Fifth haftarah of consolation

Rabbi Jan Uhrbach
Ki Tetzei By :  Jan Uhrbach Acting Dean of the Rabbinical and Cantorial Schools Posted On Aug 24, 2018 / 5778 | The Voice of the Prophet

Notein some years, including 5778, when Rosh Hodesh Ellul falls on Shabbat Re’eh, many Ashkenazi congregations read the haftarah for Re’eh (the thrd haftarah of consolation) together with this week’s haftarah.

This fifth haftarah of comfort describes a process of reconciliation. Now on the other side of the abyss, God’s anger and “hiding of the face” can be seen in retrospect as temporary, even momentary, and confidence on the reliability of love and kindness can be restored. Central to this healing is the assurance that the people will no longer feel shame or disgrace. Meaningful reconciliation and healing cannot happen while deep feelings of humiliation remain unaddressed; trust cannot be rebuilt on a foundation of shame.

Food for thought:

  • How have shame and humiliation hurt your relationships with people you care about?
  • What would it take to address that shame and heal?
  • What roles do shame and humiliation play in national and international conflicts?
  • What can you do to bring more dignity and respect into public discourse?

Listen to the haftarah brought to life as it is declaimed in English by renowned actor Ronald Guttman by subscribing to The Voice of the Prophet podcast.

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