Shabbat Shalom: Welcoming the Season of Return

Aug 11, 2022 | Article

Shabbat Shalom: Welcoming the Season of Return

Aug 11, 2022

This is one of those Shabbats when the date, the season, and the yearly cycle of Torah reading coalesce. Following Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem and is considered the saddest day of the year, we begin seven weekly readings of consolation, with this Friday being Shabbat Nachamu. It is a period of comfort and hope that all will be restored as we begin the work of repair leading to Rosh Hashanah. This week’s readings are punctuated by the opening words of the haftorah: “Be comforted, be comforted my people.”

Just as Tisha B’Av is the saddest day of the Hebrew calendar, one of the happiest days is the fifteenth day of Av (Tu B’av), or the day of love. In this context, this season of return and repair, love, whether it’s between spouses, partners, and friends or among a community, is not a thing of Hollywood dreams. It is understood to be more comprehensive. An embrace of all creation and all creatures. It is the interweaving of beings. It is constant and consistent. It is an acknowledgement that the other is part of us.

May this Shabbat of Tu B’Av be one of love and comfort, for oneself, for each other, and for us all.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jay Strear
President & CEO

Please email Rabbi Strear at with comments or questions.