Just a few days ago, we were all sitting on the floor, hour after hour, reciting kinah after kinah, lamenting the longstanding pain and suffering of the Jewish people throughout history. The mitzvah of Tisha B’Av is to cry – and whether we achieved actual crying or not, our hearts and souls were certainly weeping internally.
Tisha B’Av does not last forever, nor should it. Yes, mourn and bemoan we must, but that is not the ultimate goal. Mourning accomplishes much, reminding us what we are missing, what we need to improve upon in order to grow spiritually. But there is a tomorrow and a future where our aspiration is to see an end to all suffering and grief and to understand why it all had to happen.
The Shabbos after Tisha B’Av is always Parshas Va’Eschanan, which means we read the description of Maamad Har Sinai and the Aseres HaDibros. The tremendous import of this reflects the hope and optimism we uphold even after experiencing horrible destruction and exile. Hashem Yisbarach is telling us that we remain His holy nation who accepted the Torah at Sinai; He will never forsake us entirely.
The simplest reason we refer to the Shabbos after Tisha B’Av as Shabbos Nachamu is due to the haftorah’s first word being Nachamu. But the deeper understanding is this: Nachamu, Nachamu Ami – take comfort in the fact that you are still My nation, yomar Elokeichein, and I am still Your Elokim (Yeshaya 40:1). Take comfort in the fact that I still want you to keep Shabbos. You are still Mine. Shabbos Nachamu. The entity and mitzvah of Shabbos is nachamu.
Our only true comfort and consolation is that we remain His and that one day soon all the suffering will end as the world will become a place for the peace, honor and joy of Hashem.
Questions? Comments? Just want to say that you like this column? Please let us know. To schedule a speaking engagement with Rabbi Boruch Leff or to receive two books for the price of one, Shabbos in My Soul and More Shabbos in My Soul (Feldheim), or to purchase the book ‘Are You Growing?’ (Feldheim) at 40% off, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.Rabbi Boruch Leff
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