Haftorah (also Haftaroth) is the name applied to fifty-four portions or sections of the Pentateuch selected by the Jews for Sabbath reading in the synagogue, under Antiochus Epiphanes, who forbid them reading the law. Previous to his time the Pentateuch was divided into sidras. In Palestine the number of sections required three years for the public reading of the whole Pentateuch, but in Babylonia, the reading, arranged as above referred to, was done in one year. — Furst, Kulturgeschichte, 1, 60; Etheridge, Introduction to Hebr. Lit. p. 201. SEE HAPHTARAT. (J.H.W.)

Definition of haft

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