We are beginning, in the Jewish calendar, a period of Seven Weeks of Consolation in which we move from commemorating the destruction of the Temple to readying ourselves for the New Year. Each week, in synagogue, we read (sing, really) a selection from the book of Isaiah that offers nechemta or comfort to the people. The first of these offerings of comfort begins with the words “Nachamu, nachamu ami” (Comfort, comfort My people…).
For this episode, I decided to let you hear the first few verses of these ancient words of comfort using the cantillation with which we sing them in synagogue.
When I hear these words that my people has sung to ourselves for centuries, it strengthens my sense of the deep roots of this work of nechemta, the timeless offering of consolation in song. No matter your faith background, I hope you too will feel comforted by these ancient words.