Haftarah of Pesach

As we leave Pesach, I just wanted to share with you a major focus of these last one or two days. The words from Isaiah lay out a vision for Messianic time, a world of harmoniousness between peoples, animals, and the earth. This future vision has also been compared to the Garden of Eden, the difference being that we, human beings, need to take the steps to make it happen. The verses from Isaiah ring very powerfully in Christianity and set the theology for the emergence of Jesus. I have enjoyed the interpretation of the Ishbitzer Rav, Mordecai Joseph Leiner, a Hassidic master of the 19th century who taught that each of us contains the light of the Mashiach within. Please note the beauty and power of Isaiah’s words below directed to each of us.

From Isaiah 11-12 Haftarah last day of Pesach:

“And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stem of Yishai, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of God shall rest upon him/her, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of God.

And his delight shall be in the fear of God; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears.

But with righteousness shall he judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper’s nest.

They shall not hurt nor destroy all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of G‑d, as the waters cover the sea.

And in that day, it shall be, that the root of Yishai, that stands for a banner of the peoples, to it shall the nations seek; and his resting place shall be glorious…”

May we all be blessed and receive renewed strength this Spring to take those steps to redeem our world. — Reb David

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