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|Yom Kippur Drasha 5761|
Isaiah LVII: 14-21 and LVIII: 1-14
Haftorah for Yom Kippur morning, 5761
interpreted by Jim Haber with help from the Hertz Chumash and commentary
14 [And G-d will say:]
15 For El Elyon, whose name is Holy says:
16 For the sake of your souls, for the healing of your spirits, the absence of the Divine in your lives need not last forever.
17 Through your greed and exploitation of the poor and week, you remove yourselves from the Divine Presence and attribute to Me your anger.
18 Suffering and penitence will lead to healing and comfort for those who see need and tend to it compassionately.
19 Peace, Peace to all who are far off and all who are near saith the creator of the fruit of the lips; and the people will be healed.
20 But those who forsake mercy, justice and humility are like the troubled sex; for it is likewise restless and casts up mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace, but definition from On High, where the wicked are concerned.
1 [G-d calls to Isaiah:]
2 Despite their wretched behavior they make a constant show of worship, but insincerely; as if they acted righteously, they demand justice; [they talk the talk but don t walk the walk] as they delight in their prayers, [expecting a gold medal because of a ten in technical merit despite a resounding zero for ethical intent].
3 [humanity cries out:]
4 Behold, your fast leads to strife and contention for you lack spiritual motive as you pray for that which is not due you; your fast at present doesn t help the ascent of your prayers to heaven, [doesn't raise Divine sparks nor draw down Holy creativity and love].
5 Is such as that the fast which serves the Divine Will?
6 Isn't this the fast I've chosen?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry, and that you welcome into your homes the poor and outcast? When you see the naked, that you offer them clothing, and that you don t hide yourself from your flesh and blood who are in need [ in the year 2000 c.e. I name the beggar, the shopping cart pusher, the prostitute, the mentally ill, the addict, the inmate on death row, the families of the 500,000 dead Iraqi children because of the U.N./U.S. sanctions, the newest weapon of mass destruction]? [I call on you all now, to think of someone you want absolutely nothing to do with .... Hold them in your heart .... Say a prayer of well-being for them.]
8 When you don t turn away,
9 Then should you call, and the Shechina will answer;
10 And if you show compassion to the hungry, and feed the famished; the your light shall rise in darkness, and your gloom be as bright as mid-day.
11 And Holiness will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul during times of want, and invigorate the body; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
12 And all who join with you will revive the wasted places, and shall rebuild the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.
13 If you abstain from mundane occupations and keep the sabbath, from pursuing your business to make the day holy; and observe the sabbath in a spirit of joy and cheerfulness, honor it, putting aside the affairs of the rest of the week, nor pursuing your business, nor speaking idle words.
14 Then will you have delight with G-d, and you will have honor, power and influence, and I will feed you joyousness with the heritage of Jacob, Rachel and Leah; For the mouth of G-d has spoken it.
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