This week’s parasha, Vaeschanan, is referred to as Shabbos Nachamu because of the Haftorah that we read which begins with the words (Yeshaya 40:1) נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי יֹאמַר א-ֱלֹהֵיכֶם, comfort, comfort My people, says your G-d. We must wonder, however, if the Bais HaMikdash was destroyed on account of our sins, why does HaShem offer us comfort? In a simple sense we can suggest that because we are in a state of mourning over the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, we require comfort. On a deeper level, however, we can suggest that the first time the expression נחמה is mentioned in the Torah regarding a person who suffered bereavement is by יצחק. It is said (Bereishis 24:67) וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ וַיִּנָּחֵם יִצְחָק אַחֲרֵי אִמּוֹ, and Yitzchak brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother; he married Rivka, she became his wife, and he loved her; and thus was Yitzchak consoled after his mother. It is noteworthy that the words נחמו נחמו equal in gematria the word יצחק. It would seem that Yitzchak is the symbol of comfort. Indeed, the Gemara (Shabbos 89b) states that in the future only Yitzchok will be able to properly defend the Jewish People. Thus, here we are invoking the merit of Yitzchak before HaShem to comfort us and bring us redemption. What still needs to be understood is why Yitzchok is the paradigm of comfort and redemption. The answer to this question is that Yitzchak was almost sacrificed at the עקידה, and this was a portent for the massacres and persecutions that the Jewish People would undergo throughout history. It is further noteworthy that the first letters of the words נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי יֹאמַר equal in gematria 180, the years of Yitzchak’s life.
HaShem should truly comfort us and we should merit the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu speedily, in our days.
Have a COMFORTING Shabbos
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Have a wonderful Shabbos!
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