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At the end of every verse in the haftarah, there is a sof pasuk. Is there a sof haftarah at the end of the portion, or do you just do a regular sof pasuk?

EDIT: I am not asking about the actual trope, I'm asking if (in Ashkenazic cantillation) you make a change to the end of a haftarah portion to show finality and to transition to the blessings afterwards.

  • Haftorot (as well as parshiyot and aliyot) were a later institution. Can you explain why you think there should be an explicit trop designating the end a section when the trop is usually understood to be part of the sinaitic mesorah? – Isaac Kotlicky Dec 16 '15 at 1:10
  • I found my answer elsewhere. There is a Sof Haftarah. Listen to the end of this Haftarah verse (Jeremiah 46:28, the end of the haftarah for Parashat Bo): Click me – OldBunny2800 Dec 16 '15 at 1:21
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    While some readers often finish major sections (eg. Aliyah, Haftara, and leHavdil "Perek") with flourishes, I'm not aware of any classical rules requiring such flourishes. – Double AA Dec 16 '15 at 1:23
  • I guess I wasn't clear enough. I am coming from a reform standpoint with Ashkenazic cantorial style. I don't know if it matters, though. An example of what I found: (This is the last three words of Jeremiah 46:16) Click me 2.0 – OldBunny2800 Dec 16 '15 at 1:42
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    So your question wasn't one of whether there is a de facto difference in cantillation marks, only whether tradition dictates demarking the end of a unit via a vocal change? (like a ? at the end of a sentence) Then yes, there is. And I suggest editing your question to reflect this... – Isaac Kotlicky Dec 16 '15 at 1:51
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handwritten transcription

I usually use the system above. The system below seems to be more common. An etnachta is included on the side to show the intervals according to the key I’m transcribing by (mostly centered around the tone D). On the right I include the opening of the post haftarah blessing. The keys there are just suggestions, not traditions, but I think it sounds nice if you stick to a related key for the post blessing.

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is there a different melody? Yes, at least according to Ashkenazi practice. It usually transitions into a major or an Adonai Malakh mode, since the traditional nusach for the after-haftarah blessing is major. my tradition transitions to a major based on the accented kha note in a regular merkha. It continues to a pedal tone on the fourth and ends on a 431 sort of like a psalm in Kabbalat Shabbat, with a few fancy adornments (more like a 4 323212 1). Some people end on the 4 (sof haftarah = 12354). I hope this isn't too music theory nerd to be understandable.

  • Are your numbers in scale degrees? eg. 1 = do, 2 = re… – OldBunny2800 Oct 23 '17 at 22:30
  • Yes. I could probably transcribe it for you if you want – Isaac Mayer Dec 10 '17 at 20:49
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In Ashkenazi cantillation, the demarcation of the end of a recitation unit is technically no different than the end of any other verse vis a vis the cantillation marks themselves. There is therefore no strict requirement for them to be pronounced differently. However, it is a widespread custom that the concluding words of a recitation unit (whether a haftorah, aliyah, etc.) are typically vocalized differently to signal the end of the unit.

I am not aware of any texts explicitly discussing this, but it does appear to be an "oral tradition."

  • FWIW, there is a similar custom to change the vocalization when approaching the end of reading a Torah aliyah, as well. I may have a source that explains when this custom originated. I have to hunt for it a bit. – DanF Dec 16 '15 at 16:49

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