Saturday, July 28, 2007

Comfort, Oh Comfort My People

It has always fascinated me when a word is repeated more than once in the Torah or in the Haftorah. Certainly it is more interesting when it occurs in the Torah as we are told that there are no extra words in the Torah. Perhaps most interesting is when we see it with a name. When G-d calls to Moses at the burning bush he says, “Moshe, Moshe!” When G-d speaks to Jacob telling him it is okay to move to Egypt he says, “Yakov, Yakov!” Of course, with the Akedah and Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac, the call is “Avraham, Avraham!”

We do see examples in the Torah where a word, other than a name, is repeated. “Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdoff,” comes to mind, but I will probably post on that in a few weeks when we get to Shabbat Shoftim.

I believe we see words repeated in the Haftorah more often. It is a speaking style that Isaiah uses. Certainly in the Haftorah we just read this past Shabbat he uses that approach with the word Nachamu. “Comfort, oh comfort my people”. Why is there a need for the word to be repeated. There are a number of interpretations and commentaries on this but I like the simplest one of all. Isaiah is stressing the need for us to be comforted. We have just finished with Tisha B’Av and the three preceding weeks. It is a difficult time for us. Now it is time for us to be comforted.

I hope everyone find the necessary comfort in Nachamu, Nachamu.

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