Haftaras Nitzavim

This week’s haftarah begins with the following verse (Yeshayah 61:10): “I shall rejoice greatly in Hashem – my soul shall jubilate in my God. For He has clothed me in the raiment of salvation and cloaked me in a robe of nobility – like a bridegroom who attires himself with splendor, and a bride who bedecks herself with her jewelry.” Yeshayah compares our rejoicing and jubilation in Hashem to the rejoicing of a bride and groom. The Maggid explains that the comparison is not in terms of the supreme intensity of their rejoicing, but rather in terms of the nature of their rejoicing.
The Maggid brings out the idea with an analogy. If we take a person off the street and give him a fine suit to wear, he will feel pleasure over the elegance of the clothes. But if we dress a bridegroom in a similar suit on his wedding day, he will hardly notice how nice the suit is, for the joy of getting married overshadows the pleasure of wearing a fine suit.
Such is the love that the wholly righteous have for Hashem. Thus, Aharon HaKohen took no notice of the beauty of his priestly vestments; his great love for Hashem, Who commanded him to wear them, overshadowed the splendor of the attire. It was the same when Aharon entered the Holy of Holies. Although the Holy of Holies contained captivatingly glorious vessels, such as the golden Holy Ark and the golden cherubs, Aharon took no notice of this splendor. His mind was riveted on his love of Hashem and his fervent desire to do His will.
This is the idea behind our declaration (Shir HaShirim 1:5): “We shall jubilate and rejoice in You.” Although we are surrounded with splendor when we stand in Hashem’s inner chamber, this splendor is not what moves us. Rather, it is in Hashem Himself that we rejoice.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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