Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Heavenly Consolation

This week's Haftarah begins the seven of Haftaros of consolation. All can be found in Sefer Yeshaya and they are read between Tisha B'Av and Rosh Hashana as a way to reconnect and reestablish a loving relationship with Hashem. It has fascinated me that in the words of the Nevi'im one can sometimes see language that has a double meaning and could also be referring to the stars. While one could counter that some of this is coincidental, there is so much of this encrypted language, especially in Yeshaya, that it is hard to discount. This is especially since allusions to astronomical/astrological concepts and objects was something that was common back in those days.

This week's Haftarah is no exception (in fact, this week and next week seem to have more than the rest of these seven). The Pesukim state (translation from the Artscroll Tanach; I will transliterate the words that I am focusing on, though):

"[He is] like a shepherd who grazes his flock, who gathers the Tela'im (lambs) in his arm, etc." (Yeshaya 40:11) T'leh (pl. Tela'im) can also refer to Aries, the mazal of the month of Nissan which is the month which Hashem took his "sheep" to be His when He redeemed them from Egypt at the time of the Exodus.

"Who measured the waters in His palm, gauged the Heavens with a span, measured in a huge vessel the dust of the earth, and weighed mountains with a scale and hills with a Moznayim (balance)." (Yeshaya 40:12) Moznayim is the mazal of the month of Tishrei and connotes the judgment that is enacted by Hashem at that time.The scrutiny of this judgment exacted at all of the universe from the greatest to the smallest of Creation is His judgment and that concept seems consistent with the theme of this verse.

"Behold, all the nations are like a drop from a D'li (bucket) and are reckoned like the dust rubbing of a Moznayim (balance), etc." (Yeshaya 40:15) The Ibn Ezra teaches that D'li which is the mazal for the month of Shvat, is also the mazal that symbolizes Klal Yisrael. As such, it is befitting to mention that the other nations are like but a drop from this "bucket" and that they will be rendered like dust from Moznayim which as stated before is a display of Hashem's judgment. Meaning all the nations that did harm to us throughout the exile will be brought to justice.

Next week's Haftarah has a lot more than just these. Hopefully I will get a chance to post them for then.

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