Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Haftorah Beam - Ki Teitzeh

In comparison with the Torah portion, this Haftorah is simplicity itself:  It is G*d's proclamation of eternal love for the people of Israel, offering full redemption in compensation for the years of rejection. Rabbi Siegel argues that G*d loves us eternally, but requires us to show lovingkindness to one another in order to merit it from Him.  This interpretation was not apparent from the translation, so I looked it up in the original:

ז  בְּרֶגַע קָטֹן, עֲזַבְתִּיךְ; וּבְרַחֲמִים גְּדֹלִים, אֲקַבְּצֵךְ.7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great compassion will I gather thee.
ח  בְּשֶׁצֶף קֶצֶף, הִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי רֶגַע מִמֵּךְ, וּבְחֶסֶד עוֹלָם, רִחַמְתִּיךְ--אָמַר גֹּאֲלֵךְ, יְהוָה. 8 In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. 

Each phrase seems to imply "In one circumstance, I rejected you; and in a different circumstance, I shall redeem you".  But it could also be grammatically understood as referring to the people's demeanor:

In [your] moment of smallness, I left you;And with [your] great mercy, I shall gather you.In [your] frothy fury, I briefly hid My face from you;And with [your] lovingkindness for the world,  I shall condole you.
When we act small, or froth with anger, G*d's presence appears to depart.  And it is when we act with mercy and lovingkindness that we experience G*d's love for us, as well.


  1. What a lovely interpretation! I like that a lot.

    Question: is there any rabbinical commentary for that marvelous phrase, "shetzef ketzef"? I've never seen that before.

    1. Thanks!

      Here's one:


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