This Shabbat morning we chant the sixth of seven haftarot of consolation that connect Tisha b’Av, which marks calamities, to Rosh Hashana, which marks hope and a new beginning.
Each of these seven haftarah passages come from the latter chapters of the prophet Isaiah, known in scholarly circles as Deutero-Isaiah; they were written by a different author than the first half of Isaiah. The important take-away is the following: there are times in our lives when we need consoling. Most of us – independent, self-reliant, proud – have trouble accepting this need. But one fundamental aspect of a religious life is the possibility – indeed, the opportunity – to be consoled, to depend on G-d’s love as an antidote for the harshness of the world.
As we enter the Days of Awe, consider how you can turn to G-d for solace, inspiration, and strength.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill