Isaiah (Michelangelo)

Haftarah for Ki Teitzei: Summary

Israel, likened to a barren woman, is promised countless children.

Commentary on Parashat Ki Teitzei, Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25:19

In slight anger, for a moment,
I hid My face from you;
But with kindness everlasting
I will take you back in love.
(Isaiah 54:8)

This heartfelt promise from God to Israel represents the overall message of reconciliation conveyed in this week’s haftarah. One of the seven Haftarot of consolation read between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashanah, this Haftarah conveys a powerful, comforting message in a small number of verses.

Read the full text on Sefaria: Isaiah 54:1-10

In the first three verses of the Haftarah, an exiled Israel is compared to a woman who has never experienced the pleasure of bearing a child. “Shout, O barren one!” (54:1), the Haftarah opens, instructing this metaphorical woman to cry out in joyful celebration because she will soon be blessed with children. She is told to enlarge the size of her tent to make room for all the children she will have.

In the middle section of the haftarah, verses 4 through 8, Isaiah describes how God will bring Israel back to Him in mercy. Earlier, Israel was a barren woman. Now, Israel is described as a widow who lost her husband (God), but she is promised that she will “remember no more the shame of your widowhood” (54:4). In the next verses she is described as a third kind of woman–one whose husband left her, forlorn and forsaken. She is promised that her husband (again, God) will take her back in love.

The last two verses of the Haftarah strengthen God’s message by comparing it to the covenant with Noah in the Book of Genesis. Back then, God promised that He would never again flood the earth; now He pledges never again to be angry with or rebuke Israel. Even if the mountains move and the hills are shaken, God’s covenant will stand firm.

Discover More

The Torah

Five books of story, law, and poetry divided into 54 weekly portions.

The Shunamite Woman: A Model of Radical Empathy

Because she had a special relationship with the prophet Elisha, her child was miraculously conceived and miraculously resurrected.

Your Guide to Reading the Hebrew Bible

Learn the many chapters that make up the Tanach and find out where you can find more information about each.

Modern Israel at a Glance

An overview of the Jewish state and its many accomplishments and challenges.

What Do Jews Believe About Jesus?

How Judaism regards the man Christians revere as the messiah.

Converting to Judaism: How to Get Started

How to find an introductory Judaism class.

Israel’s War of Independence

Establishing a new nation and defending it