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קריאות ליום הזכרון | Torah and Haftarah Readings for Days Memorializing Fallen Military Personnel, compiled by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have sacrificed their lives to protect their home and their people. The Bible is full of stories of people who act in similarly valiant ways. This is a Torah reading (divided into three aliyot) and a Haftarah reading to be recited on Memorial Day or any local equivalent day to honor those who died for their nation. The Torah reading begins with the death of Aharon and the mourning of the children of Israel, and ends with a battle to save captives. The Haftarah includes David’s lament to his friend Jonathan upon his death in battle (to be read with Lamentations melody), and ends with a declaration of the value and goodness of honoring the dead.

This is part one of what will be a series of Torah and Haftarah readings for civic holidays.

Note: “The CAUSE” is used to translate the Divine Name YHVH, based on the philosophical idea of God as the Prime Mover and on the interpretation of the Name as a causative form of the copula – “causes to be.”

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

קריאות ליום הזכרון
Scriptural Readings for Memorial Day

כהן (במדבר כ:כב-כו)‏
וַיִּסְע֖וּ מִקָּדֵ֑שׁ וַיָּבֹ֧אוּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל כׇּל־הָעֵדָ֖ה הֹ֥ר הָהָֽר׃ וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה וְאֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֖ן בְּהֹ֣ר הָהָ֑ר עַל־גְּב֥וּל אֶֽרֶץ־אֱד֖וֹם לֵאמֹֽר׃ יֵאָסֵ֤ף אַהֲרֹן֙ אֶל־עַמָּ֔יו כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יָבֹא֙ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל עַ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־מְרִיתֶ֥ם אֶת־פִּ֖י לְמֵ֥י מְרִיבָֽה׃ קַ֚ח אֶֽת־אַהֲרֹ֔ן וְאֶת־אֶלְעָזָ֖ר בְּנ֑וֹ וְהַ֥עַל אֹתָ֖ם הֹ֥ר הָהָֽר׃ וְהַפְשֵׁ֤ט אֶֽת־אַהֲרֹן֙ אֶת־בְּגָדָ֔יו וְהִלְבַּשְׁתָּ֖ם אֶת־אֶלְעָזָ֣ר בְּנ֑וֹ וְאַהֲרֹ֥ן יֵאָסֵ֖ף וּמֵ֥ת שָֽׁם׃
Kohen (Numbers 20:22-26)
And they went out from Ḳadesh, and the children of Israel, all the community, came to Hor the mountain. And the CAUSE said to Moses and to Aharon at Hor the mountain, at the border of the land of Edom, and said: Aharon will be gathered to his people, for he will not go to the land that I gave to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against me at the waters of Meribah. Take Aharon and Eleazar his son and take them up Hor the mountain. And strip Aharon of his clothes and dress Eleazar his son with them, and Aharon will be gathered and die there.

לוי (במדבר כ:כז-כט)‏
וַיַּ֣עַשׂ מֹשֶׁ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֑ה וַֽיַּעֲלוּ֙ אֶל־הֹ֣ר הָהָ֔ר לְעֵינֵ֖י כׇּל־הָעֵדָֽה׃ וַיַּפְשֵׁט֩ מֹשֶׁ֨ה אֶֽת־אַהֲרֹ֜ן אֶת־בְּגָדָ֗יו וַיַּלְבֵּ֤שׁ אֹתָם֙ אֶת־אֶלְעָזָ֣ר בְּנ֔וֹ וַיָּ֧מׇת אַהֲרֹ֛ן שָׁ֖ם בְּרֹ֣אשׁ הָהָ֑ר וַיֵּ֧רֶד מֹשֶׁ֛ה וְאֶלְעָזָ֖ר מִן־הָהָֽר׃ וַיִּרְאוּ֙ כׇּל־הָ֣עֵדָ֔ה כִּ֥י גָוַ֖ע אַהֲרֹ֑ן וַיִּבְכּ֤וּ אֶֽת־אַהֲרֹן֙ שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים י֔וֹם כֹּ֖ל בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
Levi (Numbers 20:27-29)
And Moses did as the CAUSE commanded, and they went up to Hor the mountain before the eyes of all the community. And Moses stripped Aharon of his clothes, and dressed Eleazar his son with them, and Aharon died there at the top of the mountain, and Moses and Eleazar went down from the mountain. And all the community saw that Aharon had perished, and they wept for Aharon thirty days, all the house of Israel.

מפטיר (במדבר כא:א-ג)‏
וַיִּשְׁמַ֞ע הַכְּנַעֲנִ֤י מֶֽלֶךְ־עֲרָד֙ יֹשֵׁ֣ב הַנֶּ֔גֶב כִּ֚י בָּ֣א יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל דֶּ֖רֶךְ הָאֲתָרִ֑ים וַיִּלָּ֙חֶם֙ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיִּ֥שְׁבְּ ׀ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ שֶֽׁבִי׃ וַיִּדַּ֨ר יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל נֶ֛דֶר לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה וַיֹּאמַ֑ר אִם־נָתֹ֨ן תִּתֵּ֜ן אֶת־הָעָ֤ם הַזֶּה֙ בְּיָדִ֔י וְהַֽחֲרַמְתִּ֖י אֶת־עָרֵיהֶֽם׃ וַיִּשְׁמַ֨ע יְהֹוָ֜ה בְּק֣וֹל יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וַיִּתֵּן֙ אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֔י וַיַּחֲרֵ֥ם אֶתְהֶ֖ם וְאֶת־עָרֵיהֶ֑ם וַיִּקְרָ֥א שֵׁם־הַמָּק֖וֹם חׇרְמָֽה׃
Maftir (Numbers 21:1-3)
And the Canaanite king of Arad, dwelling in the Negev, heard that Israel had come on the way of Atharim, and made war upon Israel and took captives of them. And Israel vowed a vow to the CAUSE: If you give over, give over this people into our hands, I will proscribe their cities. And the CAUSE heard the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanite, and he proscribed their towns, and he called the place Ḥormah.

הפתרה (שמואל ב׳ א:יז-ב:ז)‏
וַיְקֹנֵ֣ן דָּוִ֔ד אֶת־הַקִּינָ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את עַל־שָׁא֖וּל וְעַל־יְהוֹנָתָ֥ן בְּנֽוֹ׃ וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לְלַמֵּ֥ד בְּנֵֽי־יְהוּדָ֖ה קָ֑שֶׁת הִנֵּ֥ה כְתוּבָ֖ה עַל־סֵ֥פֶר הַיָּשָֽׁר׃ [בניגון איכה] הַצְּבִי֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַל־בָּמוֹתֶ֖יךָ חָלָ֑ל אֵ֖יךְ נָפְל֥וּ גִבּוֹרִֽים׃ אַל־תַּגִּ֣ידֽוּ בְגַ֔ת אַֽל־תְּבַשְּׂר֖וּ בְּחוּצֹ֣ת אַשְׁקְל֑וֹן פֶּן־תִּשְׂמַ֙חְנָה֙ בְּנ֣וֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים פֶּֽן־תַּעֲלֹ֖זְנָה בְּנ֥וֹת הָעֲרֵלִֽים׃ הָרֵ֣י בַגִּלְבֹּ֗עַ אַל־טַ֧ל וְאַל־מָטָ֛ר עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם וּשְׂדֵ֣י תְרוּמֹ֑ת כִּ֣י שָׁ֤ם נִגְעַל֙ מָגֵ֣ן גִּבּוֹרִ֔ים מָגֵ֣ן שָׁא֔וּל בְּלִ֖י מָשִׁ֥יחַ בַּשָּֽׁמֶן׃ מִדַּ֣ם חֲלָלִ֗ים מֵחֵ֙לֶב֙ גִּבּוֹרִ֔ים קֶ֚שֶׁת יְה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן לֹ֥א נָשׂ֖וֹג אָח֑וֹר וְחֶ֣רֶב שָׁא֔וּל לֹ֥א תָשׁ֖וּב רֵיקָֽם׃ שָׁא֣וּל וִיהוֹנָתָ֗ן הַנֶּאֱהָבִ֤ים וְהַנְּעִימִם֙ בְּחַיֵּיהֶ֔ם וּבְמוֹתָ֖ם לֹ֣א נִפְרָ֑דוּ מִנְּשָׁרִ֣ים קַ֔לּוּ מֵאֲרָי֖וֹת גָּבֵֽרוּ׃ בְּנוֹת֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶל־שָׁא֖וּל בְּכֶ֑ינָה הַמַּלְבִּֽשְׁכֶ֤ם שָׁנִי֙ עִם־עֲדָנִ֔ים הַֽמַּעֲלֶה֙ עֲדִ֣י זָהָ֔ב עַ֖ל לְבוּשְׁכֶֽן׃ אֵ֚יךְ נָפְל֣וּ גִבֹּרִ֔ים בְּת֖וֹךְ הַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה יְה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן עַל־בָּמוֹתֶ֖יךָ חָלָֽל׃ צַר־לִ֣י עָלֶ֗יךָ אָחִי֙ יְה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן נָעַ֥מְתָּ לִּ֖י מְאֹ֑ד נִפְלְאַ֤תָה אַהֲבָֽתְךָ֙ לִ֔י מֵאַהֲבַ֖ת נָשִֽׁים׃ אֵ֚יךְ נָפְל֣וּ גִבּוֹרִ֔ים וַיֹּאבְד֖וּ כְּלֵ֥י מִלְחָמָֽה׃
Haftarah (II Samuel 1:17-2:7)
And David lamented this lament over Saul and over Jonathan his son. And he said to teach the sons of Judah the Bow-song – here it is written, in the book of the Upright. [in Lamentations melody] Glory, Israel, upon your heights is slain, how the mighty have fallen! Do not tell it in Gath, do not bring tiding in the Ashqelon courtyards, lest the Philistine daughters rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult! No dew on the mounts of Gilboa, no rain upon you, or fields of grain, for there was cast away the shield of the warriors, the shield of Saul, no more rubbed with oil! Of the blood of the slain, of the fat of warriors, the bow of Jonathan never turned away; the sword of Saul never left empty! Saul and Jonathan, beloved and sweet in life, and in death never separated, swifter than eagles, stronger than lions! Daughters of Israel, cry for Saul, who dressed you in crimson with luxuries, placed gold ornaments over you! How the mighty have fallen in the midst of war, Jonathan, on your heights is slain! I am bitter for you, my brother, Jonathan, you were sweet to me, your love was wondrous to me, more than the love of women! How the mighty have fallen, perished, the weapons of war!

[בניגון רגיל] וַיְהִ֣י אַחֲרֵי־כֵ֗ן וַיִּשְׁאַל֩ דָּוִ֨ד בַּיהֹוָ֤ה  ׀  לֵאמֹר֙ הַאֶֽעֱלֶ֗ה בְּאַחַת֙ עָרֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יְהֹוָ֛ה אֵלָ֖יו עֲלֵ֑ה וַיֹּ֧אמֶר דָּוִ֛ד אָ֥נָה אֶעֱלֶ֖ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר חֶבְרֹֽנָה׃ וַיַּ֤עַל שָׁם֙ דָּוִ֔ד וְגַ֖ם שְׁתֵּ֣י נָשָׁ֑יו אֲחִינֹ֙עַם֙ הַיִּזְרְעֵלִ֔ית וַאֲבִיגַ֕יִל אֵ֖שֶׁת נָבָ֥ל הַֽכַּרְמְלִֽי׃ וַאֲנָשָׁ֧יו אֲשֶׁר־עִמּ֛וֹ הֶעֱלָ֥ה דָוִ֖ד אִ֣ישׁ וּבֵית֑וֹ וַיֵּשְׁב֖וּ בְּעָרֵ֥י חֶבְרֽוֹן׃ וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ אַנְשֵׁ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיִּמְשְׁחוּ־שָׁ֧ם אֶת־דָּוִ֛ד לְמֶ֖לֶךְ עַל־בֵּ֣ית יְהוּדָ֑ה וַיַּגִּ֤דוּ לְדָוִד֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר אַנְשֵׁי֙ יָבֵ֣ישׁ גִּלְעָ֔ד אֲשֶׁ֥ר קָבְר֖וּ אֶת־שָׁאֽוּל׃
[in regular melody] And it was after that and David asked the CAUSE, and said, “Shall I go to one of the towns of Judah?” and the CAUSE said to him, “Go up,” and David said, “Where will I go up to?” and God said, “Ḥebron-wards.” And David went up there and also his two wives Aḥinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David brought up his men who accompanied him, each with their family and they dwelt in the city of Ḥebron. And the men of Judah came and anointed David there to be king over the house of Judah, and they told David, saying the men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul.

וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח דָּוִד֙ מַלְאָכִ֔ים אֶל־אַנְשֵׁ֖י יָבֵ֣ישׁ גִּלְעָ֑ד וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֗ם בְּרֻכִ֤ים אַתֶּם֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֜ם הַחֶ֣סֶד הַזֶּ֗ה עִם־אֲדֹֽנֵיכֶם֙ עִם־שָׁא֔וּל וַֽתִּקְבְּר֖וּ אֹתֽוֹ׃ וְעַתָּ֕ה יַעַשׂ־יְהֹוָ֥ה עִמָּכֶ֖ם חֶ֣סֶד וֶאֱמֶ֑ת וְגַ֣ם אָנֹכִ֗י אֶעֱשֶׂ֤ה אִתְּכֶם֙ הַטּוֹבָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֥ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃ וְעַתָּ֣ה  ׀ תֶּחֱזַ֣קְנָה יְדֵיכֶ֗ם וִֽהְיוּ֙ לִבְנֵי־חַ֔יִל כִּי־מֵ֖ת אֲדֹנֵיכֶ֣ם שָׁא֑וּל וְגַם־אֹתִ֗י מָשְׁח֧וּ בֵית־יְהוּדָ֛ה לְמֶ֖לֶךְ עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃
And David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “Blessed are You to the CAUSE, that you did this kindness with your master Saul, and you buried him. And now, may the CAUSE do you kindness and truth, and I will do good to you as well for you did this thing. And now, strengthen your hands and be valorous people, for your lord Saul has died, and now the house of Judah has anointed me to be king over them.


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