Haftaras Shabbos Chanukah

The special haftarah for Shabbos Chanukah begins as follows (Zechariah 2:14-15):
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold I am coming and I shall dwell in your midst,” says Hashem. “Many nations will attach themselves to Hashem on that day, and will become unto Me as a people, and I shall dwell in your midst .…” And Hashem shall inherit Yehudah as His portion in the holy land, and He shall in addition choose Yerushalayim.
The Maggid asks: Why is the statement “I shall dwell in your midst repeated”?  He sets out to answer this question. The Maggid describes how the Jewish People, over the centuries, has safeguarded Hashem’s Torah and upheld His honor. As a result, in the end of days, light will shine upon all the nations of the world, and they will recognize clearly that Hashem alone is sovereign over all of existence, from the heights of the heavens to the depths of the earth. They will see clearly how Hashem has constantly watched over us and miraculously preserved us throughout the long exile, and they will behold the glory we will attain when Hashem reveals Himself openly to the world. And Hashem will surely reward us, the Maggid says, for the centuries during which we provided a home for Him and His Torah.
The Maggid then introduces a parable. A merchant arrived, with a large stock of merchandise, to a city where he had several impoverished relatives. He lodged in the home of one of these relatives and used it, for a considerable time, as a base for selling his merchandise. When he was ready to return to his own home, he gave each of his relatives a fitting allotment of his earnings. To the relative he stayed with he gave a larger allotment than he gave to his other relatives. However, he split the allotment into two portions, so that his relative would know that one portion was a gift that he received on an equal basis with the other relatives and the other portion was payment for lodging in his home.
We can now understand the double language in the passage from the haftarah. Hashem will come and dwell in our midst. As a result, many nations will attach themselves to Hashem. On this account, Hashem will intensify His presence among us. We will receive two portions of the Divine Presence. Hashem will take for Himself an estate in Yehudah, just as He will take for Himself an estate in the land of each of the other nations. And, in addition, He will choose Yerushalayim as an estate as well, as reward to us for promoting His honor.
For the complete recovery of my father, Pesach ben Sarah, who is now going through a serious illness. Please daven for him.
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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