Community Development

Haftarah Va-yetzei for Sepharadim

Hosea 11:7 - 12:14
Some read through 13:5

This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh

7 For My people persists
In its defection from Me;
When it is summoned upward,
It does not rise at all.

8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How surrender you, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah,
Render you like Zeboiim?
I have had a change of heart,
All My tenderness is stirred.
9 I will not act on My wrath,
Will not turn to destroy Ephraim.
For I am God, not man,
The Holy One in your midst:
I will not come in fury.

10 The Lord will roar like a lion,
And they shall march behind Him;
When He roars, His children shall come
Fluttering out of the west.
11 They shall flutter from Egypt like sparrows,
From the land of Assyria like doves;
And I will settle them in their homes
                      --declares the Lord.

Chapter 12
1 Ephraim surrounds Me with deceit,
The House of Israel with guile.
(But Judah stands firm with God
And is faithful to the Holy One.)
2 Ephraim tends the wind
And pursues the gale;
He is forever adding
Illusion to calamity.
Now they make a covenant with Assyria,
Now oil is carried to Egypt.

3 The Lord once indicted Judah,
And punished Jacob for his conduct,
Requited him for his deeds.
4 In the womb he tried to supplant his brother;
Grown to manhood, he strove with a divine being,
5 He strove with an angel and prevailed--
The other had to weep and implore him.
At Bethel [Jacob] would meet him,
There to commune with him.
6 Yet the Lord, the God of Hosts,
Must be invoked as "Lord."
7 You must return to your God!
Practice goodness and justice,
And constantly trust in your God.

8 A trader who uses false balances,
Who loves to overreach,
9 Ephraim thinks,
"Ah, I have become rich;
I have gotten power!
All my gains do not amount
To an offense which is real guilt."
10 I the Lord have been your God
Ever since the land of Egypt.
I will let you dwell in your tents again
As in the days of old,
11 When I spoke to the prophets;
For I granted many visions,
And spoke parables through the prophets.
12 As for Gilead, it is worthless;
And to no purpose have they
Been sacrificing oxen in Gilgal:
The altars of these are also
Like stone heaps upon a plowed field.

13 Then Jacob had to flee to the land of Aram;
There Israel served for a wife,
For a wife he had to guard [sheep].
14 But when the Lord
Brought Israel up from Egypt,
It was through a prophet;
Through a prophet they were guarded.

Some Sepharadim continue
15 Ephraim gave bitter offense,
And his Lord cast his crimes upon him
And requited him for his mockery.

Chapter 13
1 When Ephraim spoke piety,
He was exalted in Israel;
But he incurred guilt through Baal,
And so he died.
2 And now they go on sinning;
They have made them molten images,
Idols, by their skill, from their silver,
Wholly the work of craftsmen.
Yet for these they appoint men to sacrifice;
They are wont to kiss calves!
3 Assuredly,
They shall be like morning clouds,
Like dew so early gone;
Like chaff whirled away from the threshing floor.
And like smoke from a lattice.
4 Only I the Lord have been your God
Ever since the land of Egypt;
You have never known a [true] God but Me,
You have never had a helper other than Me.
5 I looked after you in the desert,
In a thirsty land.

Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright ©1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society. No part of this text can be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.
Please visit the JPS website for more fine books of Jewish literature and tradition.