Haftorah This Week
Welcome to Haftorah This Week, the place where you will find thoughts and reflections by CLAL faculty and associates on this week's Haftorah.
This Haftarah is read on the first Shabbat following Tisha B'Av. Indeed, the entire Shabbat is named for the opening words of this Haftarah, Shabbat Nachamu - The Shabbat of Comfort. Following our mourning of the horrific national tragedies that befell our people over the centuries on Tisha B'Av, this Haftarah comes to provide a message of hope that God has not rejected the covenant that binds Him to His people. He will restore the people of Israel as an expression of the binding nature of his relationship to the Jews.
But in true covenantal form, the reconciliation between God and His people, and the comfort that will be experienced in its wake, will result from a partnership between God and the people, a sharing of responsibility in building the kingdom of God on this earth.
The presence of God, the ultimate source of our comfort, will be manifest only with the preparations that are accomplished by human beings. We, through the proper advancement of our civilization, are bidden to prepare the way for the Lord. While Isaiah makes clear that God is beyond human comprehension and is the source of all creative power, it is through the achievement of human culture that the messianic ideal can be realized. Human beings, in partnership with God, must learn how to comfort, how to "speak tenderly to Jerusalem." True comfort and reconciliation will only come when we realize the significance of our role in the Divine drama of history.
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