Ashkenazim customarily read as the haftarah of Parshat Vayetze from Hoshea 12:13 until the end of the book.

As the ending of Hoshea is somewhat disturbing, Mishnah Berurah 428:22 recommends adding some verses from Yoel.

I have rarely seen this done in practice; furthermore, these additional verses do not appear in many printed chumashim.

In contrast, on Shabbat Shuvah (the shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur), common custom is to read the haftarah from Hoshea 14:2 until the end of the book.

Again, Mishnah Berurah 428:23 says to add verses at the end (from Yoel or Michah or both).

In this case, common practice, as well as the printed chumashim, do comport with his ruling.

Why is there this difference in common practice? If it’s ok to conclude Haftarat Vayetze at the end of Hoshea, why is Haftarat Shuvah different (and vice versa)?


1 Answer 1


R. Kaganoff in this shi'ur suggests that:

The stumbling of the evil is not inherently a bad thing, and, for this reason, this is considered an appropriate place to end the haftarah on Vayeitzei. Nevertheless, on Shabbos Shuva, ending with u’poshe’im yikashlu bam, the sinners will stumble, is inappropriate, because the first Shabbos of the year should have a more encouraging conclusion. Alternatively, mention the sinning of the evil is an inappropriate closing during the aseres yemei teshuvah, when our entire theme is that everyone will do teshuvah.

Another possibility, is that the reason to add the verses from Yoel to Haftarat Shuvah is not due to the 'bad' ending, but instead so that the haftarah exceeds the customary minimum of 21 verses (see e.g. this article by R. Samet - p.7).

This is only a concern on Shabbat Shuva where from Hoshea 14:2 until the end of the book is only nine verses. Therfore, the Ashkenazi custom is to add 13 or 17 verses from Yoel to achieve a total of 22 or 26.

For Vayetze, where the haftarah starts at 12:13, by the end of the book one would have read 28 verses, so there is no need to add anything further.

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