Va’Eschanan 5776 – There is always hope

The Shabbos after Tisha B’av is known as Shabbos Nachamu after the Haftarah which begins, “Nachamu, Nachamu Ami, Be comforted, be comforted My nation” which is part of the consolation Hashem offered the Jews after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash.
The Midrash relates that The Jews sinned doubly as it states “Cheit Chatah Yerushalayim, a sin, Yerushalayim has sinned.” (The word sin is mentioned twice). They received double punishment as it says “Ki Laksah Miyad Hashem Kiflayim, for they were struck by the Hand of Hashem double,” and they received double comfort as it mentions the word comfort twice in the aforementioned Possuk.
This requires explanation. If the Jews were very sinful at that time, it should say they sinned a lot. What is the meaning of double sinning? Furthermore, is it possible that the merciful Hashem punished the Jews double of what they deserved?!
The Rebbe of Slonim explains that the relationship of Hashem and Bnei Yisrael is that of a king and a prince. When the king’s subject transgresses the king’s command he is punished severely. However, when the prince himself disobeys the king, he has commited a double sin. He has disobeyed the king and he has betrayed his own father! This is the meaning of the Jews double sin. Not only did we disobey Hashem, we have been disloyal to our own Father the King. Hashem found it necessary to punish us for both wrongdoings. As the Sages commented on our exile, “Woe to the son who is exiled from his father’s table and woe to the father whose son is exiled from his table!”
When it is time for consolation, Hashem comforts us not only as one who underwent a tragedy but also by restoring the loving father and son or King and prince relationship that we yearn to have with Hashem. This is what the Midrash refers to when it says we received double comforting.
May we soon merit the ultimate consolation when we experience the ingathering of the exiles and rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash.

By Rabbi Sharaga Thav
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