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by Rabbi M. Kripke

 With this Sidrah, we open the fifth and last book of the Torah.

   There is much more instruction for happy and productive lives in our scriptures. Indeed, our Haftarah itself is one of the most beautiful and comforting passages ever written. It is called “Chazon,” the Vision of Isaiah.

   For many people, including me, Isaiah is the greatest of the prophets.

   He calls now to Jerusalem (meaning all the people of Israel) and tells them that a new era has come. The Kodesh Baruch Hu has called for an intimate conversation with the people of Israel, represented by the capital city, Jerusalem.

   Isaiah announces to Jerusalem that its sins have been forgiven. Its punishment has been severe, and now, through repentance, its sins have been made white as snow. A new era of joy and happiness has dawned for Israel.

   Isaiah is one of the greatest poets who have ever lived in Human society. We do not know where or how he learned to put words together, to be demanding and prosecuting on the on hand, or comforting on the other. He is, as everyone can see, a genius in using words to comfort.

   If, reader, you haven’t experienced Isaiah, read at least some of his words now. If you have a taste for literature, you will recognize that here are some of the greatest words ever written.