Haftarah Eikev

Noa Landau-Camarillo

G-d, we cried. Oh G-d, my G-d, why have you forsaken us? Abandoned to our grief and despair we wander, forgotten, in the wake of your promises. Who are we in the scheme of your power? Where have we fallen in the darkness of your heavens? Remember us! Remember us!

G-d could never forget you, Isaiah whispers. She has carried you in her arms, rested your weary souls against the winds of her world and she will raise you once more.

How could he forget you, Isaiah whispers. He has bound himself to you in oaths that shall never be broken, and you will live to see them fulfilled.

Like parent and child, like spouses in marriage, you are partners in the walk of life. You fight and fall out. You are full of stiff stubbornness and G-d full of righteous anger. You are in a balance of push and pull, tethered together by a future you are desperate for, a future G-d has promised you. You could never be abandoned. Humanity is fragile. G-d is unbreakable. Humanity falls. G-d is forgiving. You needn’t fear.

Days of joy are coming, Isaiah promises. The voices of your children, once captive, will ring free and full of laughter. Your arms will be full of family, your hearts full of hope. The day will come when your shadows shall be reflected on castle walls as you walk with pride in the sun. Kings will kneel before you. Queens will tend to your every wish. You shall rest in peace.

You will be safe, swears Isaiah. No more running. No more fear. The enemies who wish you harm will be kept far from your reach; never again will you fall in curtains of blood. The years of war will be finished, the time of mourning will come to an end. You will sit in comfort, be held in love.

You have been through trials and tribulations, lost in the chaos of a world that feels attuned to your every fear. But the world is not against you, children. You are not falling through darkness; you walk through the light of the sparks you have kindled. Hope is powerful. G-d has blown your sparks into a flame, illuminating a world in which you have a future. See how bright it is, cast in a glow of warmth. So too will this warmth live in your hearts, for now and for evermore.

For the righteous and the faithful, and for those that stumble and fall and scramble to rise once more, hear this now:

G-d has not abandoned you. You have not been forgotten, as you yourself have not forgotten. One day your ruins will be in comfort, your desert shall be a garden of G-d, and the voice of melody shall float through the wind. The world will be at peace and you will rest in the power of love and the safety that G-d has promised you. Your children shall be as numerous as the stars and their light will shine just as brightly.

Be patient, children of Israel. Our future is inevitable.