I’ve been recently acquiring books from my folks. Turns out they have a lot of good ones in their collection which they’ve inherited from others through the ages. I’m like a little kid when I get one and can spend many hours sifting through the pages in wonder. While they have a pretty decent library, I’m primarily interested in anything having to do with scriptural studies and/or Russian.
This weekend I was up at their house and recently inherited another book from their collection. The Pentateuch & Haftorahs from the Soncino Press, edited by Dr. J H Hertz. This book comprises the five books of Moses and Haftorahs with extensive introductions, notes, and commentaries.
For those of you wondering what Haftorahs are, they are sections of the prophets in the Bible which are read every week that integrate into the Torah portion of that week. They were instituted at a time when the Torah was prohibited reading, so the Rabbis portioned sections of the prophets to read which would express the teaching of the original Torah portion that should have been read. Since then the Torah portion has been allowed back into weekly reading, and the Haftorahs remain an important part of it.
You might be familiar with one such Haftorah read by Yeshua in the synagogue.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luke 4: 16-21