The Haftara of Mishpatim starts at Yirmiyahu Ch. 34:8 and continues to the end of the chapter. It then jumps to Ch. 33 verses 25-26, some 8 verses before it started.

Obviously we do not want to end at 34:22 "... and I shall make the cities of Yehuda desolate without an inhabitant".

We occasionally jump forward, like the week before - Yisro - where we go from 7:8 to 9:4.

The question is: Isn't there an issue jumping backwards? (I seem to have this in mind, but cannot find any reference to it.)

  • 2
    May be of interest: Divrei Chaim blog: the haftarah that goes backwards. He brings S.A. O.C. 144 (but mentions M.B. #6 and #9, that say it's talking of a different situation, and not applicable today). He brings a "solution" in the name of R. Chaim Kanievsky to, instead, read on to the end of Ch. 35. (See also my comment there, referencing the Seder ha-Tefilah in the Mishneh Torah.)
    – Tamir Evan
    Jan 12, 2014 at 9:42
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    Thank you @TamirEvan - your comment deserves to be an answer. Jan 12, 2014 at 13:56
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    Do all traditions have this Haftarah with the skip, or are you referring to a specific tradition?
    – Double AA
    Jan 12, 2014 at 19:39
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    @DoubleAA I have a Tanakh, given to me by the IDF at the end of basic training, which gives the Haftarah for the Ashkenazic and Sephardic customs as described in the question, but for the Yemenite custom it gives Yirmiyahu 34:8-35:19. See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haftarah#Haftarot_for_Exodus
    – Tamir Evan
    Jan 13, 2014 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


The rule you are thinking of is codified in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 144:1.

See this shiur from R. Kaganoff for a comprehensive discussion of this topic as it relates to the haftarah for Mishpatim.

In summary, he presents three approaches that may allow the practice of jumping backwards in this case:

  1. The rule only prohibits jumping backwards in Trei Asar, this haftarah is from Yirmeyahu.

  2. The rule only applies when reading from a scroll, not a bound volume.

  3. The rule does not apply to adding verses as a 'concluding song' to the haftarah.

Some key quotes:

The question is whether the rule prohibiting medalgin lemafrei’a, reading verses of a book out of order, applies only to the book of Trei Asar, or is it prohibited in any sefer navi. If it refers only to Trei Asar, then reversing direction at the end of the haftarah of Hadavar, which is from the book of Yirmiyahu, does not present any problem.

The authorities dispute which interpretation of the beraisa is correct. The Kesef Mishneh, indeed, rules that ein medalgin lemafrei’a applies only to Trei Asar and nowhere else. However, the Magen Avraham disagrees and understands that ein medalgin lemafrei’a applies to the works of any of the prophets. It is possible that our custom of skipping backwards when reading Hadavar is based on the Kesef Mishneh’s understanding of the Gemara.

[T]he Terumas Hadeshen contends, those who explain that Chazal prohibited switching prophets in mid-haftarah because of tircha detzibura will conclude that this is permitted when the haftarah is in book form ... Based on this approach of the Terumas Hadeshen, we may be able to permit going back to two earlier pesukim to conclude the haftarah of Hadavar, if we assume that the prohibition of ein medalgin lemafrei’a is because of tircha detzibura.

Other authorities provide a different reason to permit reading Sos Asis after a haftarah from a different navi. They explain that these verses are not considered part of the haftarah but a concluding song after the haftarah (Beis Yosef, Orach Chayim 144, quoting Nemukei Yosef; Levush ad loc. 144:2) ... [A]dding some verses for a pleasant conclusion is not considered part of the haftarah, and therefore does not violate the takkanas chachamim.

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    Great resources; funny thing is that the only reason I noticed this was because I set the Haftara scrolls; always hunting for the start and then the end. (And getting really good at it after all these years.) Aug 29, 2018 at 8:36

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