Haftarah for Tzav

G-d says He won't accept sacrifices of the nation so they might as well just enjoy the meat! People weren't commanded to give sacrifices, they were commanded to obey G-d. The former without the latter is meaningless. Since the people refused to listen to G-d, they were moving backwards, not forwards.

Ever since they left Egypt, G-d continuously sent the people prophets with His message, but they didn't listen and they became increasingly more obstinate. It's reached the point that G-d tells Jeremiah up front that the people simply won't listen to him. Jeremiah is to tell the people that they are the nation that wouldn't listen to G-d or allow themselves to be corrected. They don't have truth in their mouths, and certainly not in their hearts! Tear out your hair in grief because G-d has rejected this generation! The people of Judah have polluted the Temple with idolatry and they built altars to pass their children through fire - this is the service of the idol Molech; G-d hates the practice!

Days are coming, G-d says, when the Valley of Tofes will be called "The Valley of Slaughter" because of all the people who will be killed there; they will also be buried there because they will run out of grave space in the usual places. The carcasses of the fallen will be food for the animals and birds, with no one to scare the scavengers away. The sound of rejoicing will cease to be heard in Judah and Jerusalem - neither bride nor groom - because the land will be desolate.

Chapter 8

When G-d makes the wicked pay, they will exhume the bones of the kings, idolatrous priests and false prophets in order to make them pay posthumously. Their bones will be spread out under the heavenly bodies that they worshiped, never to be re-interred. (The fulfillment of this prophecy is not found in Tanach, but it is mentioned in the Apochryphal book of Baruch, chapter 2 verse 24-25: "But we would listen to Your voice, to serve the king of Babylon, therefore You have fulfilled that which You said through Your servants the prophets, that the bones of our kings, and the bones of our fathers, would be removed from their resting places. They are cast out to the heat of the day to the frost of the night...") Death will be better than life to those Baal-worshipers who survive the death of their coreligionists.

Chapter 9

G-d says that no one should boast of their strength, wisdom or wealth - none of these things will save him. The only thing of value is that a person recognizes G-d - and G-d likes righteousness and justice!

Excerpted from The OU's Nach Yomi