Parshat Ha'azinu (Listen)

The Torah portion is Ha'azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52.

Ha'azinu as it appears in a Torah scroll
This portion is one of the Ten Shirot, the ten great Songs of the Bible. Like all of the Shirot, it is written in Torah scrolls in a special way, to be easily recognized. This song is written with the lines split down the middle and aligned to the left and right of the column (see above). The Song speaks of the greatness of G-d and the sometimes fickle nature of the Jewish people. After the Song is complete, G-d sends Moses to ascend a mountain, where he will be able to see the Promised Land but will not be able to enter, and will die there.

The haftarah is for Shabbat Shuvah, Hosea 14:2-10, Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27. The Sabbath of Return, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we read several short passages about returning to G-d after sin and being forgiven. The Hosea passage begins "Shuva Yisrael!" (Return, Israel!) and the Micah passage contains "Yashuv y'rachameinu" (He will take us back in love). The Joel passage talks about blowing a shofar (a Rosh Hashanah tradition) and solemnizing a fast (a Yom Kippur tradition). There is some variation in exactly what verses from Joel different synagogues use.

In synagogues using the Sephardic tradition, the Haftarah is Hosea 14:2-10, Micah 7:18-20.