The “Haftorah’s of Consolation” are an ancient sage teaching that coincide with the 7 consecutive Shabbats that lead up to Yom Teruah / “Feast of Trumpets” (Leviticus 23:24), or also commonly called “Rosh Hashanah” in Judaism. The Haftorah’s are taken out of the book of Isaiah and are read along with the Torah portions from the book of Deuteronomy starting in Chapter 3:23 and ending in Chapter 30:20.
The following Haftorah portions are read in the following order in conjunction with that particular weekly Torah reading:
HAFTORAH READING TORAH READING SHABBAT
(Isaiah 1:1-27) Devarim (Shabbat Chazon)
1. Isaiah 40:1-26 Va’etchanan Deut. 3:23-7:11 (Shabbat Nachamu)
2. Isaiah 49:14-51:3 Ekev Deut. 7:12-11:25
3. Isaiah 54:11-55:5 Re’eh Deut. 11:26-16:17
4. Isaiah 51:12-52:12 Shoftim Deut. 16:18-21:9
5. Isaiah 54:1-10 Ki Tetze Deut. 21:10-25:19
6. Isaiah 60:1-22 Ki Tavo Deut. 26:1-29:8
7. Isaiah 61:10-63:9 Nitzavim Deut. 29:9-30:20 (Shabbat Shuva)
Contained in the Haftorah readings is a homiletic message. Taking the first verse out of each selected reading tells a story, or rather, a prophetic message.
The Homiletic message:
Haftorah’s of consolation: 1.Comfort ye comfort ye my people (Isa 40:1).2. But Zion said YHWH has forsaken me and YHWH has forgotten me (Isa 49:14). 3. O afflicted one, storm tossed and not comforted (Isa 54:11).4. I, even I am the one who comforts you (Isa 51:12).5. Sing, O barren, you who did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who did not labor with child (Isa 54:1). 6. Arise, shine for your light has come (Isa 60:1). 7. I will greatly rejoice in YHWH, my soul shall be joyful in my Elohim; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation… (Isa 61:10).
Along with the “Haftorah’s of Consolation”, there are three Shabbatot (plural for Sabbaths/Shabbats) that deserve special mention. These Shabbatot have special Torah readings which begin before, during, and after the “Haftorah’s of Consolation”. They are Shabbat Chazon (Sabbath of Vision), Shabbat Nachamu (Sabbath of Consolation/ Comforting), and Shabbat Shuvah (Sabbath of Return/ Repentance).
Shabbat Chazon refers to the prophet Isaiah’s vision of the destruction of the Holy Temple (Isaiah 1:1-27). The structure of the annual Torah reading cycle lines up this Haftorah reading with the Torah reading of Devarim (Deuteronomy) 1:1-3:22 which will occur on the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, a traditional fast day regarding the destruction of the Temple. This occurs one week prior to the seven weekly “Haftorah’s of Consolation” Sabbaths and is also referred to as the “Black Sabbath”, being the saddest Shabbat of the year. Shabbat Nachamu is the Sabbath that begins the first of the seven Haftorah’s following Shabbat Chazon and leading up to Yom Teruah (Rosh Hoshana). Isaiah 40:1-26 is read in which YHWH speaks words of comfort for His people. Shabbat Shuvah occurs between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur (occurs during the “Ten days of Awe/ repentance”) and precedes the last fall festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). This Sabbath is named after the first word of the Haftarah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means "Return!" (Shuva). It is a time of reflection leading up to Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement”. May we all be ready when Messiah returns!!!!
The Haftorah's of Consolation