November 11th, 2007

magen david

My Favorite Haftarah

A main feature of Shabbat morning services is the reading of a portion of the Torah (Five Books of Moses - first five books of the Bible - in scroll form). It's followed by a haftarah reading - a companion portion from the other books of the bible. Haftarah is chanted in a lovely minor key cantillation. My youngest daughter's bat mitzvah tutor chanted haftarah at our shul yesterday, beautifully, and it was my favorite one.

Usually the haftarah is coordinated with the Torah reading, having a similar theme or plot point or something else in common. When Shabbat falls on the day before the New Moon, though, there's a special haftarah reading chosen because it tells a story where some of the action takes place on the day before the New Moon. It's a tender and dramatic point in the story of the love between David and Jonathan.
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Fanfic connection: Adam Greenfield's first lover was an Orthodox Jewish boy he met in high school, who used the story of David and Jonathan to rationalize his indulging in (some) sexual acts with Adam. Adam tells Jean-Paul all about it in my story As He Loved His Own Soul.