Haftarah for Behar

Here is the message G-d gave Jeremiah in prison: Jeremiah's cousin Chanamel is coming to see him. He's going to ask Jeremiah to use his right of redemption to purchase a field of his in Anasos.

Sure enough, Chanamel showed up and asked Jeremiah as his close relative to purchase the field he was selling. Jeremiah knew this was G-d's will, so he bought the field from his cousin. He paid him and signed a bill of sale. Jeremiah took the deed and gave it to his student, the prophet Baruch. He charged Baruch in front of witnesses to take the deed, along with some other documents, and to put them in a clay jar so that they will last a long time. (The Dead Sea Scrolls were more or less preserved in pottery for almost 2,000 years, so you can see that works!) Jeremiah said in the name of G-d that the sale was not in vain because someday the Jews will return to the land of Israel and buy and sell property and build houses, as they did before their exile. (Jeremiah himself never took possession of the field; the transaction was symbolic of the Jews' ultimate return as a people.)

Jeremiah prayed when he gave Baruch the deed saying, "G-d, You made Heaven and Earth, and nothing is hidden from You. You perform acts of kindness to multitudes and punish those who persist in their ancestors' evil ways. G-d sees all the acts of mankind and pays each person accordingly. He performed miracles in Egypt that are still talked about today, bringing the Jewish people out with signs and wonders. G-d gave them the land of Israel and they possessed it, but they did not continue to follow His ways, so the Chaldeans are bringing their siege engines to take the land away from the Jews. The famine, plague and sword are already happening; G-d's word is coming to pass! And yet, G-d told Jeremiah to buy a field!"

G-d spoke again to Jeremiah saying, "Is anything hidden from Me?"

Excerpted from The OU's Nach Yomi