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The Voice of the Prophet

JTS

2
Followers
3
Plays
The Voice of the Prophet

The Voice of the Prophet

JTS

2
Followers
3
Plays
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About Us

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

Latest Episodes

Eikev

The Haftarah portion for Eikev (Isaiah 49:14-51:3) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: The haftarah begins with the people’s sense of having been abandoned by God, while God complains of calling to the people and being ignored. • When in your life might you have ignored or simply failed to see sources of comfort or help? /p>• What solutions and opportunities are we as a society missing? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

7 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Eikev

Va'et-hannan (Shabbat Nahamu)

The Haftarah portion for Va'et-hannan (Isaiah 40:1-26) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This Shabbat takes its name from this special haftarah, which begins Nahamu, nahamu—Comfort, oh comfort, My people. It marks the beginning of seven weeks of comfort (culminating in the High Holy Days) in which the relationship between God and the people Israel—strained almost to breaking on Tisha Be’av—is rebuilt. • Who and what do you turn to when you need comfort? • Which comforts are temporary and shallow, and what offers lasting and deep reassurance? • Focusing on matters of transcendent and ultimate meaning can be unsettling and challenging; how can it also offer comfort? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Va'et-hannan (Shabbat Nahamu)

The third haftarah of admonition

The Haftarah portion for Devarim (Isaiah 1:1-27) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: Second only to Tisha Be’av itself, this haftarah represents the near low point in the relationship between God and the people Israel, who have sunk to the level of Sodom and Gomorrah and are near destruction. Although the people seem to be very committed to worship, their very worship disgusts God because of the prevalence of injustice, abuse of or indifference to the vulnerable, greed, and theft in the larger society. • To what extent has “piety” become divorced from justice in today’s society? • Given this passage, how do you think Isaiah would respond to being told that clergy should not get involved in social policy and politics? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

6 MIN3 w ago
Comments
The third haftarah of admonition

The first haftarah of admonition

The Haftarah portion for Pinehas (Jer. 1:1-2:3) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: In this haftarah, the opening of the prophecy of Jeremiah, God responds to Jeremiah’s unarticulated sense of inadequacy for the task, essentially by saying that this is what Jeremiah was created to do. • Do you ever feel called to particular work in the world but feel inadequate? What would give you the reassurance you need to move forward? • The prophet is specifically called to speak difficult truths to the people Israel, in the hopes of moving them to repent. Are there difficult conversations that you are avoiding? What do you need to do to be able to have them in a productive way? • Who do you see finding an effective way to speak difficult truths in the public sphere? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

4 MINJUL 7
Comments
The first haftarah of admonition

Balak

The Haftarah portion for Balak (Micah 5:6-6:8) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This week’s haftarah concludes with the famous formulation of what it is that God demands of us: “Only to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk modestly with your God.” Anyone who has ever tried to live by this injunction knows that it’s straightforward simplicity masks great complexity; the just path is not always self-evident, and “walking with God” often requires not only modesty but great self-confidence, sometimes even chutzpah. At the same time, we can sometimes get so overwhelmed or confused by complexity that we can make poor decisions, or get mired in inaction. • When do you find yourself resorting to reductionism and oversimplification, such that you need to be reminded of nuance? • When do you find yourself so lost in complexity, that simple straightforward reminders such as this are essential? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish P...

4 MINJUL 1
Comments
Balak

Korah

The Haftarah portion for Korah (1 Sam. 11:14-12:22) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: Samuel makes clear to the people that although God has acceded to their request for a king, their desire for a king is ill-advised. • Why do you think the people insisted on a king despite God’s warnings? • What causes people today to yearn for authoritarian leadership, despite the risks and dangers? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MINJUN 23
Comments
Korah

Shelah Lekha

The Haftarah portion for Shelah Lekha (Joshua 2:1-24) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This story contains an unlikely hero; it is not only a woman who saves the spies sent by Joshua, but a "zonah" (a harlot or prostitute). • Why do you think the narrative chooses an outsider—and specifically someone who is generally subject to moral condemnation—to play this role? • How can we be more open to the potentially redemptive contributions of people we tend to exclude, or judge harshly? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MINJUN 16
Comments
Shelah Lekha

Beha'alotekha

The Haftarah portion for Beha'alotekha (Zech. 2:14–4:7) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This haftarah reminds us that physical strength and power are very limited tools when compared to the Divine spirit. • What do you see in our world that is more potent that physical strength and worldly power? • Might those things be what we mean by God’s spirit? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

4 MINJUN 9
Comments
Beha'alotekha

Naso

The Haftarah portion for Naso (Judges 13:2-25) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: • Samson’s future parents, Manoach and his wife (like many women in the Hebrew Bible, she is unnamed), are visited by an angel or messenger of God. The angel first appears to Samson’s mother, who immediately recognizes him as such and tells her husband. Later, the angel appears to both of them. But the text suggests that Manoach only realizes that it is in fact an angel after the fact (Judges 13:21). • Have you ever felt that you were encountering a Divine messenger in your life? • What made you think so, and what opened you to that possibility? • Have you ever looked back after the fact and suspected that perhaps Divine intervention was involved in some way? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MINJUN 2
Comments
Naso

Shavuot Day 2

The Haftarah portion for Second Day of Shavuot (Hab. 3:1-19) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: Habakkuk’s prophecy, chosen for the second day of Shavuot, portrays all of creation in a state of fear and trembling at God’s approach. • What role does yirah (awe or fear) play in your theology? • Where in your life do you experience that sense of awe, and what spiritual pathways does it open for you? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

4 MINMAY 27
Comments
Shavuot Day 2

Latest Episodes

Eikev

The Haftarah portion for Eikev (Isaiah 49:14-51:3) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: The haftarah begins with the people’s sense of having been abandoned by God, while God complains of calling to the people and being ignored. • When in your life might you have ignored or simply failed to see sources of comfort or help? /p>• What solutions and opportunities are we as a society missing? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

7 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Eikev

Va'et-hannan (Shabbat Nahamu)

The Haftarah portion for Va'et-hannan (Isaiah 40:1-26) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This Shabbat takes its name from this special haftarah, which begins Nahamu, nahamu—Comfort, oh comfort, My people. It marks the beginning of seven weeks of comfort (culminating in the High Holy Days) in which the relationship between God and the people Israel—strained almost to breaking on Tisha Be’av—is rebuilt. • Who and what do you turn to when you need comfort? • Which comforts are temporary and shallow, and what offers lasting and deep reassurance? • Focusing on matters of transcendent and ultimate meaning can be unsettling and challenging; how can it also offer comfort? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Va'et-hannan (Shabbat Nahamu)

The third haftarah of admonition

The Haftarah portion for Devarim (Isaiah 1:1-27) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: Second only to Tisha Be’av itself, this haftarah represents the near low point in the relationship between God and the people Israel, who have sunk to the level of Sodom and Gomorrah and are near destruction. Although the people seem to be very committed to worship, their very worship disgusts God because of the prevalence of injustice, abuse of or indifference to the vulnerable, greed, and theft in the larger society. • To what extent has “piety” become divorced from justice in today’s society? • Given this passage, how do you think Isaiah would respond to being told that clergy should not get involved in social policy and politics? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

6 MIN3 w ago
Comments
The third haftarah of admonition

The first haftarah of admonition

The Haftarah portion for Pinehas (Jer. 1:1-2:3) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: In this haftarah, the opening of the prophecy of Jeremiah, God responds to Jeremiah’s unarticulated sense of inadequacy for the task, essentially by saying that this is what Jeremiah was created to do. • Do you ever feel called to particular work in the world but feel inadequate? What would give you the reassurance you need to move forward? • The prophet is specifically called to speak difficult truths to the people Israel, in the hopes of moving them to repent. Are there difficult conversations that you are avoiding? What do you need to do to be able to have them in a productive way? • Who do you see finding an effective way to speak difficult truths in the public sphere? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

4 MINJUL 7
Comments
The first haftarah of admonition

Balak

The Haftarah portion for Balak (Micah 5:6-6:8) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This week’s haftarah concludes with the famous formulation of what it is that God demands of us: “Only to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk modestly with your God.” Anyone who has ever tried to live by this injunction knows that it’s straightforward simplicity masks great complexity; the just path is not always self-evident, and “walking with God” often requires not only modesty but great self-confidence, sometimes even chutzpah. At the same time, we can sometimes get so overwhelmed or confused by complexity that we can make poor decisions, or get mired in inaction. • When do you find yourself resorting to reductionism and oversimplification, such that you need to be reminded of nuance? • When do you find yourself so lost in complexity, that simple straightforward reminders such as this are essential? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish P...

4 MINJUL 1
Comments
Balak

Korah

The Haftarah portion for Korah (1 Sam. 11:14-12:22) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: Samuel makes clear to the people that although God has acceded to their request for a king, their desire for a king is ill-advised. • Why do you think the people insisted on a king despite God’s warnings? • What causes people today to yearn for authoritarian leadership, despite the risks and dangers? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MINJUN 23
Comments
Korah

Shelah Lekha

The Haftarah portion for Shelah Lekha (Joshua 2:1-24) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This story contains an unlikely hero; it is not only a woman who saves the spies sent by Joshua, but a "zonah" (a harlot or prostitute). • Why do you think the narrative chooses an outsider—and specifically someone who is generally subject to moral condemnation—to play this role? • How can we be more open to the potentially redemptive contributions of people we tend to exclude, or judge harshly? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MINJUN 16
Comments
Shelah Lekha

Beha'alotekha

The Haftarah portion for Beha'alotekha (Zech. 2:14–4:7) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: This haftarah reminds us that physical strength and power are very limited tools when compared to the Divine spirit. • What do you see in our world that is more potent that physical strength and worldly power? • Might those things be what we mean by God’s spirit? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

4 MINJUN 9
Comments
Beha'alotekha

Naso

The Haftarah portion for Naso (Judges 13:2-25) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: • Samson’s future parents, Manoach and his wife (like many women in the Hebrew Bible, she is unnamed), are visited by an angel or messenger of God. The angel first appears to Samson’s mother, who immediately recognizes him as such and tells her husband. Later, the angel appears to both of them. But the text suggests that Manoach only realizes that it is in fact an angel after the fact (Judges 13:21). • Have you ever felt that you were encountering a Divine messenger in your life? • What made you think so, and what opened you to that possibility? • Have you ever looked back after the fact and suspected that perhaps Divine intervention was involved in some way? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

5 MINJUN 2
Comments
Naso

Shavuot Day 2

The Haftarah portion for Second Day of Shavuot (Hab. 3:1-19) narrated in English by Ronald Guttman. Questions for Discussion: Habakkuk’s prophecy, chosen for the second day of Shavuot, portrays all of creation in a state of fear and trembling at God’s approach. • What role does yirah (awe or fear) play in your theology? • Where in your life do you experience that sense of awe, and what spiritual pathways does it open for you? JTS wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Jewish Publication Society for allowing us to use their translation.

4 MINMAY 27
Comments
Shavuot Day 2
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