12 August 2016

Parashat Devarim 5776 and A Very Special Message

8 Av 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Devarim - Shabbat Chazon

Shabbat Chazon ("Sabbath [of] vision" שבת חזון) takes its name from the Haftarah that is read on the Shabbat immediately prior to the mournful fast of Tisha B'Av, from the words of rebuke and doom coming from Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah 1:1-27. It is also referred to as the Black Sabbath due to its status as the saddest Shabbat of the year (as opposed to the White Sabbath, Shabbat Shuvah, immediately precededing Yom Kippur). (Source)

Excerpted from the Shabbat Chazon Haftarah (Yeshayahu 1.14-17, 25 and 26)...

...And when you lift up your hands, I will turn My eyes away from you; though you pray at length, I will not listen. Your hands are stained with crime— wash yourselves clean; put your evil doings away from My sight. Cease to do evil; learn to do good. Devote yourselves to justice; aid the wronged. Uphold the rights of the orphan; defend the cause of the widow.

“Come, let us reach an understanding, —says the LORD. Be your sins like crimson, they can turn snow-white; be they red as dyed wool, they can become like fleece.”

...Zion shall be saved in the judgment; her repentant ones, in the retribution. But rebels and sinners shall all be crushed, and those who forsake the LORD shall perish.

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As someone whose son has a birthday falling within the first nine days of Av, I understand the mixed feelings. One wants to be happy and joyful and celebratory and yet one is reminded of the need to dampen such expressions in recognition of the special character of this time period. 

With that acknowledgement, Devash and all the Tomer Devorah readers would like to wish...


To Yehonatan Pollard
A Very Happy 62nd Birthday! 
For Life, for Health, and for a Future.
Until 120!
Don't be down about the judge's decision. It's the Ultimate Judge Who counts. And just like Egypt lost the power to hold onto Am Yisrael, so America will soon lose its power to continue to hold you captive. Shabbat shalom!