Haftarah for Mishpatim (www.myjewishlearning.com)
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In Parashat Mishpatim we read the rules of owning Jewish slaves. The practice is strongly discouraged, and the Torah stipulates that all Jewish slaves must be set free, their debts cancelled, every seven years. This practice protects Jewish slaves from being held as indentured servants for extended periods of time, and emphasizes the dignity of all, no matter social status.
In the Haftarah for Parashat Mishpatim, Jeremiah berates the people of Judah for keeping Jewish slaves against God’s wishes, and predicts that Jerusalem will be conquered because of the people’s disrespect for God.
This prophecy comes as a result of the Babylonian invasion of Judah led by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In 588 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar’s forces surrounded Jerusalem, laying siege to the holy city. Inside the city’s walls the Jewish elite agreed to release all of their Jewish slaves in order to induce God’s forgiveness and add to the manpower available for the defence of Jerusalem. But when Nebuchadnezzar suddenly lifts the siege, the slave owners cancel the release of their slaves.
The Importance of Covenants
Jeremiah begins his prophecy by reminding the people that just as they made a covenant with the Judean King Zedekiah to release all of their slaves, God made a covenant with their ancestors after God freed them from slavery in Egypt. God’s covenant required the Israelites to free all of their Jewish slaves every seven years. By taking their slaves back, the people are reneging on their covenant with Zedekiah, and on the covenant that their ancestors made with God. They have desecrated God’s Name, and they will be punished through famine, pestilence, and the sword.
The people of Israel who brought their slaves back by force will be “handed over to their enemies, to those who seek to kill them” (34:20). King Zedekiah and all of his officers will suffer at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar, who will return to attack and capture the city, leaving Judah desolate and destroyed.
The Haftarah closes with two verses taken from an earlier chapter in which God promises never to reject the descendants of Jacob and King David. God will always restore the fortunes of his people and take them back with love. These verses were added so that the Haftarah would end on a note of consolation and not destruction.
KOL HATOR Commentary
There is a rampant aggressive spirit that would reject this week’s Parshah as “yet another set of restrictive carnal man-made rules”. Yet, often this same spirit, when confronted by the core of this week’s Haftarah message which spells ‘Grace’ (as in the wider encompassment of the Title heading above) will reflect a sanctimonious, licentious ideology as followed by the carnal world today. This leads to national and individual destruction. We see it clearly in the presented new legislation by the democrats on the table for approval in the USA this very same week. Refer israelunwired.com/the-bill-that-will-end-america-as-we-know-it This is all done in the name of ‘human rights’, ‘kindness’, ‘upliftment of the downtrodden’ etc. There is a narrow edge between the two extremes. The core solution is that crime and depravity thrives in an environment of lack of strict and proper legislation. As such, Torah ‘legalism’ is the foundation of Blessed and successful Life abundance.
Chen, Chesed v’Rachamim (pronounce ‘ch’ as in ‘Bach’) are the Divine attributes that underlie the consolation that HaShem reflects towards His exiled Nation with – that He would NEVER totally reject them. It reflects HaShem’s Love for ALL His Creation. These attributes are defined as Mercy, compassion, clemency, forgiveness, sympathy, empathy, leniency, concern. This provides the Mirror in which we should judge ourselves daily. Let us paste it onto our mirrors. It is the characteristics without which no one would be able to become citizens of His Eternal Kingdom. It is the essentials underlying the entire Geulah (Final Redemption) scenario which we are now facing before the approaching Geulah. It is the Divine essentials which will allow us eternal citizenship or not.
If you wonder what it really entails, then consider the following, as our Haftarah here above highlights:
- These credentials are the essential Character Pillars of the Spirit and Soul of HaShem in persisting to bring His People Back into the Land, under a New Covenant which He shall conclude at the Geulah, notwithstanding their failing Him Time and Time again (RWEAD Ezek. Ch. 20);
- the credentials that underlie the Time of the Kingdom of King David and Solomon having been blessed to become an International Super Power the likes of Rome, and modern USA. Yet, they failed Him and the Northern House of 10-Israel were ejected from the Land into World Wide Exile. Scripture relates it as a Divorce and HaShem refers to her as a harlot– YET, in the face of His Own Torah Restriction (Deut. 24) of not being allowed to remarry a Divorced Wife who became someone else’s wife, He oaths to ‘remarry her’!!!
- the credentials which, after He had removed His Shechinah (Presence) from the 1 st Temple because of Judah’s unfaithfulness to Him, destining it to destruction by the Babylonians and the exile of the House of Judah, yet brought them back 70 years later to the Land;
- the credentials which once again, and for the same reasons of failure by His Bride, Judah, allowed the Temple to be destroyed once more, with Him still in exile from the Presence amongst His Nation, and Judah this time exiled into the World for 2000 years, YET, He oathed to Return Judah in the End Time in preparation for uniting them with the Returning Exiles of the House of 10-Israel, His Divorced Bride.
- the credentials that underlie the Divine Intention to yet once again use these Returning exiles to become a Body of People whom He calls “His Servant”, to …
Isa. 49: “[HaShem] said to me, “You are My Servant,
Israel, in whom I will display My Splendor.”
[NOTE – Be sure to follow the above link to a complete review from 7 consecutive chapters in Isaiah to prove that the ‘Servant of HaShem’ is the regathering exiled Nation of Israel and not the Christian or any other ‘Messiah’].
5 And now HaShem says—
He Who formed me in the womb to be His Servant
to bring Jacob [12-Israel] back to Him
and gather Israel to Himself,
6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be My Servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a Light for the Gentiles,
that My Salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Check those Credentials on your mirror! Wow! After having rejected and exiled them – yet never deserting them permanently and receiving them back for this preferential office of being the Light unto the Nations, the Body through whom He will personally rule over the Nations, having returned His Shechinah (Presence) to live amongst and within His People, His Etrnal Tabernacle!
Where do we shape in here? Only by reflecting His Spirit of Chen, Chesed v’Rachamim can we hope to comply and can the Regathering and Reconciliation ever become a reality. Not through a spirit if criticism and rejection in the split and divided House of Israel (since the split of the United Kingdom under David and Solomon) – NOT through unforgiving hard-heartedness and self-righteous condemnation of each other. In this way, He is fashioning His true followers, in His Image, reflecting His Chen, Chesed v’Rachamim.
On the flip side, that is, the virtual reality side of the way in which this current Phenomenon of a Return to Torah by non-Jews across the World is being received, we are confronted daily from both sides, being in the Restoration Movement of the KOL HATOR Vision;
From the 10-Israel / Reawakening Ephraim side;
- with venom spewed out against ‘The Jews who have usurped the Torah of G-d with their own man-made Laws’” – a never ending chain of resentful finger pointing which obstruct the reconciliation of the estranged factions of the Family which is so vitally necessary for the Final Redemption to take place – and
From Judah’s side:
- it is treated with Condemnation – Why do we want to bring ‘pagans’ into the Land and into Judaism? Why do we reject Rabbinic directives in this regard (with all our quotations from the Sacred Writings of the Scriptures and the wealth of Jewish Sages writings regarding the obligation of bringing our Captive citizens Home seemingly being of no significance)? We are accused of being ‘proselytizing Christians’ simply because we have a heart for the “Lost Children of Judah and Israel” and “mix with the Christian audiences and reach out to them. A never ending chain of condemnations without regard for those Credentials as should be featured on our mirrors.
Are these Divine Attributes to be practiced on our Jewish or Ten Triber brothers and sisters on our side only – or on the opposing side especially: those still in captivity? Those who are still in Egyptian clothing (like Yoseph) and customs? Those who are still seen in the derogatory facings placed on them in the Holocaust and inquisitions of 2000 years, the despised Jews?
Wow! We have MUCH to restore! Check those credentials on your Mirror!
The Good News!
As with all issues on HaShem’s Agenda, there is the positive Great News also. The Awakening across the Globe and throughout both sides is advancing by leaps and bounds. The topic is no longer hidden as throughout the last 2000 years.