Haftarah Discussions: Chazon
Visions: “The vision of Isaiah, son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 1:1) The prophet sees a vision of letters and uses Divine Inspiration to combine the letters into words he will express
in prophecy. The advantage of a “Vision” is that the letters can always be combined into different words; if the people repent, the prophecy of tragedy can be reformed into a prophecy of blessing. (Devarim Nechmadim. See too the B’Nei Yisaschar, Shabbat 7) The Nefesh Hachaim describes a similar process in prayer: Our words of prayer rise up as letters and the angels can combine the letters into infinite combinations and permutations that will empower our prayers as they rise. (See to Derech Hamelech on Noach) Discuss how words can be transformed and realities changed, and how this is so essential to rebuilding what has been destroyed. How can we use our prayers to develop this strategy.
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for God has spoken: Children have I raised and exalted, but they have rebelled against Me.” (1:2) Even when Isaiah was rebuking Israel, he used the name Hashem, the Appellation of Compassion, as if to say; You are My children and I will raise you with the love of a parent for a child even when I discipline you.” (Yeitiv Lev – Devarim) Even when you rebelled against Me, “I raised and exalted you.” (Or Pnei Moshe, Devarim) How do these insights relate to the name of the month of tragedy, which is, “Av,” or Parent?
“Had not God, Master of Legions, left us a trace of a remnant, we would have been like Sodom, we would have resembled Gomorrah.” (Verse 9) This “remnant” refers to the Kotel, the Western Wall that remains from both Temples. It is the sign that we will never be wiped out as were Sodom and Gomorrah. (Yeitiv Lev – Shabbat Teshuva) There is also a remnant of Sodom: The Messiah will descend from Moab, through Ruth, who is a remnant of Sodom! (Pri Tzaddik, Succot 23) What is the difference between the remnant of the Temple and the remnant of Sodom?