Jerrold Landau
Genealogical and Translation Services

Haftarah of Bereishit

The Haftarah of Bereishit comes from Isaiah 42:5-43:10, although some communities end at 42:21. In this Haftarah, Gd describes His relationship with His faithful servant, the People of Israel. Gd has summoned the People of Israel, protected them, and set them as a light unto the nations. The people may have gone astray and therefore fallen victim to oppression, but Gd will ultimately deliver them from their troubles.

The theme of creation appears several times in this Haftarah. In the opening verse, Gd describes Himself as the “Creator of the heavens and the Founder of the earth, and the One who gives breath and spirit to all creatures of the world.” At the beginning of Chapter 43, Gd once again identifies Himself as the Creator of the People of Jacob and the Fashioner of Israel. The final verse states that nothing was created by any deity before Gd, and there will not be any creator after Him. The concept of Gd as the Creator is firmly established throughout the Haftarah of the Torah portion that focuses on the creation of the world.

The precise meaning of the creation story is the subject of much debate. Some believing Jews insist that the Torah account must be taken literally. Others treat the six days of creation as allegorical, claiming that the Torah is not meant to be regarded as a book of science. Many have noted that the first two chapters of Bereishit contain two versions of the creation story, which on the surface seem to contradict each other. However, both the literalists and the rationalists agree that the world has a Creator. Without the belief in an all-powerful Gd Who created the world, one diverges from the basic tenets of Jewish belief. One can discuss the details, but the concept of Gd as the Creator is beyond debate for the believing Jew. It is interesting to note that this Haftarah glosses over all details of creation, but stresses no less than three times that Gd is the Creator. As such, the Haftarah of Bereishit reinforces the most basic tenet of Jewish faith.

In years when Rosh Ḥodesh Marḥeshvan occurs on Sunday, the Haftarah of Bereishit is replaced with Maḥar Ḥodesh. This occurs in years when the preceding Rosh Hashanah fell out on Shabbat.


(See additional note on the Gender of Gd.)


Haftarah of Noaḥ

The Haftarah of Noaḥ comes from Isaiah 54:1-55:5, although some communities end at 54:10. This Haftarah is a combination of two smaller Haftarot that are read during the seven weeks of comfort between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashanah. The theme of this Haftarah is the comfort and restoration of Zion.

The connection to the Torah portion is from verse 9, which states: “This is to me like the waters of Noaḥ, for just as I have sworn never to bring the waters of Noaḥ again on the earth, I have sworn to not be angry or rebuke you.”  This refers to Gd’s oath through the symbol of the rainbow, promising to never bring another flood that would destroy all humanity. Our commentators wonder why Isaiah refers to the floodwaters as the “waters of Noaḥ.”  The response is that although Noaḥ was completely righteous in his own conduct, he did not spread the message of proper behaviour to others. This contrasts with both Abraham and Moses, who both argued with Gd when destruction was threatened. The commentators state that although Noaḥ was righteous in his generation, he would not have been considered such had he lived in Abraham’s time. Thus, in a sense, the floodwaters really do belong to Noaḥ, as he did nothing to prevent the flood. A truly righteous person must be concerned with the wellbeing of all mankind.

There is another connection between the Torah portion and the Haftarah that is deeper than the mention of Noaḥ. Noaḥ’s name means comfort, as is noted in Bereishit 5:29. The Haftarah refers to the comfort of Jerusalem after the destruction, whereas the story of the rainbow refers to the comfort of the entire world after the flood. With the flood from a global perspective, and with the destruction of the Temple from a Jewish perspective, Gd brings destruction, but then offers comfort and encouragement for better times to come.

If Rosh Ḥodesh Marḥeshvan occurs on Shabbat, the regular Haftarah is replaced with that of Shabbat Rosh Ḥodesh. This will occur in years where the preceding Rosh Hashanah fell out on Thursday.



Haftarah of Lech Lecha

The Haftarah of Lech Lecha comes from Isaiah 40:27-41:16. Incidentally, this section immediately follows the Haftarah of Shabbat Naḥamu, the Shabbat of comfort following Tisha B’Av. The Haftarah of Lech Lecha continues with the theme of comfort and encouragement that begins with the 40th chapter of Isaiah. Gd reminds the people that it is He who gives strength to the weary and might to the powerless, while He himself never tires. The nation is asked to recall that Gd created the world and selected Israel as His servant. Gd calls on the people not to fear, for He is with them even when it is not obvious.

The Torah portion marks the selection of Abraham and his descendants as the chosen people. Abraham is referred to twice in this Haftarah, once by name and once with a nickname. This forms the connection with the Torah reading. Israel is referred to as “My servant Jacob whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham who loved Me.”  Earlier on, the prophet asks, “Who was it that arose from the east, who would declare His righteousness with his steps?”  The one who arose from the east to the service of the one Gd is none other than Abraham, and the story of his response to the call of Gd forms the central theme of Lech Lecha.

It is interesting that the People of Israel are referred to as Jacob throughout this Haftarah. Jacob and Israel are different names for the same person. Even though Abraham is regarded as the first patriarch of the Jewish people, Jewish lineage only became established through his grandson Jacob. Both Abraham and Isaac had children who split off from the family tree that eventually became the Children of Israel. It took three generations of patriarchs to solidify the monotheistic message first proclaimed by Abraham in Lech Lecha. Even so, credit is due to the initiator and founder, and both the Torah reading and Haftarah recognize Abraham as the founder of the Jewish monotheistic path.



Haftarah of Vayeira

The Haftarah of Vayeira comes from II Kings 4:1-37, although some communities end at verse 23. This Haftarah consists of two incidents in the life of the prophet Elisha that point to his miraculous healing powers. A poor widow with only one jug of oil in her home was told to borrow vessels, and pour oil from the single jug into the empty vessels. All the vessels filled with oil. The second, longer story, introduces us to a wealthy woman from Shunem who provided Elisha with a place to stay during his visits to that city. That woman was barren, and Elisha promised that she would have a son. The promise comes true, but the son later dies of heatstroke while working in the fields with his elderly father. Elisha is summoned. He visits the dead child, places his body over the child’s body to warm it, and the child is revived.

The theme of an elderly, childless couple being granted a child through the word of Gd parallels the story of the birth of Isaac in Vayeira. The theme of the death and resurrection of the child also forms a parallel with the near sacrifice of Isaac. Although Isaac did not die, he certainly came pretty close. The latter parallel is incomplete for another reason. The sacrifice of Isaac was to take place through the hands of his father, whereas the death of the son of the Shunammite woman took place through an illness. Perhaps the incomplete parallel is the reason why some communities conclude the Haftarah before the actual resurrection of the child.

The stories of Elijah and his disciple Elisha are marked by many miraculous incidents, including providing food to the poor, control over nature, and the resurrection of the dead. Unlike the major Torah miracles of the Exodus from Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the giving of the Torah, these miracles seems to be more of a personal nature, and are not fundamental to Jewish belief. One might question why these two prophets in particular are portrayed as miracle healers. The period of the wicked kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, was one of the most frustrating and challenging periods of Biblical history. The worship of the true Gd was forbidden, and idolatry was promoted as the state religion. Perhaps these miracles enacted by the great prophets at this difficult time were meant to instill a sense of hope and belief into a spiritually distraught and downtrodden populace.



Haftarah of Ḥayei Sarah

The Haftarah of Ḥayei Sarah comes from I Kings, 1:1-31. King David is now old and weak. His son Adonijah takes advantage of the situation to proclaim himself as king. David’s faithful army chief Joab and most of the king’s children join the celebration. Nathan the Prophet reports the situation to Bathsheba, whose son Solomon was designated by David as the future king. Nathan then informs the ailing king about the revolution, and Bathsheba arrives to support Nathan’s words. The Haftarah concludes with King David taking an oath that Bathsheba’s son Solomon will succeed him. In the following chapter, King David orders Nathan to anoint Solomon. The attempted revolution is stopped, and Solomon indeed becomes King David’s successor.

Adonijah is not the first of King David’s children to attempt to usurp the monarchy. Several chapters of II Samuel are devoted to the revolution of Absalom. Following King David’s sin with Bathsheba, Nathan the Prophet predicted that King David would no longer enjoy peace in his own household. This prediction was fulfilled through the story of Amnon and Tamar, the revolution of Absalom, and now through the revolution of Adonijah. Although in this Haftarah King David is described as “very old”, he is reported as being 70 when he died. The trials of kingship and the challenges within his own family had prematurely aged him. Despite the downfalls, trials, and battles that marked King David’s life, he remains the founder of the Jewish royal and messianic line.

The participation of Joab in this revolution is curious. David’s nephew Joab had been with him since the earliest days, and served as the army captain throughout the entire period of the kingship, including the difficult period of the revolution of Absalom. Yet Joab’s impetuous nature, killing the king’s former enemies even after peace had been made, was always a sore point with the king. The king never forgave Joab for the killing of King Saul’s commander-in-chief Abner, as well as Absalom’s commander-in-chief Amasa. He needed Joab to conduct his battles, so was not able to deal with him during his lifetime. Joab feared, correctly as it turned out, that the king’s successor would be given orders to do away with him. Therefore, toward the end of David’s life, Joab felt it prudent to support the usurper to save his own skin.

Both the Torah reading and Haftarah deal with the ensuring of continuity and legacy. In the Torah reading, Abraham ensures the continuation of his spiritual revolution by asking his servant to find an appropriate wife for Isaac. Isaac had just gone through the near-death experience of the Akeida, and Abraham realized that if his son remains without a wife and children, the entire spiritual foundation that he had built might collapse. In the Haftarah, the continuation of the Davidic dynasty is ensured by guaranteeing the kingship of David’s chosen successor.



Haftarah of Toldot

The Haftarah of Toldot comes from Malachi 1:1-2:7. Malachi is the final book of the 12 Minor Prophets (Trei Asar), and the last prophet of the prophetic era. Malachi is one of the three prophets who were active at the beginning of the Second Temple period. No biographical information is given in the opening statement. It is unclear whether Malachi is the personal name of the prophet, or a generic term for “My messenger,” which is the literal translation of the name. Some commentators have identified Malachi with Ezra.

This Haftarah contains a series of complaints against the Jewish people for not fulfilling their duties. In this aspect, Malachi follows many of the preceding prophets. The first chapter focuses on the sins of the people in general, whereas the second chapter focuses on the sins of the Priests. In a graphic statement, Gd threatens to spread the dung of the festive sacrifices on the faces of the sinful people. Malachi does not imply that the sacrifices are worthless, but rather that they lose their meaning when not accompanied with a true spirit of righteousness. The Haftarah ends with an uplifting note: “For the lips of the Priest guard wisdom, and teaching should be requested from his mouth, as he is a messenger of the Lrd of Hosts.”

The connection with the Torah portion is incidental, coming from the second and third verses. In describing his love of Israel, Malachi quotes Gd as saying, “Esau was a brother to Jacob, but I loved Jacob and hated Esau.” Malachi then extends Gd’s hatred of Esau to a hatred of nation of Edom in general.

Despite its harshness, this Haftarah can be regarded as a plea by the final prophet of the Tanach for the Jewish people to continue in their faith of Gd. This theme can also be seen in the Haftarah of Shabbat HaGadol, which is the other Haftarah taken from this brief, three-chapter book. In that Haftarah, Malachi exhorts the people to “Remember the Torah of Moses.”

On years when Shabbat Toldot falls on the eve of Rosh Ḥodesh Kislev, the regular Haftarah is replaced with Maḥar Ḥodesh.



Haftarah of Vayeitzei

The Haftarah of Vayeitzei is from Hosea 12:13-14:10. Some customs begin at 11:7, and have varying endpoints. The overlap of all customs is the first two verses of the standard Haftarah, 12:13-14. In those verses, Hosea reminds the Jewish people that their forefather Jacob fled to the field of Aram, where he toiled for a wife. This is followed by a historical reminder that Gd took the Children of Israel out of Egypt through a prophet (Moses), who tended to them. The reference to Jacob’s escape to the house of Laban forms the connection to the Torah portion.

The theme of the latter chapters of Hosea is a rebuke of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in its current sinful state. The Northern Kingdom is signified by Ephraim, who “continues to sin, and has formed molten images out of silver.”  The other version of the Haftarah, which begins with “My people are unsure about returning to Me,” also includes words of rebuke directed to the Kingdom of Judea. The southern Kingdom of Judea tended to be less idolatrous than the Northern Kingdom, but also suffered from many lapses throughout its history.

The Haftarah ends with the famous call to repentance, which forms the opening portion of the Haftarah of Shabbat Shuva. A call to repentance may seem out of place at this time of year, approximately two months after Yom Kippur. However, one can find significance in a call for a return to the source even in the context of Vayeitzei. At the beginning of Vayeitzei, Jacob had his famous dream of the angels going up and down the ladder stretching to Heaven. Toward the end of Vayeitzei, when Jacob discusses with his wives the need to escape from the house of Laban, Jacob describes another dream. This second dream is about speckled and spotted sheep. At the outset of his journey, Jacob’s dreams were spiritual in nature. Later, after struggling for a livelihood in the home of his father-in-law, surviving Laban’s trickery, and raising a large family, Jacob’s dreams turned to mundane issues of livelihood. Under the circumstances this is quite understandable, for it is common to experience a lessening of one’s lofty visions as one engages in the struggles of life. Given this reality, the call of “Return, oh Israel, to the Lrd your Gd” is always relevant.



Haftarah of Vayishlaḥ

The Haftarah of Vayishlaḥ consists of the entire Book of Obadiah, which, at one chapter, is the shortest book of the entire Tanach. The Torah portion deals with the confrontation of Jacob and Esau. This personal conflict serves as the model for the eternal struggle between the descendants of the two brothers. This struggle plays itself out throughout history and will only be resolved at the End of Days. Obadiah foresees the ultimate defeat of Esau. “The House of Jacob will be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau will be like straw, which will be kindled and consumed.”  The Haftarah concludes with a verse that is recited daily during our morning prayers: “And saviors will ascend Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esau, and the kingdom will be Gd’s.” This verse is of the Kingship verses in Musaf of Rosh Hashanah.

Since Esau and Jacob were twins, it seems that this conflict was predestined to define the course of human history. Jewish tradition has regarded Esau as morphing from the people of Edom to the Roman Empire, and finally to the Christian church. The 2,000-year exile that began with the destruction of the Second Temple is known as the exile of Rome. In the modern age, we might ask how is it that this eternal conflict is defined as a conflict between Judaism and Christianity. What aspect of Christianity defines the conflict?  Is it the Christianity that is predominant today, where the Popes of recent decades have come to regard the Jews as their “Elder brothers”, and recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish belief system? Or is it the Christianity prevalent in past centuries, that defined itself by a supersessionist attitude to Judaism that was often expressed through inquisitions, blood libels, forced conversions, expulsions, and pogroms?  If the latter, can this conflict be regarded as a conflict between Judaism and religious extremists of all stripes who set their goal as the destruction of the Jewish people and the Jewish belief system? The answer is quite possibly -- yes. That is exactly what our tradition has done with the concept of Amalek (see Haftarah of Shabbat Zachor). We have turned the eternal conflict between the Jewish People and the nation of Amalek into a conflict between the Jewish People and the forces of evil in the world. We have no problem with identifying the Nazis as being Amalek, even without a genealogical connection. In the current stage of history, one can wonder whether the more radical streams of Islam warrant a theological connection with Amalek.

Although the book provides no biographical identification of Obadiah, tradition states that the prophet is the same person as the Obadiahu who is mentioned in Kings I 18:3-7 as the chief of staff of the household of King Ahab, and who “feared Gd greatly.” (See Haftarah of Ki Tisa.)  Ahab was the most idolatrous of all the wicked kings of the Northern Kingdom. Obadiahu lived in constant fear of his master Ahab, keeping his religious convictions secret. Yet he was still able to retain his vision of the Jewish future, and look toward the End of Days when the belief in the Torah and the Gd of Israel would find its ultimate affirmation.


(See additional note: Verses of Rosh Hashanah Musaf)



Haftarah of Vayeishev

The Haftarah of Vayeishev comes from Amos 2:6-3:8. The prophet states that Gd will forgive Israel for three sins, but cannot forgive the fourth. The fourth sin is that they sold an unfortunate, righteous person for the price of a pair of shoes. Our tradition identifies this with the sale of Joseph by his brothers, forming the connection to the Torah portion. The Eileh Ezkerah [These do I remember] hymn of Musaf of Yom Kippur, which describes the deaths of the Ten Martyrs of the Roman Government, is based on this verse. The author of the hymn has the Roman ruler attributing the guilt of the martyrs to the fact that their ancestors sold their brother for a pair of shoes. The hymn makes use of literary license, as the ten martyrs listed did not live in the same generation. It bases its allegory on the rabbinic interpretation of the verse of Amos.

Amos’ castigation of Israel’s sins follows a series of castigations of other nations, including Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Amon, Moab, and Judea. Amos outlines a single sin of each nation and specifies a punishment. The castigation and punishment of Israel are described in greater detail than that of any of the other nations. This section of Amos is analogous to much longer sections of both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, both of which have several chapters outlining the downfall of the nations surrounding Israel. The Haftarot of Va’eira and Bo, the Torah portions that portray the Ten Plagues, come from the chapters of Ezekiel and Jeremiah dealing with the downfall of Egypt.

Chapter 3 opens with a reminder that Gd took the Children of Israel out of Egypt, and selected them from all the nations of the world. Therefore, Gd holds Israel accountable for its sins. Just as a shofar call causes people to tremble and a lion’s roar causes people to fear, the voice of Gd inspires prophecy and will always be fulfilled. Toward the end of the short book of Amos, in the Haftarah of Aḥarei Mot, we find allusions to the final redemption. Like all other prophets who predict punishment for the Children of Israel, the ultimate restoration is also promised.

If the first or second day of Ḥanukah falls on Shabbat, Vayeishev will be Shabbat Ḥanukah. In such years, the regular Haftarah of Vayeishev is replaced by the Haftarah of Shabbat Ḥanukah.



Haftarah of Mikeitz

The Haftarah of Mikeitz comes from I Kings 3:15-4:1. It deals with the famous story from the beginning of the rule of King Solomon, after his request for wisdom had been fulfilled. Two women come to the king for judgment, one with a live child and the other with a dead child. The women had been sleeping in the same bed, and one child was crushed during the night. Each woman claims that the live child belongs to her, and that the dead child belongs to the other woman. The king orders that the live child be divided into two, to be split between the two women. One woman accepts the judgment, and the other is willing to give up the child to prevent the killing. The king then announces that the mother who truly cared for the life of the child was indeed the true mother. King Solomon’s reputation as a wise king then spreads throughout the land, and his kingdom is firmly established.

In the Torah reading, we read of the wisdom of Joseph, who interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and is then appointed as viceroy. The Torah portion and Haftarah demonstrate the keen insights that both Joseph and King Solomon had into human emotions. Both utilize their understanding of human psychology to achieve their desired goals. In the Haftarah, the results were immediate, whereas in the Torah portion, the entire episode was protracted, with the results not being seen until the following Torah portion, Vayigash. The result of the story of Joseph is a reuniting and reconciling of the family unit, and the result of the story of King Solomon is that the correct mother was reunited with her child. The methodologies utilized, although somewhat unconventional, proved to be successful in both cases.

Some treat this story as symbolic of the entire nation of Israel. King Solomon knew very well that cutting up a baby was not a practical or moral solution. He proposed that solution solely to drive home a lesson to the two women. Similarly, the Jewish people is one integrated unit, and any attempt to divide them is improper and ultimately bound to failure. If one limb of the body is afflicted, the entire body suffers.

There are two additional, incidental connections between the Torah reading and Haftarah. Both begin with reference to a dream. The Torah reading opens with Pharaoh's dreams, and the Haftarah begins with "And Solomon woke up, and behold, it was a dream." Both also use a rare term for entering into a state of heated emotions. Joseph's mercy becomes heated as he sees his brother Benjamin, and he felt the need to weep. In the Haftarah, the true mother's mercy becomes heated as she hears King Solomon's verdict, and she requests that the child be given to the other mother.

Parashat Mikeitz is Shabbat Ḥanukah in 90% of years. Only in years when the first day of Ḥanukah is a Friday will Shabbat Mikeitz fall out after Ḥanukah. This makes the Haftarah of Mikeitz one of the rarest of all Haftarot, being read approximately once in ten years.


Haftarah of Vayigash

The Haftarah of Vayigash comes from Ezekiel 37:15-28, immediately following the vision of the dry bones that is read on Shabbat Ḥol HaMoed Pesaḥ. Ezekiel is asked by Gd to take two sticks of wood. On one he is to write “Judea and the house of Israel his companions,” and on the second he is to write “Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and the house of Israel his companions.”  These two sticks are to be brought together as a symbol of the reunification of the Kingdoms of Judea and Israel. The Haftarah makes it clear that the leader of the united nation will be a descendent of David. David is mentioned twice as the leader, emphasizing that the schism has ended, and the original ruling dynasty remains in place. Good things are promised to the reunited kingdom. The entire world will recognize that Gd has made Israel holy and placed His Temple in their midst.

In Vayigash, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, and the long-standing conflict is seemingly resolved. However, echoes of the conflict continue throughout the lifetime of the brothers, as can be seen toward the end of Vayeḥi, where the brothers fear that Joseph will take revenge for their former misdeeds. The Biblical conflict of Joseph and his brothers foreshadows the future division of the nation between the Kingdom of Judea and the Kingdom of Israel after the death of King Solomon. This division seemingly never resolves. The Kingdom of Israel is destroyed, and its inhabitants are taken into exile, never to return. Our tradition states that, at the End of Days, there will be a Messiah from the Tribe of Joseph who will begin the process of redemption, but will die in battle. The redemption will be completed by the Messiah who is descended from David.

In recent times, people who claim lineage from the Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh have been discovered in the eastern regions of India along the Burmese border. These people still maintain traces of Jewish customs. Some members of these tribes have now come to Israel and rejoined the Jewish people. A fulfilment of those prophecies that predict the ultimate return of the lost tribes no longer sounds as far-fetched as it would have to our ancestors of centuries past. As we read about the original schism of the sons of Jacob, and contemplate the fact that this schism has persisted throughout history, we can look forward to the fulfilment of the prophecy of this Haftarah where true Jewish unity will finally be achieved during the Messianic era.



Haftarah of Vayeḥi

The Haftarah of Vayechi is taken from I Kings 2:1-12. This Haftarah records King David’s final words to his son Solomon. King David instructs his son to observe all the laws of Gd as written in the Torah, so that Gd’s promise that the kingdom shall never depart from his family will be fulfilled.

Following the words of encouragement, King David tells his son about some scores that are to be settled. He reminds Solomon about the misdeeds of his military captain and nephew Joab, and instructs him to ensure that he not be allowed to live out a full lifespan. The same charge is given regarding Shimei the son of Gera, who cursed King David as he was fleeing from his son Absalom. On the other hand, Solomon is ordered to show kindness to the children of Barzilai, who helped the king as he was fleeing from Absalom.

These words of vengeance at the very end of King David’s life seem disturbing. King David is trying to ensure his son’s success as a king, even if it involves removing those who might be a threat to his kingdom. King David led a very difficult life, with several of his children either dying due to internecine rivalries, or revolting against their father. This lack of calm in King David’s family life was a result of his sin with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Gd forgave his sin, but warned the king that trouble will arise from his own household. The dying king is hoping that his son will enjoy a calmer and more peaceful tenure as king of Israel. Perhaps implicitly, King David is giving his son Solomon a veiled warning to avoid the misdeeds of his father. In the next several chapters of I Kings, we find that King Solomon not only settles all these scores, even adding a few others to the list, such as his brother Adonijah and Eviatar the Priest. Adonijah tried to usurp the kingdom from his father at the very end of his life (see the previous chapter, which is the Haftarah of Ḥayei Sarah). Eviatar, who had been faithful to King David since the early days, had joined the uprising of Absalom. Neither are spared by King Solomon. Adonijah is killed, and Eviatar is exiled.

At the end of the Haftarah, we are told that King David died after having served as king for 40 years. Solomon takes over. In the Torah reading, we read about the last words of Jacob and his charge to his sons. The analogy to the Haftarah is clear. The Torah reading and Haftarah both mark the passing of a legacy from father to son, and both mark the end of an era of Jewish history. King David lived a difficult life, with many challenges in establishing his kingdom, fighting his enemies, and dealing with troubles in his own family. Yet he remains etched in Jewish consciousness as the true founder of the royal dynasty, and as the poet laureate of our people through his authorship of the book of Psalms. David’s death is recorded in the Haftarah of Vayeḥi, but the song “David Melech Yisrael Ḥay Vekayam” [David the King of Israel Lives and Exists] remains on our lips from generation to generation.


© 2019 by Jerrold Landau


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