What Is The Haftara?

Updated: Jan 25

The Daily Halacha Moment - Haftara 📙


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן ‎העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

What is the Haftara?

Why do we read the Haftara?


Answer:

After the Keriat HaTorah on Shabbat, it is customary to read a portion of Neviim, called the “Haftarah” that consists of a related topic to the parashah that was read. [1] The original institution of the Haftarah reading was made because there was a period in time where is was prohibited to learn the Torah, however, reading the Neviim was permitted. Therefore, the Chachamim instituted to read a portion of Neviim that was connected to the weeks parashah that was supposed to be read, in order to not entirely forget the institution of reading the Torah in each congregation. They also instituted that the haftarah should consist of at least twenty-one pesukim, in order to remind everyone that there is a requirement of three pesukim per seven Aliyot for Keriat HaTorah. Even though nowadays it is permitted to learn Torah in public, nevertheless the institution stayed in place, and the current universal custom is to read the Haftarah after Keriat HaTorah. The Avudraham, seder teffilat Shacharit, states that it is called “Hafatrah” because at the time the people were “patur” – exempt, from reading the Torah in public. Another reason is that originally, even the reading of Navi was prohibited, and only afterward did they uplift (or exempt) the ban on reading Navi, hence they called it “Haftarah” because of the exemption of learning Navi.


Tomorrow we will B'ezrat Hashem discuss some other Halachot regarding the Haftara.


Sources:

[1]. See Gemara Megillah 23; Shulchan Aruch 284:1. See also Mishnah Berurah 284:2.


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