Insights into Halacha

For the week ending 16 December 2023 / 4 Tevet 5784

5784 - The Year of the Rare Haftarah

by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
Become a Supporter Library Library

Our current year, 5784, is a rare one indeed.It is classified as (me’uberes - leap year) in our calendars. This abbreviation is referring to Rosh Hashanah falling out on Shabbos (zayin), both months of Cheshvan and Kislev being choseir (ches; 29-day months instead of 30; these are the only months that can switch off in our set calendar),[1] and Pesach falling out on Tuesday (gimmel). Although technically not the rarest of years, out of the 14 possibilitiesin Tur’s 247-year calendar cycle,[2] this year type occurs on average 14 times out of 247, or only once in about 18 years (5.8% of the time).[3] The reasons and rules governing the whys and whens this transpires are too complicated for this discussion; suffice to say that when the Mishnah Berurah discusses these issues he writes “ain kan makom l’ha’arich,” that thisis not the place to expound in detail,[4] which is certainly good enough for this author.

However, that is not why I am referring to our year as rare. Rather, it is because in this special year, not just one, but three out of the six rarest haftaros will be leined. The next time this will occur is in another seventeen years, in 5801/2040.[5] But first, a bit of background is in order.

Haftarah History

According to the Abudraham and Tosafos Yom Tov, the haftaros were established when the wicked Antiochus IV (infamous from the Chanukah miracle) outlawed public reading of the Torah. The Chachamim of the time therefore established the custom of reading a topic from the Nevi’im similar to what was supposed to be read from the Torah.[6] Even after the decree was nullified, and even prior to the Gemara’s printing, this became minhag Yisrael.

Most haftaros share some similarity with at least one concept presented in the Torah reading. The Gemara Megillah (29b-31a) discusses the proper haftarah readings for the various holidays throughout the year, which are rather related to the holiday and generally trump a weekly haftarah. But it is not just Yomim Tovim that may “knock off” a regular haftarah, but special Shabbosos, and usually, even if Rosh Chodesh falls out on Sunday.[7] Hence, practically speaking, there are several haftaros that almost never get a chance to be leined publicly. But, as mentioned previously, this year, three out of the six rarest haftaros will be leined. Let’s discuss when and why.

Haftaras Parashas Mikeitz

This year, as the eight-day chag of Chanukah started on a Friday, it ends on a Friday as well – right before Parashas Mikeitz. This affords us a rare opportunity to read Mikeitz’s actual haftarah; as the vast majority of the time Mikeitz is Shabbos Chanukah, which causes its haftarah to be pre-empted for one of the special Shabbos Chanukah haftaros.[8]

This haftarah, “Vayikatz Shlomo,” discussing the wisdom of Shlomo HaMelech – ordering to cut the disputed baby in half in order to determine his real mother,was last publicly read three years ago in 5781, and before that twenty years prior back in 5761.[9] This is actually the second rarest haftarah Ashkenazim read – just 24 times over the Tur’s entire 247-year cycle,[10] and averages once in ten years. Essentially, the only time this haftarah can be leined is when Chanukah starts on a Friday and hence ends directly before Shabbos Mikeitz. The next time this haftarah is slated to be read is in another 17 years in 5801/2040.

Haftaras Parashas Tazria

The second of our rare haftaros leined this year is that of Parashas Tazria, “V’ish ba.”[11] Although statistically speaking, it is on average read every 6 years (16.32% of the time), nevertheless, it practically has not been leined in 21 years – since 5763/2003. There are several reasons for this. When the Parshiyos of Tazria and Metzora are read together (which they are in a standard year; they are only leined separately in a leap year), only the haftarah of the latter Parashah is read.[12] This means it is only possible for Tazria’s haftarah to be read in a leap year. Moreover, Tazria can also be Parashas HaChodesh, which would also trump its leining.[13] That, plus the preponderance of Shabbos Rosh Chodesh or Rosh Chodesh falling on Sunday, both of which would preclude it from being leined, make this year’s Tazria’s stand-alone haftarah quite a rare read, indeed.[14]

Rarest of All

However, the piece de resistance is that the hands-down rarest haftarah for Ashkenazic Jewry will actually be read this year. I am referring to the haftarah of Parashas Kedoshim, “Hasishpot.”[15] It is read on average only once in seventeen years, only 5.8% of the time. The last times it was leined was in 5733/1973 and then in 5757/1997, twenty-seven years ago. There are even times when “Hasishpot” goes forty-four years in between leinings.[16] The next several times it will be leined are in another 17 years, in 5801/2041, and following in another 27 years, in 5828/2068. As noted by Rav Moshe Feinstein, practically speaking, “Hasishpot” can only be leined in a me’uberes year, and its reading is considered so rare, that it is as if it is ‘k’maat hu ne’elam mi’stam adam, almost hidden from the average person’s conscience.’[17]

Why So Rare?

Now that we established the ‘what,’ we can address the ‘why’. As mentioned previously, generally speaking, whenever there is a double parashah, the haftarah of the second parashah is read, as that is the Torah reading that we just concluded.

Yet, when it comes to the parshiyos of Acharei Mos and Kedoshim, it seems that it is not so simple. Although the Shulchan Aruch does not mention any difference between these and other double parshiyos, the Rema, the great codifier of Ashkenazic psak, (citing precedent from theSefer Haminhagim and the Mordechai), rules that the haftarah of the first parashah, Acharei Mos, is the proper one to read.

Acharei Exclusion

The reason for the uncharacteristic change is that the haftarah of Parshas Kedoshim, ‘Hasishpot,’ from sefer Yechezkel, includes what is known as ‘Toavas Yerushalayim,’ referring to a revealing prophecy of the woeful spiritual state and the terrible happenings that will occur to the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael for not following the word of G-d. The Gemara in Megillah (25b) relates a story of Rabbi Eliezer and one who read such a haftarah, who was subsequently found to have his own family’s indiscretions exposed. Ultimately though, the Gemara concludes that that haftarah can indeed be read, and even translated.[18]

Hazardous Haftarah?

Despite that, all the same, it seems that we are being taught that whenever possible, we should try to avoid having to read this condemning passage as the haftarah. Additionally, the content of Acharei Mos’s haftarah, ‘Halo K’Bnei Kushiyim’ (from Amos in Trei Asar Ch. 9) has similar content to Parshas Kedoshim as well. Therefore, the Rema rules that when the Torah reading is the double parshiyos of Acharei Mos and Kedoshim, and as opposed to every other double parashah, the haftarah of Acharei Mos is read instead of Kedoshim’s.

Although the Levush vigorously argued against switching the haftaros, positing that it is a printing mistake in the earlier authorities to suggest such a switch,[19] nevertheless, the Rema’s rule is followed by virtually all later Poskim and Ashkenazic Kehillos.[20]

However, it must be noted that this switch was not accepted by Sefardic authorities and when Acharei Mos and Kedoshim are combined, they do indeed read Kedoshim’s haftarah, ‘Hasishpot.[21]

Acharei or Kedoshim?

But there is more to the story and a fascinating dichotomy. As mentioned previously, often special haftaros push off the regular one. For example, the Gemara states that whenever Rosh Chodesh falls out on Shabbos, a special haftarah is read: ‘Hashamayim Kisi,’ as it mentions both the inyanim of Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh.[22] If Rosh Chodesh falls out on Sunday, then on the preceding Shabbos, the haftarah of ‘Machar Chodesh’ is read, as it mentions the following day being Rosh Chodesh. This is the codified halacha as well, barring specific exceptions.[23]

Rav Akiva Eiger, adding a wrinkle, writes that when Parshas Acharei Mos falls out on Erev Rosh Chodesh and its haftarah gets pushed off for ‘Machar Chodesh,’ then the proper haftarah for Parshas Kedoshim the next week is… Acharei Mos’s haftarah, and not Kedoshim’s![24] Rav Eiger’s reasoning is since we find precedent by a double parashah that we actively try not to read Kedoshim’s haftarah due to its explicit content, the same should apply for any other time Acharei Mos’s haftarah was not read, for whatever reason - that it should trump and therefore replace (and displace) Kedoshim’s haftarah!

Although not universally accepted,[25] Rav Akiva Eiger’s rule is cited as the halachah by the Mishnah Berurah, and the proper Ashkenazic minhag by the Kaf Hachaim.[26] The Chazon Ish, as well as Rav Moshe Feinstein, and Rav Chaim Kanievsky,[27] all ruled this way as well. That is why in years when Acharei Mos is Shabbos Hagadol and its usual haftarah is not read, but rather replaced by the special haftarah for Shabbos Hagadol, many shuls read Acharei Mos’s haftarah on Parshas Kedoshim, instead of Kedoshim’s usual one. In other words, if either of the two parshiyos requires a special haftarah, Kedoshim’sHasishpot” is not leined at all, but rather Acharei Mos’ “Halo” is read on the other Shabbos.

So, practically speaking, unless a very specific year such as ours, the common Ashkenazic minhag is to almost never leinHasishpot.” But this year, for the first time in twenty-seven years, there is no special haftarah available to trump either of the two haftaros. And hence, the rarest of haftaros for Ashkenazim, “Hasishpot,” will actually, finally be leined.[28]

Never Read

However, there is an alternate, albeit not the common custom - an old Yerushalmi minhag - not to ever read the haftarah of Kedoshim. Even in a year such as ours, when the Parshiyos are separate, Acharei Mos’s haftarah, “Halo,” is instead read two weeks in a row.[29] [30] This minhag is claimed to be dated to the esteemed Rav of Yerushalayim of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Rav Shmuel Salant (to 5662/1902),[31] with precedent cited for reading the same haftarah two weeks in row from the rare occurrence of Purim Meshulash in Yerushalayim.[32]

However, as noted, this is not the common minhag, and actually Kedoshim’s haftarah, “Hisishpot,” the actual rarest haftarah read for most of Ashkenazic Jewry, is indeed slated to be read by the majority of Klal Yisrael this year – the first time since 5757/1997.[33]

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch famously wrote that “the Jew’s catechism is his calendar.”[34] It is this author’s wish that by showcasing the uniqueness of our calendar year and its rare haftaros, this article will help raise appreciation of them and our calendarical customs.

This author wishes to thank R’ Yosef Yehuda Weber, author of ‘Understanding the Jewish Calendar,’ for originally ‘tipping me off’ as to the rare haftaros being leined this year, as well as for being a fount of calendarical knowledge.

Rabbi Yehuda Spitz, author of M’Shulchan Yehuda on Inyanei Halacha and ‘Insights Into Halacha,’ serves as the Sho’el U’Meishiv and Rosh Chabura of the Ohr Lagolah Halacha Kollel at Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in Yerushalayim.

For any questions, comments or for the full Mareh Mekomos / sources, please e-mail the author:

Rabbi Spitz’s recent English halacha sefer,

Insights Into Halacha - Food: A Halachic Analysis,” (Mosaica/Feldheim)

has more than 500 pages and features over 30 comprehensive chapters discussing a myriad of halachic issues relating to food, in an engaging manner. It is now available online and in bookstores everywhere.

[1]As detailed in a previous article titled ‘Bar Mitzvah-ed on a Different Day.

[2]Tur (Orach Chaim 428).

[3]See Rav Dovid Heber’s Shaarei Zmanim (Ch. 22, footnote 8, pg. 188).

[4]Biur Halacha (428:1, end s.v. eilu hayamim). He also writes a tad earlier that “v’hinei kol zeh shekasavnu ain tzarich leha’arich b’frotrot aich hu kein, rak sheteida haklal,” (loosely) that all of these matters do not need to be measured in their exact minutiae, but rather one should know the general rules.

[5]As pointed out by R’ Yosef Yehuda Weber, author of ‘Understanding the Jewish Calendar,’ the other three rare haftaros will only be leined in one specific year next in 5812/2052. They are Vayakhel (“Vayaas Chirom” – Melachim I Ch. 7:40; discussed in footnote 8), Tzav (“Koh Amar Hashem” – Yirmiyah Ch. 7:21; often pushed aside for Parashas Zachor, Parah, or Shabbos Hagadol) and Pinchas (in Chutz La’aretz; “V’Yad Haysa” – Melachim I Ch. 18:46; usually trumped by “Divrei Yirmiyahu” – Yirmiyah Ch. 1:1, the first of the ‘Tlas D’Poranusa’ special haftaros of Three Weeks). The most recent time they were read in one year was back in 5768/2008, making this current gap a span of 44 years.

[6]As per the Tosafos Yom Tov (Megillah, Perek Bnei Ha’Ir, Mishnah 4 s.v. l’chisidran), citing the Sefer HaTishbi (Shoresh Petter). A similar background is given by the Abudraham (Seder Parshiyos V’Haftaros) and the Bach (Orach Chaim 284; although he does not cite which actual wicked king was the one who was gozer shmad shelo likros b’Torah). Alternately, the Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 135:2) posits that as the Mishnah in Megillah (31a) lists reading the haftarah along with special Torah readings that Moshe Rabbeinu established, it is most likely that the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah established their reading. However, there are other reasons given from the times of the Gaonim, dating the start of this minhag even earlier (see Teshuvos HaGaonim 55; see also Shibbolei Haleket 44).

[7]Machar Chodesh” (Shmuel I Ch. 20:18). See GemaraMegillah (31a)andTur andShulchan Aruch and main commentaries (Orach Chaim 425:1).

[8]The special Chanukah haftaros are “Runi V’Simchi” (Zecharia Ch. 2:14) and “Vayaas Chirom” (Melachim I Ch. 7:40) when there is a second Shabbos Chanukah. “Vayaas Chirom” is interestingly also the Ashkenazichaftarah for a rare stand-alone Parashas Vaykhel if it is not one of the Arba Parshiyos; this actually only occurs 26 times out of the Tur’s 247-year cycle, or approximately once every 9 years, making it the third rarest haftarah. See Rav Dovid Heber’s Shaarei Zmanim (pg. 180-181). “Vayaas Chirom” for Parashas Vayakhel will next be leined in 5795/2035. On the other hand, there is a minority opinion, especially in Yerushalayim, that “Vayaas Chirom” may actually be leined this year – as the first part of a double haftarah for Parashas Pekudei (as Vayakhel is trumped for Parashas Shekalim this year). You see, in non-leap years, Parashas Vayakhel and Parashas Pekudei are generally read as a double parasha, and as they fall out as one of the ‘Arba Parshiyos’ their haftarah is whichever of the special ones it may be (usually Parah or HaChodesh). Yet, in a leap year, they are read separately, and then due to inherent ‘skip weeks’ built into the system, Parashas Pekudei is often a skip week. [See previous article titled ‘Configuring the Arba Parshiyos Puzzle.’] So then the question is which haftarah should be leined? Sefardic minhag, based on the Rambam (Seder HaTefillos, Haftaros) and Abudraham (Seder Parshiyos V’Haftaros) is to leinVayaas Chirom”, discussing the building of the Beis HaMikdash; an apt complementary haftarah for the building of the Mishkan detailed in the Parshiyos Hashavua. Yet, Ashkenazic minhag is for that haftarah to be leined only when Vayakhel is read by itself in a skip week. When Pekudei is read by itself, the following haftarah, “Vatishlam” (Melachim I, Ch. 7:51) is deemed the proper one.” Yet, as reported in the Ittim L’vina Luach (5779, Parashas Pekudei), the Rabbanim of Yerushalayim in the late 1800s, Rav Shmuel Salant and the Aderes, held that it would be proper to read both haftaros, as they actually are in direct succession in the Navi (see Aderes Shmuel - Hanhagos U’Psakim Rav Shmuel Salant; 75 and footnote 86, pg. 68-70). As explained in the Tukachinsky Luach Eretz Yisrael (5776, Adar II, Parashas Pekudei; and in his Sefer Eretz Yisrael Ch. 16:1), since there is no Yom Tov Sheini of Sukkos observed in Eretz Yisrael, “Vatishlam,” (which, minus the first two pesukim is read on Yom Tov Sheini of Sukkos) would otherwise not have been read at all this year. So, in a compromise solution to fulfill both shittos, both haftaros should be read. However, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv did not approve of this change, as the ikar minhag Ashkenaz for generations was exclusively to leinVatishlam” in this scenario, yet concluded that if one wanted to lein both he may. Rav Yisrael Yaakov Fischer, on the other hand, is quoted (Halichos Even Yisrael, Moadim vol. 2, pg. 404:6) that the ikar should be to lein only “Vayaas Chirom” (unless there was a second Shabbos Chanukah that year), but concluded similarly that if one wanted to lein both haftaros, he certainly may. Thanks are due to R’ Shloime Lerner for pointing out several of these mareh mekomos.

[9]Vayikatz Shlomo” (Melachim I Ch. 3:15).

[10]See Rav Dovid Heber’s Shaarei Zmanim (Ch. 21, pg. 180 and footnote 9).

[11]V’ish ba” (Melachim II Ch. 4:42).

[12]Although there is some debate about this in the Rishonim, this is codified as the proper ruling by both the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 284:7) and Rema (Orach Chaim 428:8), and as far as this author knows this was accepted by all of Klal Yisrael. The main reason to do so is to enable reading a haftarah similar to what was just concluded in the Torah leining, which translates to the second parashah that was just finished and not the first parashah. So we see that generally speaking, whenever there is a double parashah, the haftarah of the second parashah is read, as that is the Torah reading that we just concluded.

[13]See at length Gemara Megillah (29a-30b). For a brief summary of the Gemara’s conclusion see Mishnah Berurah (685:1).

[14]However, in the upcoming leap years, Tazria’s haftarah will be read somewhat often – in 5787, 5790, 5793, and then, after an 8 year break, again in 5801.

[15]Hasishpot” (Yechezkel Ch. 22:1).

[16]In Rabbi Dovid Heber’s recent excellent The Intriguing World of Jewish Time (Ch. 11, pg. 177), he states that following the prevalent minhag Ashkenaz, “the most infrequently leined haftarah is that of Kedoshim, “Hasishpot.” It is only leined in a leap year that begins on a Shabbos and in which Pesach begins on a Tuesday. This only occurs on average once every seventeen years. The longest possible span between years that this haftarah is leined is forty-four; it was leined in 5388/1628 and again in 5432/1672.”

[17]Shu”t Igros Moshe (Orach Chaim vol. 1:36).

[18]On the other hand, in Maseches Sofrim (Ch. 9:11) this story is cited slightly differently, and ends off with Rabbi Eliezer’s shittah, implying that his stringent view is the final word on the matter, and not as the Gemara ultimately concludes.

[19]Levush (Orach Chaim 428:8 and 493 s.v. l’Parshas Kedoshim; at length). He adds that that haftarah, although discussing ‘To’avas Yerushalayim’ is not the actual one discussed in the Gemara that Rabbi Eliezer held should not be read (which is found in Yechezkel Ch. 16). Additionally, ‘Hasishpot’ is mentioned by several early authorities as being the proper haftarah for several other parshiyos (some Sefardim and Yemenites in fact read it for Parshas Shemos). Therefore, he maintains, how can we now say that it should not be read? Moreover, if the reason normally to read the second parashah’s haftarah is to read a haftarah similar to what was just read, why should that change just because of a specific haftarah’s content? He concludes that several other important authorities, including the Tikkun Yissachar (Minhagos Haftaros pg. 84), hold not to switch and when Acharei Mos and Kedoshim are combined, Kedoshim’s haftarah should still be read.

[20]Including the Agudah (cited by the Magen Avrohom, Orach Chaim 428:10), Bach (ad loc. s.v. u’mah shekasav), Matteh Moshe (424), Magen Avrohom (ibid.), Elyah Rabbah (493:17; and Elyah Zuta 16 - citing it as the minhag of Prague, following his ‘Zikno HaGaon z”l’), Tosafos Yom Tov (Malbushei Yom Tov ad loc. 3; citing it as the minhag of the Maharash), Ba’er Heitiv (Orach Chaim 428:9), Chayei Adam (vol. 2, 118:17), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (79:6), Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 428:7), Mishnah Berurah (428:26), and Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s Shoneh Halachos (ad loc. 22). The Kaf Hachaim (ad loc. 52) cites this as the prevalent Ashkenazic minhag.

[21]See Kaf Hachaim (Orach Chaim 428:52) who says that Sefardic minhag is to follow the Kenesses Hagedolah (ad loc.) and Tikkun Yissachar (ibid.), as well as the mashma’os of the Shulchan Aruch, who makes no mention of a switch, that when Acharei Mos and Kedoshim are combined, Sefardim indeed read ‘Hasishpot,’ the haftarah of Kedoshim. See also Yalkut Yosef (ibid.) and Rav Mordechai Eliyahu’s Darchei Halacha glosses to the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (79:3) who state this as well. Interestingly, there are actually two different haftaros from Yechezkel known as ‘Hasishpot,’ (Ch. 20 and Ch. 22) both discussing ‘Toavas Yerushalayim.’ If Acharei Mos and Kedoshim are combined, Sefardim generally read ‘Hasishpot’ from Yechezkel Ch. 20, which is also Kedoshim’s regular haftarah for Sefardim. The remarkably similar ‘Hasishpot’ that Ashkenazim read for a rare stand-alone Parshas Kedoshim (like this year) is from Yechezkel Ch. 22, which Sefardim would have generally already read the previous week, for a stand-alone Parshas Acharei Mos (and not ‘Halo K’Bnei Kushiyim’ that Ashkenazim would have read).

[22]See also Shu”t Noda B’Yehuda (Tinyana,Orach Chaim 11).

[23]Megillah (31a-b); see also Shulchan Aruch and commentaries to Orach Chaim (425:2). This was discussed at length in a previous article titled ‘The Double-Header Hafarah.’

[24]Hagahos Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Orach Chaim 428, on Magen Avrohom 10).

[25]In fact, and aside for the Levush and those who follow him, the Sefer Haminhagim (ibid.), who is the source of the halacha of switching haftaros for Acharei Mos and Kedoshim when combined, explicitly writes that when Acharei Mos’s haftarah is not read due to Rosh Chodesh etc., on the next week, Kedoshim’s haftarah should be read and not Acharei Mos’s haftarah. This author has since heard that the Belzer minhag is to follow the Sefer Haminhagim on this and not Rav Akiva Eiger. However, a reading of the Luach Belz - Dvar Yom B’Yomo (5782, Shabbos Emor/Chu”l Shabbos Kedoshim) proves otherwise, citing ‘Halo K’Bnei Kushiyim’ as the proper haftarah.

[26]Mishnah Berurah (ibid.) and Kaf Hachaim (ibid.). It is also cited lemaaseh by several other sefarim including the Shulchan Hakeriah (28), Leket Kemach Hachodosh (vol. 3, Tomer Devorah 85), Shu”t Beis Yisrael (Taussig; vol. 8; pg. 206), and Zer HaTorah (Ch. 10:133, hagahah 176). See also the excellent maamar by Rabbi Moshe Eliezer Blum in Kovetz Ohr Yisroel (vol. 52; Sivan 5768) citing several proofs that the ikar halacha indeed follows Rav Akiva Eiger. This was discussed at length in a previous article titled ‘The Curious Case of the Missing Haftarah.

[27]See Shoneh Halachos (ad loc. 22); Rav Kanievsky adds that this was also the Chazon Ish’s psak. See also Shu”t Igros Moshe (Orach Chaim vol. 1:36), where although dealing with what to do if one already made a brachah on the wrong haftarah for Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim [if reading from a Navi, Rav Moshe rules that ‘Hasishpot’ should be read instead of making a new brachah; however if from a Chumash then one should just read Acharei’s haftarah], Rav Moshe mentions that generally speaking, the haftarah for Kedoshim is rarely read, and cites as a davar pashut that anytime there is a conflict of haftaros, Acharei Mos’s haftarah is read in its stead.

[28]This psak of the Rema’s is the mainstream Ashkenazic minhag, as cited by the many Rishonim, Acharonim, and Poskim listed in footnote 20. See Rema (Orach Chaim 428:8), Mishnah Berurah (ad loc. 26), Shoneh Halachos (ibid.; also citing the Chazon Ish), Shu”t Igros Moshe (ibid.), Shu”t Shevet Halevi (vol. 9:60), Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer (vol. 11:31), and Rav Sroya Debilitzky’s V’Zorach Hashemesh (pg. 77).

[29]See Rav Yisrael Yaakov Fischer’s Shu”t Even Yisrael (vol. 8:38) and Halichos Even Yisrael (pg. 217:24; also citing this as the shittah of Rav Zelig Reuven Bengis). He even mentions years and places where this was actually nahug(mainly Old Yishuv-Yerushalmi/Perushim shuls, as well as the Churva shul). There are tales of how when this would occur, Rav Fischer would lock up the Neviim of Yechezkel in his shul, the Zichron Moshe Shteiblach (“Minyan Factory”) – to prevent “Hasishpot” from being leined. Thanks are due to Nehemiah Klein for pointing this out.

[30]There is actually a third minhag, an alternate ‘Minhag Yerushalayim’ cited as correct in the Tukachinsky Luach Eretz Yisrael, that of leining both haftaros – but reversing their order. Meaning ‘Hasishpot’ will nonetheless be leined in a year such as ours, but rather for Parashas Acharei Mos, whereas ‘Halo’ will be leined for Parashas Kedoshim. However, many Gedolim argued that this ‘minhag’ was actually a mistake and is based on an inaccurate rumor, or perhaps on Sefardic minhag (at least for Acharei). See Genazim U’Shu”t Chazon Ish (vol. 1, pg. 187), Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer (ibid.), Shu”t Even Yisrael (ibid.), Aderes Shmuel (Hanhagos U’Psakim Rav Shmuel Salant; 76 and footnote 87, pg.71; that the ikar minhag vasikin in Yerushalayim was indeed to leinHalo’ both weeks in a row), and Luach Hahalachos U’Minhagim (5784, pg. 300-302).

[31]See Aderes Shmuel (Hanhagos U’Psakim Rav Shmuel Salant; 76 and footnote 87, pg.70-71).

[32]When Shushan Purim (which is Purim in Yerushalayim) falls out on Shabbos, the haftarah of Parashas Zachor, “Pakaditi,” (Shmuel I Ch. 15:2) is read a second time in Yerushalayim - two weeks in a row. See Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 688:6), Darchei Moshe (ad loc. 3) and Shulchan Aruch (ad loc.) and main commentaries. For more details on the hanhagos of a Purim Meshulash, see Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld’s Seder HaPurim HaMeshulash, Rav Chaim Pinchas HaKohen’s similarly-named Seder HaPurim HaMeshulash (under the auspices of Rav Chaim Berlin), both re-published in 1910, and Rav Sroyah Debilitzky’s Purim Meshulash.Purim Meshulash and is next expected in 5785/2025, followed by a long break of 20 years, in 5805/2045, and then three years later in 5808/2048. Purim Meshulash was detailed in a previous article titled ‘Configuring Parashas Zachor and Purim Meshulash.

[33]As discussed previously, for most Ashkenazic Kehillos, the haftarah of ‘Hasishpot’ is practically the rarest of all haftaros. In contrast, and as mentioned briefly, for many Sefardim, ‘Hasishpot’ is read three times annually (Parshas Shemos, Acharei Mos, and Kedoshim; well, one of the two ‘Hasishpot’s is read twice and the other once).

[34]Cited in the forward to Dr. Arthur Spier’s monumental ‘The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar.’

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive guide, rather a brief summary to raise awareness of the issues. In any real case one should ask a competent Halachic authority.

L'iluy Nishmas the Rosh HaYeshiva - Rav Chonoh Menachem Mendel ben R' Yechezkel Shraga, Rav Yaakov Yeshaya ben R' Boruch Yehuda.

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions

« Back to Insights into Halacha

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.