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Previous Answered questions include:
-Can I wear my retainer on Shabbat?
- Why don't all boys start wearing talliot after their Bar Mitzvah (many wait until they are married)?
Is there an obligation to hear the haftarah on Shabbat? Who has the obligation? What is the source of the obligation if there is one?
Both the Taz and the Mishnah Berurah on Orach Chayim 284:1 explain the reason for why read the haftarah. There was one point in our history when an edict was issued forbidding the Jews to read from the Torah. Though neither sources specifies when this edict was issued, most agree it was during the Greek persecution of c. 168 BCE. The Rabbis issued a gezeirah that the Jewish people should read a selection from the Nevi'im that relates to the theme of the Torah reading which they could not read. The reading from the Prophets was also set up to parallel the Torah reading in the following ways:
a) It must contain a minimum of 21 pesukim (verses). This is because the minimum amount of pesukim read from the Torah is 21 – each aliyah must contain at least 3 verses and we read seven aliyot on Shabbat.
b) Seven blessings are said over the haftarah to parallel the seven blessings recited over the Torah reading.
Once the Greek edict was nullified and we were once again able to read the Torah, the gezeirah requiring us to read from Nevi'im remained in place. The only change was that the person called for this honor would first read a small section from the Torah (the maftir aliyah) to show kavod (honor) to the Torah.
The Levush (R. Mordechai Yoffe, 1530-1612, Poland, Student of the Rema) was of the opinion that the Haftarah must be read from a klaf and follow the rules of regular Torah reading. However, other authorities note that this is logistically difficult because there are many haftarot that jump around from one book of Navi to another. The Magaen Avraham, therefore writes that it is preferable to use a complete Tanach with the entire Navi in it and not a Chumash or haftarah book. Nonetheless, the Taz, Magen Avraham and Mishnah Berurah all rule that we can fulfill our obligation with a Chumash or Haftarah book.
Because of the position of the Levush, there are some posekim who maintain that if the haftarah is not being read from a klaf, that each individual should read the text along with the maftir and answer amen to his blessings. Most posekim hold that one fulfills the obligation by simply listening and following along.
The Shulchan Aruch (284:3) says that one should be diligent to answer amen to the blessings of the Torah and the haftarah and that they count towards the 100 blessings a person is required to say each day. Nonetheless, the requirement to recite the haftarah applies only in a minyan, after they have read the Torah. An individual who finds him/herself without a minyan, or a minyan which does not have a sefer Torah cannot read the haftarah with its blessings, but they can choose to read it without any brachot (Rema, OH 284:1). It is thus clear that the obligation to hear the haftarah is a chovat ha-tzibur – a requirement on the community. If an individual does not hear it, or has to leave shul, there is no requirement to make it up. It is obviously preferable for every person to hear the haftarah, but there is no requirement on the individual to do so.