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NNJR will be receiving the Sefer Haftarah from February 11 through April 22, 2017, which includes 8 Shabbatot, the high holidays, Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah. If your club is interested in having the Sefer Haftarah at your synagogue during this time, please notify Joel Brimmer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) . We need to know ASAP if your interested so the schedule can be made.

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The Sefer Haftorah scroll was created in Israel and contains all Haftorot, including vowels and trop.

Since it was first unveiled during the 2003 FJMC Biennial Convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the FJMC Sefer Haftorah scroll has travelled around North America to Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods, to regional retreats and to FJMC conventions. It has been used in synagogues from West Coast to East Coast, and from Florida to Canada.

History of the Haftorah

The Haftorah has been part of Jewish liturgy since Roman times. They were introduced in order to counter a Roman decree that forbade the reading of the Torah in public assemblies. During the 9th Century CE, the Ben Asher family developed the system of cantillation and punctuation (trop and k'tiv). From that time onward, it became traditional for the haftarot to be chanted. It was common during the Middle Ages to have books of the prophets in the Ark next to the Torah scrolls. When it became time to read from the Haftorah, a scroll was taken out of the Ark and the Haftorah was chanted. Books of haftorot in scroll form have been in use for more than a century but have almost been totally eclipsed by the printing press. The Haftorah, unlike the Torah, does not have to be chanted from a scroll (though many of us feel it would enhance the spirituality of the act if it were read from a scroll instead of a book).

The FJMC's Sefer Haftorah Scroll

seferhaftorah1When several FJMC members were in Jerusalem, they had the opportunity to view a Sefer Haftorah scroll that had been commissioned for an Orthodox synagogue. They immediately saw a number of possibilities if FJMC commissioned its own scroll. The scroll has the outward appearance of a Torah scroll and contains all the Haftorot chanted during the year. It was written by one of the finest scribal groups in Israel. The differences between the Sefer Haftorah and a Torah are readily apparent, however, as soon as one opens the scroll. The Haftorah scroll, unlike the Torah, has the vowels and the trop cantillation, which facilitate the chanting of it. Also, the Haftorah scroll lists the various sponsorships of the individual Haftarot. The main purpose behind commissioning the Haftorah scroll was utilitarian in nature. FJMC would now have a scroll that could travel from Men's Club to Men's Club to be used in congregations all across North America. It would create a sense of pride and accomplishment among the member clubs and provide opportunities for them to highlight FJMC activities for members of their congregations. Additionally, FJMC would use the scroll at its various conventions and meetings, while FJMC regions would use it at their retreats. Sponsorships would enable FJMC to subsidize the administrative costs of transporting the scroll across North America. FJMC dedicated its Sefer Haftorah scroll during its 2003 international convention; incoming international president Danny Stern chanted the first Haftorah from it.

Commissioning an Individual Haftorah Scroll

In addition to commissioning a complete Sefer Haftorah scroll for its own use, FJMC offers opportunities for anyone to order a complete Sefer Haftorah scroll for their own synagogue or an individual Haftorah for a chosen Shabbat. The individual Haftorah is hand-written on the highest quality parchment, with vowels and cantillation; it is ideal for parents, grandparents, or others who want to make a memorable bar or bat mitzvah gift or to commemorate weddings, births, or the anniversary of a bar mitzvah. In addition to the text from the Prophets, the parchment can be inscribed with a personalized dedication. For information on ordering a Sefer Haftorah scroll contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or for an individual Haftorah, please go to the Sefer Haftorah Brochure. For answer to some of the more frequent questions about the Sefer Haftorah scroll, please go to the Sefer Haftorah FAQ.

Parsahat ha-Shavua

Torah reading of the week from Hebcal.com (Diaspora)

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