The rainbow over the Boston Rally

Tonight begins the post Tisha B’av Shabbat traditionally know as Shabbat Nachamu, Shabbat of comfort – when we chant the sacred ancient words of the prophet Isaiah, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.”

This year the need for comfort resonates deeply as Klal Yisroel collectively searches, almost frantically for a bright spot, some mental release valve.
The double usage of the Nachamu, implies a double source of comfort.
“Mayayin Yavo Ezri – Where will these dual comforts come from is the burning question of the day.

I suppose they show up in our lives differently, surfacing from deep within, from the often buried reservoirs of faithfulness, ascending slowly from their source – “meemamakeem” from the center of our soul, upwards through the “Mayanay Hayeshua” the Well springs of redemption, rising tentatively at first, then gaining steam, as it approaches the crusty worn edges of our fraying defense mechanisms, swelling- till, with a sudden surge of optimism the Neshama Comfort pierces through the last stubborn layers of cynicism, or Kalt – Keit – as we might call it in Yiddish, bursting through the walls of fear, with geyser like intensity, spilling out, gushing refreshingly into us, flowing into our exhausted thoughts and hearts.

For me the Nachamu magic is starting to work already, perhaps it’s payback for the early Tisha B’av.

Here is my double comfort. You are welcome to it if it works for you as well.

The first “comfort ye” came with the breaking news today. Our U.S Air force has ordered long overdue military strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

The ultimate optimist in me sees this as follows. One bold move for freedom has given birth to another. The momentum has begun. Suddenly Germany and France Issue calls for action. I hope this heralds the rebirth of an energized global coalition of goodness, a mobilization of long suppressed Gevura of Chesed – Strength harnessed for the purpose of supporting the flow of goodness – coalescing naturally, finally in a bond of common purpose.

I do pray, hope that they will remain resolute and see this through. I’m also fairly certain that the Jewish groups that led the charge to criticize and hamper Israel’s military response to Hamas, the same ones that were noticeably the only Jewish group in the city absent from yesterdays rally, will not be calling for “both sides” to show restraint” or “urge for a cessation of hostilities by all parties involved, i can guarantee you that they will not be “calling for the start of negotiations between the United States of America and ISIS.”

The second “comfort ye” came to me yesterday in the form of Jewish solidarity.Pure old fashioned Achdus, never fails to deliver. The Jewish, and non Jewish Pro Israel community – gathered, two thousand strong, proudly as one, at City Hall plaza.

Those of you who braved the rain, might have also felt the same way. It was a rare “you had to be there” magical moment of togetherness. Standing – shoulder to shoulder. In solidarity. In love. In Faithfulness. We were rewarded with our answer, both from within and from on high. “Hashem Oz Le – amo Yeetayn, g-d gives strength to his nation” – a heavenly “I’ve got your back signal” flashed down to us just in time.

Indeed, he smiled down on us, flashing a celestial rainbow grin, whose lightness, suddenly released from the cosmic, heavenly “mayananay hayeshua” hovering over Boston’s Holocaust memorial, suspended there, painting an artful, hopefulness in color – onto the bleak skyline, arching gracefully over the horizon – hovering there, over us, in a most dramatic divine gesture of comfort, giving us a visual gift of divine peacefulness, a coming alive of “hu yaase shalom alyunu,” rendering his otherworldly shalom on to our world, unto us, within our dimensions, inside the realness of time and space.

Suddenly the “storm” abated, and one could imagine written in its place, the wispy billowing outlines of these holy words, Nachamu Nachamu … etched in color onto the skies eager palette, flowing overhead with a distinct joy – “Be comforted my people, be comforted.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Yossiimage

About the Author
Rabbi Yossi Lipsker is the co-founder and executive Director of Chabad of the North Shore and spiritual leader of the Chabad Community Shul. He can be reached at