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Friday, Menachem Av 10, 5780 / July 31, 2020


This Shabbat, which is the first Shabbat after Tisha B'Av, we read the second Parsha in the Book of Deuteronomy, Parshat Va'etchanan.


This Shabbat is called, "Shabbat Nachmu" ("Shabbat of comfort"). The reason being as the Haftorah of this week begins with the words "Nachmu NachmuAmi" - "Find comfort, find comfort, my people." 


There are seven weeks from Tisha B'Av until Rosh Hashana. (Yes, Rosh Hashana is in seven weeks!) This period is called, "Shiva D'nechemta" - "Seven weeks of comfort." The seven Haftorahs are prophesies of comfort and hope for the Jewish people. They are read now in order to comfort the Jewish people after the three week mourning period for the destruction of the Holy Temples.


In this last Book of the Torah, Deuteronomy, Moshe recounts many of the important events which took place over the past forty years in the desert. One of the highlights of this week’s Parsha, Va’etchanan, is the story of the giving of the Ten Commandments, which is re-told in this Parsha for the second time in the Torah.


Another highlight in this Parsha is the prayer of “Shema Yisrael” - "Hear O' Israel the L-rd Our G-d the L-rd is One.”  The Shema is recited three times daily - in the morning and evening prayers and again before bedtime.  Reciting the Shema affirms our belief in G-d and proclaims our love for Him.


Q.  Why are there three weeks of mourning and seven weeks of comfort?


A.Our sages tell us that G-d’s measure for kindness and good is much greater than His measure of punishment. Thus, there are only three weeks of reprimand and seven weeks of comfort.


Q.  Why is the word “Nachmu” repeated twice in the Haftorah; “find comfort, find comfort”?  


A.  It is a double comfort for the two Temples which were destroyed on Tisha B’Av.  In this prophecy, Isaiah, who lived before the destruction of the First Temple, says that G-d will never forsake His people and will in the end bring them back from all exiles and rebuild the Temple.


Q.   The Ten Commandments are found in the book of Exodus. Why were they repeated here again?


A.   The entire Fifth Book of the Torah is called, “Mishne Torah” “Repeat of the Torah.”  Moshe takes leave of the Jewish people before his passing, as they are about to enter into the Promised Land. He reviews the Ten Commandments and many of the other commandments. He reminds them to adhere to all the commandments, so that they may live in peace in the Holy Land.




Montrealcandle lighting time: 8:05 / Shabbat ends: 9:13