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Yermiyah/Jeremiah  2:4 - 28,  3:4,  4:1 - 2

~ When the Parashas is combined (Mattos-Masei) begin the Haftarah here ~

Chapter 2

4 Hear the word of Hashem, O House of Jacob and all families of the House of Israel.  5 Thus said Hashem, "What did your forefathers find in Me that is a wrong, that they distanced themselves from me and went after nothingness, and have turned into nothingness?  6 But they did not say, 'Where is Hashem, Who brought us up from the land of Egypt, Who led us in the Wilderness, in a land of plain and pit, in a land of waste and the shadow of death, in a land through which no man has passed and where no man has settled.'

7 Yet I brought you to a fruitful Land, to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you came, you contaminated My Land, and made My heritage into an abomination.  8 The Kohanim did not say, 'Where is Hashem?'; — even those charged with teaching the Torah did not know Me; the shepherd-kings rebelled against Me; and the prophets prophesied in the name of the Baal-idols; and they went after that which cannot avail.

9 Therefore I will again contend with you — the word of Hashem — and with your children's children will I contend.  10 Traverse the isles of the Kittites and see, send forth unto Kedar and consider deeply, and see whether there has occurred such as this.  11 Has a nation exchanged its gods — though they be not gods; yet My people has exchanged its Glory for that which cannot avail.  12 Mourn, O heavens, over this; rage forth in storm, send forth great devastation — the word of Hashem.  13 For My people has perpetrated two evils - Me have they forsaken, the Source of living waters; to dig for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

14 Is Israel a slave? Is he born to a housemaid? Why has he become prey?  15 Young lions have roared at him, they have given out their voice; they have laid his land a waste, devastated his cities, without inhabitant.  16 Even the people of Noph and Tahpanhes smash your skull.  17 Is this not what you do to yourself; by forsaking Hashem, your God, when He leads you on the way?

18 And now, what is there for you on the road to Egypt — to drink the water of Shihor? And what is there for you on the road to Assyria — to drink the water of the [Euphrates] River?  19 Your evil shall castigate you; your waywardness shall chasten you; know and see that evil and bitter is your forsaking of Hashem, your God, and that awe of me was not upon you — the word of my Lord, Hashem/Elohim, Master of Legions.

20 For from of old have I broken your yoke, I have removed your reins, and you said, 'I will not transgress!' — yet upon every lofty hill, and under every vigorous tree, you wander like a harlot.  21 I had planted you a noble vine, full of true seed; how, then, have you transformed yourself before Me into a degenerate alien vine?  22 Even were you to wash yourself with natron, and use much soap upon yourself, your iniquity is as the mark of a stain before Me — the word of my Lord, Hashem/Elohim.

23 How can you say, 'I have not become contaminated; after the Baal-idols have I not gone?' See your way in the Valley [of Peor]; know what you have done [to this day], like a fleet dromedary bound in her ways.  24 Like a wild-donkey well acquainted with the wilderness, that in the passion of her soul inhales the wind; [when] her lust [overwhelms her], who can reform her? Those who seek her should not weary themselves for in her [final] month [of pregnancy] they will find her.  25 [The prophets told you that by remaining faithful you would] withhold your foot from barefooted [exile], and your throat from thirst; but you said, 'I do not care! No! For I have loved strangers and after them will I go.'  26 As the shame of a thief when he is discovered, so has the House of Israel been shamed — they, their kings, their princes, and their [idolatrous] priests and their [false] prophets.

27 They say to the wood, 'You are my father,' and to the stone, 'You gave birth to us;' for they have turned unto Me their back and not their face; yet in the time of their distress, they will say, 'Arise and save us!'  28 So where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your distress; for as the number of your cities was [the number of] your gods, O Judah."

~ Some congregations conclude the Haftarah here. Ashkenazim recite one more verse (3:4): ~

Chapter 3

4 Will you not from this time call to me, "My Father! Master of my youth are You?"

~ Sephardim and Chabad Chassidim recite two more verses (4:1-2): ~

Chapter 4

1 If you will return, O Israel — the word of Hashem — to Me shall you return; and if you will remove your abominations from before Me and you will not stray;  2 but you will swear, "As Hashem lives!" in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then shall the nations bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall they praise themselves.


Parashas Masei

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