68 episodes

Reclaim the message of the prophets for today with the weekly Haftarah portion narrated in English by renowned actor Ronald Guttman.

The Voice of the Prophet JTS

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 17 Ratings

Reclaim the message of the prophets for today with the weekly Haftarah portion narrated in English by renowned actor Ronald Guttman.

    Ki Tetzei

    Ki Tetzei

    The Haftarah portion for Ki Tetzei (Isaiah 54:1–10) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman.
    Note: in some years when Rosh Hodesh Ellul falls on Shabbat Re'eh, many congregations read the haftarah for Re'eh along with this haftarah on Shabbat morning.
    Questions for Discussion:
    In this haftarah of reconciliation, the prophet assures the people that they will no longer feel shame or disgrace.
    • How have shame and humiliation hurt relationships with people you care about?
    • What would it take to address that shame and heal?
    • What roles do shame and humiliation play in national and international conflicts?
    • What can you do to bring more dignity and respect into our world?
    JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

    • 3 min
    Bereishit

    Bereishit

    The Haftarah portion for Shabbat Bereishit narrated in English by Ronald Guttman.
    Isaiah 42:5–43:10

    Questions for Discussion:
    • The prophet rails against the people's lack of awareness that God is not only created all, but continues to be ever-present and involved in the world. When, if ever do you sense God's presence? Do you think that awareness is a choice? Would a consistent, conscious sense of God being among us cause you to behave differently? How?
    • Isaiah reminds us that we are God's witnesses - not just by talking about God, but by actions and character that lead others to sense God's presence through us. What behaviors and ways of being do you think “witness God”? Who embodies those traits today?
    • In interpreting the Divine message, Isaiah chose to use blindness and deafness as metaphors for ignorance and intransigence. Today we reject such ableist metaphors as hurtful, contributing to negative stereotypes about the disabled. One of the primary ways we "witness" God is through the gift of speech - what other common expressions and metaphors cause damage, and need to be rethought in order to better express God's vision?
    JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

    • 7 min
    Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot

    Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot

    The Haftarah portion for Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot (Ezekiel 38:18-39:16) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman.
    Questions for Discussion:
    Ezekiel’s apocalyptic vision of the end of days is accompanied by images of terrible violence.
    • Does all significant transformation inevitably involve trauma, violence and loss? If so, what sustains us through such turbulent times?
    • Can you imagine a more peaceful model of transformational change?

    JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

    • 5 min
    Ha'azinu

    Ha'azinu

    The Haftarah portion for Ha'azinu (II Sam. 22:1-51) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman.
    Questions for Discussion:
    In praising God for saving him, David sees his salvation as a reward for his own righteousness. In times of difficulty, we often feel unfairly wronged, and question whether indeed there is justice in the world. But when we prosper or have been spared or vindicated, we often attribute our success or victory to our own merit.
    • How do we keep a genuine sense of vindication and justice having prevailed from sliding into self-righteousness and self-congratulation?
    • What role does gratitude and prayer have in modulating our natural inclination to take sole credit for our victories?

    JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

    • 6 min
    Shabbat Shuvah

    Shabbat Shuvah

    The Haftarah portion for Shabbat Shuvah (Hosea 14:2-10; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:15-27) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman.

    Questions for Discussion:
    The prophet Hosea focuses on words as an essential part of teshuvah (return, repentance), generally interpreted to refer specifically to confession aloud.
    • Beyond the formal text of the confession, what do you personally need to confess to during this week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?
    • What truths about yourself have you resisted articulating, even to yourself?
    JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.
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    • 18 min
    Nitzavim

    Nitzavim

    The Haftarah portion for Nitzavim (Isaiah 61:10–63:9) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman.

    Questions for Discussion:
    The prophet portrays God as reflecting back on a period of God’s own anger, and the damage it caused.
    • As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when were you angry in a destructive way, that you now regret?
    • Can you make amends and repair what you damaged? How?
    • Were there times your anger was productive or necessary?
    JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

    • 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

DesertRatBigCity ,

Breathes Life into Sacred Text

An engaging resource for Jews and even Christians! This podcast really brings context and drama to stories I've heard my whole life--it's like I'm listening to this living text for the first time, and I'm loving it.

NJPS1999 ,

Love the Haftaros!

The Haftarah is all too often neglected in Judaism. This podcast is a welcome addition to keeping in touch with the weekly Prophetic readings. Hope that a weekly Haftarah Commentary will be in podcast form someday soon!

HL in NYC ,

Forceful and Gripping

Many of us struggle to connect with the weekly Haftarah, the prophetic reading which follows the Torah reading for Shabbat and festival services.

When read in the original Hebrew during serivces, the traditional cantillation melody - while beautiful - makes it difficult for even the most skillful reader to convey the force and meaning of the passage.

But when presented here in English, forcefully declaimed by a skilled actor, the portion comes to life as you imagine it originally did when declaimed by the prophet himself thousands of years ago.

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