should he go hungry, his strength would ebb;
Should he drink no water, he would grow faint.

13 The craftsman in wood measures with a line
And marks out a shape with a stylus;
He forms it with scraping tools,
Marking it out with a compass.
He gives it a human form,
The beauty of a man, to dwell in a shrine.
14 For his use he cuts down cedars;
He chooses plane trees and oaks.
He sets aside trees of the forest;
Or plants firs, and the rain makes them grow.
15 All this serves man for fuel:
He takes some to warm himself,
And he builds a fire and bakes bread.
He also makes a god of it and worships it,
Fashions an idol and bows down to it!
16 Part of it he burns in a fire:
On that part he roasts meat,
He eats the roast and is sated;
He also warms himself and cries, "Ah,
I am warm! I can feel the heat!"
17 Of the rest he makes a god — his own carving!
He bows down to it, worships it;
He prays to it and cries,
"Save me, for you are my god!"

18 They have no wit or judgment:
Their eyes are besmeared, and they see not;
Their minds, and they cannot think.
19 They do not give thought,
They lack the wit and judgment to say:
"Part of it I burned in a fire;
I also baked bread on the coals,
I roasted meat and ate it —
Should I make the rest an abhorrence?
Should I bow to a block of wood?"
20 He pursues ashes!
A deluded mind has led him astray,
And he cannot save himself;
He never says to himself,
"The thing in my hand is a fraud!"

21 Remember these things, O Jacob
For you, O Israel, are My servant:
I fashioned you, you are My servant —
O Israel, never forget Me.
22 I wipe away your sins like a cloud,
Your transgressions like mist —
Come back to Me, for I redeem you.

23 Shout, O heavens, for the Lord has acted;
Shout aloud, O depths of the earth!
Shout for joy, O mountains,
O forests with all your trees!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
Has glorified Himself through Israel.

Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright ©1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society. No part of this text can be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.
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