Most of the time when we read two Parshas, the Haftorah is that of the second Parsha, except on Acharei Mos-Kedoshim (the source of the custom is from the Mordechai, Rama, Bach and Magen Avraham against the Levush) . Then we read the Haftorah for Acharei Mos.

Why is that?

  • There's a ma'amar of Rav soloveitchik on this, but it doesn't add much to the answer already given – הנער הזה Jan 16 '15 at 5:43
  • This particular one is given priority and is always read. Next year outside Israel, Acharei Mot will be Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar and we'll read that haftarah for Kedoshim. In Israel though Acharei Mot will be read when it is 8th day Pesach for us. – CashCow Jan 16 '15 at 8:27

I believe the short-and-sweet explanation is that the Haftorah of Acharei includes the gist of the Haftorah of Kedoshim.

Thank you Fred, for pointing to the Mordechai, Megillah 831 as well as the Mishna Brurah 428.26.

The Haftorah for Kedoshim refers to "the sinning city", and is just a litany of its faults.

We basically make that a closet Haftorah as much as possible. Decry certain practices, yes. But a Haftorah that just calls Jerusalem a sinning city? We don't like to do that out loud very often.

If we read Machar Chodesh for Acharei, the Mishna Brurah says we ignore the "Kedoshim haftorah" and read the "Acharei Haftorah" on Kedoshim. Hooray! Another opportunity to skip the "Kedoshim Haftorah."

I'd seen a sermon online (by a rabbi who's sadly no longer in good standing with the law) about this, with implications for current events. If I recall correctly, in the very rare event that you read the Acharei Haftorah on Acharei, and there's no special Haftorah to read the following week, then while the Mishna Brurah says well, now we're forced to read "the Kedoshim Haftorah", in fact there are Briskers who will read "the Acharei Haftorah" a second week in a row. I.e. it's truly a closet Haftorah.

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    Source: Mord'chai (M'gilla 831). This is cited as practical halacha by the Mishna B'rura 428:26. So far as I know, they are in good with the law. – Fred Jan 16 '15 at 0:26
  • Although, @Fred, I highly doubt they'd quote Rabbi Joseph Soloveichik :P – MTL Jan 16 '15 at 2:07
  • @Fred reworded. Thank you! The Soloveichik part was to read Halo Chivnei twice if necessary. – Shalom Jan 16 '15 at 2:49
  • @Shalom Interesting! – Fred Jan 16 '15 at 3:13
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    What does the parenthetical add? – Double AA Jan 16 '15 at 5:19

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