Haftaras Noach

This week’s haftarah contains the following passage (Yeshayah 54:4-8):
Do not be afraid, for you shall not be shamed. Do not feel humiliated, for you shall not be disgraced. For you shall forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you shall remember no longer. For the One Who has wed you is your Maker – the Lord of Hosts is His Name. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel – God of the entire world shall He be called. For like a wife who had been abandoned and melancholy has Hashem called you, and like the wife of youth who had been cast off, says your God. For a moment I abandoned you, but I shall gather you in with great mercy. In a small flash of anger, I hid My face from you for an moment, but I shall favor you mercifully with eternal kindness, says Hashem, your Redeemer.
The Maggid presents a beautiful interpretation of this passage. Usually when a husband sends his wife away it is because he is upset with her. Thus, if he later reconciles with her and takes her back, she still feels shame over having been sent away. But there are situations where a husband separates from his wife temporarily out of love. One example is where doctors recommend a temporary separation in order to enable the couple to have children. In this case, the wife feels no shame at all when her husband takes her back. For she knows that her husband’s intent in sending her away was to bring her the glorious joy of motherhood.
In a similar way, the exile that we experience now is designed to lead to our ultimate glory, which will come with the final redemption, just as plowing and planting is done in order to produce a crop. Thus, when the final redemption takes place, we will feel no shame over having previously been exiled. We will be aware that Hashem exiled us out of love, in order to bring us eternal glory. The One Who will re-wed Himself to us is our Maker – the One Who has directed our entire history toward this end. The entire world will acknowledge Hashem’s power and recognize how He directed all the events of history to lead to our final redemption. Hashem hid His face from us for a short time – a moment, so to speak – in order to favor us with eternal kindness.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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