On the middle shabbat of the ‘Three Weeks’, Ashkenazi and Sefaradi practice is to read a haftarah starting from Jeremiah 2:4.

What happens in the (somewhat rare) case that this shabbat is also Rosh Chodesh Av? Is the haftarah for the Three Weeks still read, or is it superseded by the regular haftarah for shabbat rosh chodesh from Isaiah 66?

Additionally, Megillah 31b quotes Rav Huna as saying that the haftarah for such a shabbat includes Isaiah 1:14. Does anyone follow this practice?

  • 1
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 14:14
  • [Some] Yemenites follow Rav Huna IINM
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 14:27
  • When rosh chodesh overrides reeh, many push if off to combine it with the adjacent ki tetzei. Why don't we find the same phenomenon with people reading a double haftara the week before rosh chodesh av?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 17:31
  • @DoubleAA אקדומי פורעונתא לא מקדמינן?
    – Joel K
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 18:17
  • clever! I'm a bit skeptical still
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


From an Ashkenazi perspective, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 122:6 writes both customs exist

On the three Shabbosos between the seventeenth of Tammuz and Tishah beAv, we read the "Three haftaros of retribution," which are: [...] Shim'u devar Hashem, (Hear the word of Hashem) (Jeremiah 2:4) [...] If Rosh Chodesh Av occurs on Shabbos, he reads the haftarah [normally read on Rosh Hodesh] Hashamayim Kis'i (The heaven is My throne) (Isaiah 66), but in some communities, the haftarah Shim'u is read.

Rema (SA OC 425:1) mentions both customs, Shim'u (Abudharam, Mordekhi) v' yesh omrim Hashamayim Kis'i.

Artscroll's humash has Shim'u devar Hashem while noting "some congregations read the Haftara for Rosh Hodesh". Koren's humash and Tanakh give Shim'u devar Hashem for parasha Masei without noting a different haftara for Shabbat Rosh Hodesh.

I also consulted the "luach dinim u'minagim kminhag edot Israel" (see p. 76) from Heichal Shlomo which is the standard calendar used by national religious synagogues in Israel. It has Shim'u devar Hashem as the haftara but adds that some also say the first and last verse of the Rosh Hodesh haftara.

I found (in R Chaim Drukman's book Step by step) one possible reason that might explain why we should read a "haftara of punishment" even if Rosh Hodesh falls on Shabbat. Abudraham (here) writes the sequence of the seven Haftarot of consolation is a running conversation between God, the prophets and Knesset Israel. As such one should not "interrupt the conversation" by reading haftara Rosh Hodesh in the middle. Possibly the same idea applies to the haftarot before 9 Av.

On your last question re R Huna, Artscroll's gemara Megila 31b notes that "we" do not follow the Gemara in this instance, as we follow the opinion to start the heavier mourning for 9 Av during the week that it falls in and not (as in Rav Huna's view) from Rosh Hodesh Av. As such we do not read Isaiah 1:14 on Rosh Hodesh Av but on the Shabbat immediately preceding 9 Av.

  • The Yekke seem to go with the second option (see p. 68 here): מפטירים 'שמעו דבר ה' עד 'אלוף נעורי אתה', אף כי חל בראש חודש. I've found the same opinion in my Hungarian luach as well. Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 14:32
  • Aruch Hashulchan reports that in Lithuania and Pozen they would read the haftara for rosh chodesh ראש חודש אב שחל בשבת – יש אומרים דשל ראש חודש נדחית, ויש אומרים ד"שמעו" נדחית, וקורין "השמים כסאי". וכן עיקר לדינא במקום שאין מנהג להיפך. וכן נהגו בפוזנא, וכן אנו נוהגים מפני שכן עיקר With the Rama endorsing it in his Mappa as well it seems clear this was the dominant eastern ashkenazi minhag, unlike what Koren presents
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 14:38
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    Here's a detailed answer in the notes from a Sefardi perspective: harav.org/books/mahamar_mordechay_shabat_36/#_ftnref156 Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 14:50
  • There's also a lengthy Beiur haGra, for those interested: beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=oc_x2140 (וי"א השמים) Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 15:15
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    @mbloch On that analogy, it's interesting that current mainstream Ashkenazi practice (in Israel at least) seems to have settled on reading Shim'u for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Av, but not Aniya So'ara for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Elul, reading instead Hashamayim Kis'i
    – Joel K
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 8:02

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