Haftorah Va'eira

Shabbat Shalom! This weeks Haftorah correlates in many ways with the Torah portion we will be reading this Shabbat, Va'era. The Haftorah comes from the book of Yechezkel, telling over what is to befall the Egyptians in retribution for all the suffering they had poured out on the Jewish nation over the years in Egyptian slavery and other torments they unjustifiably put on the Jews throughout history.

The comparisons between the Parshah and the Haftorah, include the fact that both Egyptian Kings, both named Pharaoh, were wicked. We learned in this weeks reading how Pharaoh subjugated the Jews to torment in Egypt as they were cruelly oppressed to unneeded work and decrees of death were placed over them. We see during the reign of Pharaoh Chofra, the Egyptian King during a period of 1000 years later, he had once proved to be a thorn in the back sides of the Jewish nation, as the Egyptians promised to defend the Jewish nation from Babylonian oppression prior to the destruction of the first Temple, they failed to back the Jewish nation up, the Babylonians attacked partially thanks to the deceitful advice of the Egyptians, they urged the Jews to not pay any taxes to Bavel as Egypt were in war against the Babylonians, promising to defend the Jews if the Babylonians were to attack, however during Tzidiyahu's era as King, the Babylonians attacked, however the Egyptians made a disappearing act, the Jews ultimately should not have trusted on the help of the Egyptians, since the prophet Yirmiyahu urged them to have faith in G-d and not rely on the Egyptians.

The Prophet states in the Haftorah how arrogant Pharaoh was, 'My river (The Nile) is mine and I have made myself exalted with my exceptional skills and wisdom (Yechezkel 29:3),' so too we see how Pharaoh used to pride him self over the River Nile in Egypt, in fact the first plague, blood, started off with Moshe striking the Nile River, in to blood, diminishing Pharaoh's claims how he ruled over the river and all the other parts of Egypt, when everything is really in the control of G-d.

There is a verse in the Haftorah, 'Upon the face of the field you shall fall, you will not be gathered in and you will not be collected together, to be beasts of the land and to the birds of the heavens have I given you to be eaten (Yechezkel 29:5). We very much see in the Parshah that the forth plague was pretty much a description of this verse, as many Egyptians died by the hands of the wild animals (Shemot 8:20).

The prophecy against Egypt continued as the prophet stated 'I will turn the land of Egypt into desolation, and its cities among cities that are destroyed will be desolate for forty years and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and I will disperse them through the lands (Yechezkel 29:12). At a later time after this prophecy, indeed Egypt was scattered and laid desolate for forty years (Yalkut Shimoni).