During the seven weeks between Tisha b’Av (which was observed last night and today) and Rosh HaShanah, special Haftarot known as the Haftarot of Consolation are read during the Torah service on Shabbat mornings. These special prophetic readings are intended to give us hope, as we approach the High Holy Days, that G-d will be compassionate, merciful and forgiving towards us.
This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Nachamu because of the opening words of the Haftarah reading from Isaiah 40:
nachamu, nachamu, ami, yomar eloheichem –
Comfort, Oh comfort My people, Says your G-d.
G-d instructs the prophets and leaders of the community to comfort the people and to remind them that,
Like a shepherd G-d pastures His flock;
Gathers the lambs in His arms
And carries them in His bosom;
Gently He drives the mother sheep.
May those among us who need to be comforted, find that comfort within this community; and may each of us respond to that need with kindness and wisdom.