Shabbos Nachamu
By Rabbi Pinchas Frankel

Parashas Va-Eschanan – 5775



This essay is based on the works of the “Kedushas Levi,” Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, about whom there is no one, except for the Baal Shem Tov himself, the founder of Chassidus, who occupies a place of honor as one who loved Israel as much as Rabbi Levi, or who was loved by the people of Israel as much as he. Shabbos Parashas Va-Eschanan, a Shabbos of comfort, which follows Tishah-B’Av, the saddest day of the Jewish year, is a most appropriate time for a Dvar Torah in his honor. 


“Nachamu Nachamu Ami yomar Elokeichem.”

“Be comforted be comforted O My People says your God.” (Yeshayahu 40:1)


When the time comes that HaShem, Blessed is He, will give us comfort, soon and in our days, He will remember for us all the tragedies that passed over us, so that the comfort will be in “double measure” (“Eichah Rabasi” 1:6) And that is the connotation in this verse of the Name of God “Elokim,” that signifies the Attribute of Strict Judgment.  


Alternatively, we can explain the expression “Be comforted be comforted…” as follows:


From the very fact that we are being comforted by HaShem, May He be Blessed, this is an additional level of comfort. By analogy, it is not at all comparable hearing from an Officer of the Royal Court words of comfort and love, until the actual receipt of favor from him. Whereas it is very different hearing words of comfort from the King Himself, “whose will is like a cloud, bearing the late rain” (Mishlei 16:15), whose promises are certainties, and when we hear words of comfort from him, our hearts rejoice.


“Be comforted be comforted O My People, says your God.”


When the People of Israel acts in accord with the Will of God, He is called “Our God,” for by our actions we demonstrate that He is our God. And this is the explanation of the verse, “And God, our own God, shall bless us” that is, that the Creator, May He be Blessed, shall bless us in that He will be called “our God.” This then is why the Prophet used the double expression “Be Comforted!  Be Comforted!” And how? By that which Scripture says “That You will be called their God!”


“Speak to the heart of Jerusalem…for its sin is atoned for…” (Yeshayahu 40:2)


The principle is that in the future time, the body will receive its pleasure from the Banquet of the Leviathan (Bava Basra 75a), but the heart will derive only Spiritual pleasure, which will be when it hears the good news that its sins have been wiped away and that it has an abundance of Mitzvos to its credit. And this is the meaning of “for its sin is atoned for,” as our Sages Z”L have said (Maseches Yoma 86b), “Great is Repentance, for it causes evil deeds to be converted to good deeds.” And “for its sin is atoned for” goes even further, and says that the sin becomes the “Ratzon,” the Will of HaShem; namely, a Mitzvah.


L’Illuy Nishmas beni, Aharon Baruch Mordechai ben Pinchas Menachem















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