Rabbi Shefa Gold
Haftarah for Rosh Hashanah, 2nd Day: Jeremiah 31:1-20
translated by Rabbi Shefa Gold
You have found grace
in the very same wilderness where you experienced such suffering,
And through it all I have loved you.
Again and again I will rebuild where you have been broken.
The women of Israel will once again dress up in flowing rhythm
and go out and dance with timbrel, drum and unbounded joy,
Again you will plant vinyards
And there will come a day, where surrounded by the fruit of your plantings,
you will call out to one another,
"Arise, let's go to our God, our Truth, our Essence!"
And here I am, calling you forth from your hidden places,
from the far corners of the world-
the blind, the lame, the wild, the tame together,
pregnant women, birthing women
What an amazing family returning to me, to each other.
When they come weeping, I will comfort them,
I will lead them to streams of water...by the straight path,
I will not let them stumble or stray
For they are precious to me.
Hear this truth! (and spread it to far places)
Though you have been scattered, I will gather you up,
I will redeem you from the strong hand of fear.
And then you will come singing to the heights
and then you will flow down like rivers toward the rich valleys of goodness-
full of wine and fine oil, and newborn life.
Then the women will sweetly dance, luring the old and young together.
I will turn their mourning into rejoicing,
I will call out comfort and celebration from the heart of their pain.
I will satisfy the appetite of priestly souls with great abundance
and all my people will taste this goodness.
A voice is heard in Rama- wailing, bitter weeping;
Rachel weeping for her children, refusing comfort, for they are gone.
And God calls to her:
Take away the weeping from your voice, the tears from your eyes,
There will be great reward for all your heart work, for all your devotion,
I say to you...They will return from the land of Emnity.
And yes, there is hope for your future.
The children will return, for I have heard then coming.
The voice of your child says, "Help me to come back to You, for I am Yours. I turned around and realized the foolishness of my wandering youth. Help me to come back to You!"
And I answer each of them, saying, "Don't you know that you are my precious child? the one that I delight in?
When we speak with each other, Remembrance brings you near to me
and my innermost Being encircles you with Love.