Parahsa: Va’etchanan (2023)

How do we give true comfort?

At this point of the year we go from mourning to a moment of comfort.

The very name of the Shabbos is “Shabbat Nachamu” the Shabbat of comfort. Hashem is comforting us, after the difficult and sombre day of Tisha B’av.

It is difficult sometimes to know what to say to someone who is going through a challenging moment. Especially if they are going through a loss of a loved one. What are you supposed to say? What message can you possibly give them, that will bring them comfort?

Our family doctor and a good friend, unfortunately lost his father when he was young. He said while many people did come by and offer words of encouragement and love, there was one friend who truly brought him his comfort.

This friend didn’t say anything…. He. Was. Just. There.

He was there for him throughout every day of the Shiva (seven-day period of mourning).
Just being present, fully present. It may have helped that this was in 1980’s, before social media took the stage.

This is perhaps the greatest gift of comfort we can give anyone, just to be there for them. Be there for our children. When they call out for us, and send us a message, we stop and direct our very essence to their pure words and pure souls.

We know we are much more productive and successful when we are fully present.
It is for this reason we put an emphasis on creating this moment of “being in the zone” for the most fundamental parts of our prayers.

From a young age we told “put your right hand over your eyes”, for the fundamental prayer and declaration of “Shema”. We are taught about the “silent” Amida prayer.

These are moments that allow us to turn down all the noise in our life and give space for the soul to finally be heard.

So, on this Shabbat more than anything else that we ask from G-d, is that he should just be present in our lives. We should feel his presence. It doesn’t matter so much if we can hear him or is if he is granting our every wish. We just want him to be present.

I’m sure that if we are present for our loved ones when they need us, Hashem will be there for us when we need him.

Shabbat Shalom