Haftarah for Shemos

Is. 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23

The Jews went to Egypt in the time of Jacob and they flourished into a nation there. G-d repaid Pharaoh for the evil they inflicted on the Jews. When Egypt sent the Jews out, G-d repaid them measure for measure. As it was then, it will be now - Israel will be redeemed from their oppressors. They will be forgiven their sins if they tear down their idols and altars. When they do this, an Edomite stronghold will be abandoned and Israel will dwell there. When the merits of Edom run out altogether, they will be utterly destroyed by the weakest. Israel, however, does not recognize their relationship with G-d, so He is not looking out for them.

When G-d redeems Israel, he will gather all those who have been lost and assimilated thanks to the Assyrian exile. A great shofar will sound and those lost in Egypt and Assyria will return, bowing down to G-d at the Temple in Jerusalem. (This last verse is sung as the song "U'vau Ha'ovdim.")

Chapter 28

Isaiah now criticizes the people of Israel for gluttony and drunkenness. They are like inferior, spoiled fruits; G-d will come down on them like a powerful storm. The drunkards will be cast down and walked on. Then, G-d will be a crown of beauty for the rest of His people, who are righteous. G-d will teach justice to the judges and He will be a source of strength to those who fight the battles of Torah. These people may also have been misled by wine, becoming corrupt and causing injustices. Their tables are full of sacrifices to idols, which are repulsive. Who can be taught the wisdom of G-d? Are small children, who are too young to understand, the only ones not corrupted? We must re-teach the nation as we do children: little by little, a piece at a time. The words of the prophets are like a foreign language to them; they can't understand. G-d told them that this was real rest, but they wouldn't listen. The word of G-d will be the law to them; they will stumble, fall and break.

Chapter 29

Those who previously suffered will rejoice in G-d; the tyrants are gone and the evil people have been destroyed. Now our Forefathers will no longer be ashamed of their children, who are following in their footsteps by following G-d.