Commentary on Parashat Re'eh, Deuteronomy 11:26 - 16:17
The haftarah selection is from Isaiah 54:11-55:5.
In the seven weeks after Tisha B’Av we read a series of haftarot from the book of Isaiah that focus on themes of consolation. These haftarot are meant to comfort a nation that has just mourned for the destruction of its most sacred space and the exile from its homeland.
Isaiah’s prophecy in the haftarah selection for Re’eh focuses on how the downtrodden Israelites will once again rise to glory. Their buildings will be made of precious stones, their children will be raised in peace, and their cities will be safe. God reminds the people that no harm can come to them without His consent. If He decides that they will be strengthened and restored, this will happen. Isaiah promises that with the God’s help, the people of Israel will be invincible.
In the second half of the haftarah, God continues in the same vein, but adds a stipulation: the people must turn to Him in order to reap the rewards He promises. “Give heed to Me, and you shall eat choice food and enjoy the richest dishes” (55:2). God promises that just as He brought David up from his common roots, and made him royalty, so shall the people be lifted out of their destitute situation.
This haftarah is also part of the haftarah for Parashat Noach.