We call the Sabbath that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur “Shabbat Shuvah” which means “the Sabbath of Repentance.”
Special Shabbat Reading
Special readings are applicable this Shabbat.
- Shabbat Shuvah (שַׁבָּת שׁוּבָה | Shabbat of Return)
- Haftarah: Hosea 14:2-10; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:15-27
- Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Shabbat Shuvah or Shabbat T’shuvah (“Sabbath [of] Return” or “Sabbath [of] Repentance”) refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance, but is between (i.e. not including): the two consecutive Days of Rosh Hashanah; and the Day of Yom Kippur. The name Shabbat Shuvah comes from the first word of the Haftarah that is read on that day, Hosea 14:2-10, and literally means “Return!” It is alternately known as Shabbat T’shuvah owing to its being one of the Aseret Y’mei T’shuvah (Ten Day of Repentance).
Regular Shabbat Readings
- Vayelech (וַיֵּלֶךְ | He went)
- Torah: Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30
- Haftarah: Isaiah 55:6-56:8
- Gospel: Matthew 21:9-17
Regular readings above are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the current Torah Portion Schedule for all these variations, and special portions.
- Deuteronomy 31:1 | Joshua Becomes Moses’ Successor
- Deuteronomy 31:9 | The Law to Be Read Every Seventh Year
- Deuteronomy 31:14 | Moses and Joshua Receive God’s Charge
- Deuteronomy 31:30 | The Song of Moses
- Isaiah 55:1 | An Invitation to Abundant Life
- Isaiah 56:1 | The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey
- Isaiah 56:9 | The Corruption of Israel’s Rulers
The name of the fifty-second reading from the Torah is Vayelech, which means “and he went.” The name is derived from the first word of the first verse of the portion: “So Moses went (vayelech) and spoke these words to all Israel.” In this short portion, Moses commands an assembly for a public Torah reading and covenant renewal once every seven years. He then finishes writing the scroll of the Torah and has it deposited in the Holy of Holies next to the ark of the covenant.
Rabbi Levi said, “Great is repentance, for it reaches up to the Throne of Glory, as it is written, ‘Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God.’” Resh Lakish said, “Great is repentance, for by virtue of it one’s intentional sins are regarded as mere errors, as it is written [in Hosea 14:1], ‘Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God for you have stumbled (which is accidental) because of your iniquity (which is intentional)’” (b.Yoma 86a).
Hosea 14:2-10(1-9) is part of the haftarah reading for Shabbat Shuvah (Sabbath of Repentance), the Sabbath that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In this passage, the prophet Hosea makes one last desperate plea, beseeching Israel to repent and save themselves from the coming catastrophe. He says, “Return, O Israel!” The Hebrew word for “return” is the imperative shuvah, a word that also is translated as “repent.” Repentance is Hosea’s central message and the message of every prophet of God. Repentance is also the primary message of the Gospel. Most of Yeshua’s teachings were calls to repentance. Most of His parables were illustrations about repentance.
To repent means to turn around, quit sinning, and start doing good. More specifically, it is a call to quit breaking God’s commandments and return to His Torah. Repentance from evil deeds is one of the foundational, elementary teachings about the Messiah (Hebrews 6:1).
The Master brought a message of repentance, always teaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). He told men that if they did not repent, they would perish (Luke 13:3). He said that He came only to call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32), for “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).
He told His disciples that repentance for the forgiveness of sins must be proclaimed in His name to all nations ( Luke 24:46-47) because “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). “They went out and preached that men should repent” (Mark 6:12). They went out, “solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (Acts 20:21), “even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:20). Because of this, “God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18), and “repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25), for He does not wish “for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“The kindness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4), “a repentance without regret, leading to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10). “Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19). “Repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22). “Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). “Repent and do the [good] deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:5). “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent” (Revelation 3:3).