This Shabbos is also Rosh Chodesh and as such we depart from the normal Haftorah of this week’s Sedra, and read a special Haftorah for Shabbos Rosh Chodesh. This special Haftorah (from the end of Yishayahu) is chosen because towards the end of the Haftorah the Navi tells us “and on each Shabbos and each Rosh Chodesh all of mankind will come to bow to Me (Hashem)” – hence a perfectly suitable Haftorah for Shabbos Rosh Chodesh (as both are mentioned).
The subject matter of the Haftorah is the Ge’ula. The Navi informs us that as part of the Ge’ula not just Am-Yisroel, but all of mankind will gain a new understanding and appreciation of, a new bond to, Hashem. The Navi, it would appear, wishes to convey this idea of the nations’ future bond to Hashem through the prophecy that they will one day come to the Bais Hamikdash on Shabbosos and Roshei Chodoshim. The question is why are Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh the particular times that “all of mankind” will come to the Bais Hamikdash to worship Hashem? Why not on Yom-Tov, and why not during the week?
Shabbos is a day in every weekly cycle. However, Shabbos is set aside for Am-Yisroel and Am-Yisroel alone as a day of rest. Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, is also a part of the regular lunar monthly cycle; nonetheless it is a day that is sanctified only by Am-Yisroel.
The second Rashi in the Torah (based on Midrashim) tells us that the world was created for Am-Yisroel. This means that anyone who wishes to understand Hashem’s Creation of the world has to realize that the purpose of its creation is Am-Yisroel. Were “all of mankind” to come on to the Bais Hamikdash on a Monday or Tuesday they might realize that Hashem is the Almighty, but they would not necessarily be recognizing Am-Yisroel as being the purpose of Hashem’s creating the world.
Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh are Am-Yisroel’s days. The nations’ coming to the Bais-Hamikdash especially on “Am Yisroel Days” signifies their understanding that Am-Yisroel is the purpose of Creation.
May we merit seeing the words of this Nevuah come to life in the nearest future.
A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski