Parshat Ve’Etchanan: Shabbat Nachamu / Tu B’Av: July 24, 2021 – 15 Av 5781

Parshat Ve’Etchanan: Shabbat Nachamu / Tu B’Av

  • Stone Chumash p. 958
  • 118 Psukim
  • Haftorah: Isaiah Ch. 40  p. 1196

Important Shabbat Times

  • Candle lighting: 7:57 pm
  • Vasikin (Sunrise): 6:05:36 am
  • Latest Shma: 9:37 pm
  • Earliest Mincha: 1:47 pm
  • Havdalah: 8:59 pm
  • Zoom: 9:20 pm

Shabbat Nachamu: The Shabbat of Consolation

Parshat Ve’Etchanan is a continuation of the history of the Jewish people from the time of the Exodus. Moshe takes the opportunity to remind the people that although the observance of the Jewish religion can, at times, seem difficult, the rewards for its observance are unbounded. He reminds the people to continually study the words of the Torah, because it is our claim to wisdom among the peoples of the earth.

Parshat Ve’Etchanan also recapitulates the giving of the Ten commandments at Mt. Sinai, and introduces us to the credo of the Jewish people, our most important prayer, the “Shma Yisrael.”

This week’s Haftora begins the cycle of the “Seven weeks of Consolation”. Each Haftora, taken from the final chapters of the book of Isaiah, describes the great reward of those Jews who will remain faithful to G-d and His Torah, at the end of days, during the messianic era.

Tu B’Av

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said (Ta’anit 4:4): “There were no days as joyous for the Jewish people as the fifteenth of Av and as Yom Kippur, as on them the daughters of Jerusalem would go out in white clothes, which each woman borrowed from another. Why were they borrowed? They did this so as not to embarrass one who did not have her own white garments. All the garments that the women borrowed require immersion, as those who previously wore them might have been ritually impure. And the daughters of Jerusalem would go out and dance in the vineyards. And what would they say? Young man, please lift up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself for a wife. Do not set your eyes toward beauty, but set your eyes toward a good family, as the verse states: ‘Grace is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised’ (Proverbs 31:30). And it further says: ‘Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates’ (Proverbs 31:31). And similarly, it says in another verse: ‘Go forth, daughters of Zion, and gaze upon King Solomon, upon the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, and on the day of the gladness of his heart’ (Song of Songs 3:11). This verse is explained as an allusion to special days: ‘On the day of his wedding’; this is the giving of the Torah through the second set of tablets on Yom Kippur. The name King Solomon in this context, which also means king of peace, is interpreted as a reference to God. ‘And on the day of the gladness of his heart’; this is the building of the Temple, may it be rebuilt speedily in our days.”

Shabbat Sholom!

Rabbi Avraham Kelman