Shabbat Nachamu

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, August 6, 2012

The Shabbat after Tishah b’Av is called Shabbat Nachamu, meaning the Shabbat of comfort. It is named after the first words of the haftarah from Isaiah 40, “Comfort, comfort my people”. 

After the deepening mourning of the three weeks for the Temples’ destruction leading up to Tishah b’Av, (culminating in not eating meat or bathing in the days preceding the fast), this Shabbat brings comfort and relief.

Nachamu is no ordinary Shabbat. There is a long tradition of treating it almost like a Yomtov. The Ritva, commenting on Ta’anit 30a, says that the food we eat on this Shabbat should be extra special — like that of a chag, a festival. This is the first of seven Shabbatot of consolation, but the only one that has this status.

The Torah reading for Shabbat Nachamu is also Parashat Va’etchanan, which contains the reprise of the giving of the Torah and receiving of the Ten Commandments. Some say that this is because there is no joy like the receiving and learning of Torah.  

Last updated: 1:59pm, August 6 2012