On this Shabbat we will read Parashat Vaetchanan, & the Haftara begins with the word 'Nachamu', Hashem is giving us words of comfort, in the Haftarot starting this Shabbat- till Rosh Hashana, 7 Shabbatot in total.
What is the meaning of this comfort? How can you comfort a nation?
A great way to learn the meaning of a word from our Tanach is to llok for it in another place in th Tanach itsself. The first meaning of the word 'Nechama'- comfort in Hebrew is regret. This verb appears in Parashat Bereshit for the first time, when Hashem regrets that he created the world. So comfort is actually regret. Hashem regret for what he did to us.
But how can we say such a thing? How can we say that Hashem regrets, that he has 'second thoughts'?
The Midrashim that describe the process of comfort after the destruction, gives us a surprising description. From these Midrashim we understand this is not only our Destruction, but also Hashem's destruction, pain & mourning. Hashem is connected to us like father & son, he needs this comfort as well!
Indeed, this is not regret in the simple meaning of it, but it's also his destruction. The authority that gives the warning, & the authority that commites the crime are mixed, they are on the same side in this case.
They both suffer in pain, cry & mourn.
But there is another meaning to rthe word 'comfort' in hebrew. A very important motive that repeats in these Haftarot is memory. Comfort is also a memory. Hashem remember us, cares about us, interested in our situation. Its not that he did what did & thats the end of it, of course not.
When we talk about memory as part of our comfort it has a great massage for us. Do we remember who we are, what we were in the past? Do we remember what we can be in present & future? Do we believe that all the great peophecys that were given- talks about us? Do we believe that they talk on our times?
in order to find comfort, we must have great belief in Hashem & in ourselves. We must believe that we deserve these prophecys, & we must want it happening asap.
Comfort is regret for the past & remember the future. With it, & with our hope & commitment to a better present & future, we will find true comfort.
(Credit to, R` Moshe).