Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Haftorah Beam - Chayei Sarah

The connection between the Torah reading and the Haftorah this week (well, last week....) is the theme of an elder leader planning for his succession.

In the Torah portion we see Abraham, returning from the trauma of the near-sacrifice of Isaac, as well as grieving for his beloved wife. He finds a suitable burying ground, buries Sarah, and sets about finding a wife for Isaac.

In the Haftorah we see King David on his deathbed, learning about the treachery of Adonijah, and scrambling to set the record straight, crowning his son Solomon within his own lifetime.

This reading lacks the poetry and deep meaning of some of the other Haftarot.  It is very matter-of-fact, and discusses King David's failings, both as a leader and as a man:
1 King David was now old, advanced in years; and though they covered him with bedclothes, he never felt warm. 2 His courtiers said to him, "Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king, to wait upon Your Majesty and be his attendant; and let her lie in your bosom, and my lord the king will be warm." 3 So they looked for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel. They found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was exceedingly beautiful. She became the king's attendant and waited upon him; but the king was not intimate with her.
Where other Haftarot seem to take a theme from the Torah reading and develop it to a deeper level, this one seems to expose the harsh reality of imminent death and human frailty.

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