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Time to Be Comforted

Thursday, 7 August, 2014 - 10:07 am

By: Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman

"May G-d comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem".  This is the traditional blessing offered at the end of a funeral and at the home of the mourners sitting shiva.

What is the meaning behind this blessing and how does it bring comfort to the mourner?

Perhaps in our lifetime there has never been a stronger example of this.  

The kidnapping and murder of the three Yeshiva Boys, the murder and kidnapping of Hadar Goldin, the murders of Israeli soldiers and the constant threat of rockets falling overhead has put all of the Jewish people among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.  

Each and every loss in Israel is a collective loss for the Jewish people.  We may never have met any of the murdered, we may not even live in the land of Israel but it is our personal loss.  That knowledge brings a measure of comfort to the immediate families of the murdered because the meaning of comfort is the knowledge that we are not alone in our suffering.

This is in fact true every time a member of the Jewish people passes.  For each Jew is part of the whole of the body of Israel (people of Israel). 

This Shabbos is called Nachamu, Shabbos of comfort after the commemoration of the destruction of both the Bais Hamikdashs and the other tragedies that have befallen our people until this day.  The Haftorah begins with the words Nachamu Nachamu Ami - I will surely comfort My people.

The ultimate comfort will come when we see how G-d is indeed with us in our suffering.  For when G-d's presence in the suffering is revealed the suffering will cease to be suffering.

This will happen in full with the coming of Moshiach, may it be speedily in our days!

Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman



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