September 1, 2017
10 Elul 5777
Candle lighting: 6:56 p.m.
The Haftarot for the seven Shabbats leading up to Rosh Hashanah are called sheva d’nechamata, the seven (Haftarot) of consolation. Every week after the observance of Tisha B’Av, when we commemorated the destruction of the temple, through the High Holy Days, the haftarah we read is carefully selected in order to speak to our emotional state, and prepare us for the Days of Awe. This week’s Haftarah is taken from Isaiah. It reminds us that the same God we are angry with when times are challenging and amidst destruction, is the same God that is with us when we are comforted, and begin to rebuild.
With each passing week, the haftarah is supposed to console us, comfort us, and help elevate us to a higher spiritual plane. Doing so is supposed to enable us and encourage us to do the hard work, the reflection, and the introspection, that the Holy Day season expects of us.
Along similar lines, beginning this Saturday, through Rosh Hashana, my teachings and our conversation on Shabbat morning will be geared towards helping us prepare and get ready for the Days of Awe. Each week we will study a piece of text together from the Machzor (the High Holy Day prayer book), so that we can not only review and learn about some unfamiliar parts of the service, but like the haftarot, begin to prepare ourselves for the intensity and spiritual experience, we hope to create and share together.
Rabbi Joshua Dorsch
To read an archive of Rabbi Dorsch’s D’var Torah click here.