Shabbos Nachamu – Pain and Joy

By Rabbi Dovid Markel


This Shabbos is referred to as, “Shabbos Nachamu,” alluding to the haftorah of this week, in which the Jewish people are comforted over the destruction of the Holy Temple.

The verse (Yeshayahu, 40:1) states “Console, console My people,” says your G-d. G-d promises the Jewish people a double comfort for the pain of exile.

The Talmud (Makos, 24a) recounts that when R. Akiva witnessed a fox emerge from the Holy of Holies R. Akiva laughed. When he was confrontod over the reason for his joy responded that it is in the very darkness that he sees light.

The Rabbis remarked to R. Akiva with a double language of comfort; “Akiva, you have comforted us! Akiva, you have comforted us!”

True comfort as expressed in the haftorah and expressed by R. Akiva is when the very pain is transformed into joy to the point where in the pain one sees joy.

May we experience these times very, very soon, together with absolute peace in the Land of Israel and the coming of Moshiach where our pain will be transformed into joy!


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