This evening begins Shabbat Nachamu (“The Shabbat of Consolation”), the Sabbath immediately following the festival of Tisha B’Av. Last week we highlighted our collective experience of pain and loss; beginning this week we begin the road to recovery through the consoling themes of the Haftarah portions chanted during the next several Shabbat services. These reminders will lead us into the High Holidays themselves – the quintessential Jewish expression of healing and hope.
In the wake of Tisha B’Av, Shabbat Nachamu comes to remind us that healing from trauma is not only possible, but inevitable – as long as we become active participants in the healing process. In a sense, it is not enough to affirm healing in our lives and our world: we need to admit that healing from pain and loss involves very real work. Yes, it is painful work, but it if we devote ourselves to it with a faith and commitment, it is truly sacred work.
This Shabbat Nachamu, I’m suggesting we learn about and support the sacred work of healing that is currently being done around the world by organizations that aid those who are traumatized in the wake of violence and war. Though there are many important national and international centers doing this work, I’d like to spotlight the Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s Global Trauma Relief Mission. The CMBM Global Trauma Relief Mission has remarkable global reach, treating victims of psychotrauma in such diverse locales as Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, Macedonia, Bosnia, in post – 9/11 New York and the post- Hurricane Katrina Gulf Coast region.
This Shabbat Nachamu and beyond, may we do all we can to bring healing and hope to a too-often traumatized world…