Jewish Pride

We are now beginning the period called שבעה דנחמתא, the seven weeks of comfort, that end with Rosh Hashanah. Each Haftarah will have words of consolation and hope following the heavy period of the "three weeks." This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of comfort. The parallel to the Haftarot is the final rebuke and charge that Moshe gave the nation before his death. There is an interesting point in the Alshich on the Pasuk in this week's Torah reading. It is written that the nations of the world will marvel at our חוקים, the laws that don't have a reason. Moshe is reassuring the people that this will be the response to our many laws-especially the ones that are not easily able to be comprehended. The people were afraid that they would be mocked by the other nations for our strange laws and customs. Moshe guarantees that this will be a source of admiration among the nations. We must never be afraid to show pride in our Jewishness and its observances. Otherwise, we could turn into self hating Jews!