Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Judaism A selection from the Prophets, read in synagogue services on the Sabbath following each lesson from the Torah.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a series of selections from the books of Nevi'im and ketuvim of the Tanach, publicly read in synagogue as part of religious practice.

Etymologies

Mishnaic Hebrew hapṭārâ, conclusion, from hipṭîr, to conclude, dismiss, derived stem of Hebrew pāṭar, to separate, discharge; see pṭr in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Hebrew (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You're not the -- you know, this isn't the haphtarah.

    CNN Transcript Oct 25, 2008

  • Special note to people who have trouble with my reviews: The Rabbi of Lud in the novel of the same name found the haphtarah passage from Prophets too onerous to recite for his bar mitzvah, so they delayed it three months waiting for an "eensy miniscripture" to come round that he could handle.

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