A Vision of a Loving Father

Shabbos Chazon is not the only Shabbos named after its haftarah. Shabbos Nachamu and Shabbos Shuvah are two others. But there’s a difference.

In the case of the other two Shabbosos, the name is not only the first word of the haftarah; it also sums up the point of the entire haftarah, and by extension the essence of that Shabbos. The Shabbos between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a Shabbos of teshuvah, and the Shabbos after Tishah B’Av is a Shabbos of consolation.

In contrast, Chazon Yeshayahu — “the Vision of Yeshayahu” — are the opening words of a haftarah that deals primarily with reprimand rather than prophecy for the future. Hence, a question: Why indeed is this Shabbos called Shabbos Chazon, the Shabbos of Vision?

Harav Avraham Yaakov, zy”a, the first Sadigora Rebbe, gave the following answer.

It is well known that one who sits in darkness is better able to see a distant light than one who sits in the light. And so this Shabbos, in the dark days before Tishah B’Av, is davka a Shabbos of “vision,” of seeing and beholding our glorious future.

Chazal tell us that Moshiach will be born on Tishah B’Av. They mean that within the day of Tishah B’Av there is room for consolation, for inspiration and hope for our future. Still, on the day itself, when we are overcome with sadness, we cannot possibly rejoice with the consolation symbolized by the birth of Moshiach.

Sefarim teach us that the spiritual components of the days of the week are derived from the previous Shabbos. Shabbos is a day of mercy, not judgment. Therefore, the connection of Shabbos Chazon and Tishah B’Av is not based on the tragic components of that day, but rather of its inner essence, the consolation which lies within Tishah B’Av.

In Parashas Shlach we learned that after the meraglim returned and gave their report about Eretz Yisrael, Bnei Yisrael “raised up and issued its voice, the people wept that night.”

The Gemara (Taanis 29a) tells us that “that night” was Tishah B’Av, and Hakadosh Baruch Hu said, “You wept without cause; therefore, I will establish for you [on this day] weeping for generations.”

Harav Moshe Wolfson, shlita, in Emunas Itechu, states that on this Shabbos, the Shabbos before Tishah B’Av, we are obligated to rectify the error of the meraglim. He points out that in this week’s sedrah, Parashas Devarim, the Torah reveals to us an additional detail about the sin of the meraglim.

“And you slandered in your tents and said, “Because of Hashem’s hatred for us did He take us out of the land of Mitzrayim…”

Rashi on this passuk states, “Yet, He loved you…”

Harav Wolfson says that this Shabbos is a time to instill into our hearts knowledge of the abundant, eternal love the Ribbono shel Olam has for us. All the hardships we have suffered, everything that we have endured, were actually for our benefit. Everything that transpired in the month of “Av” was the result of the love of a Father for his children.

He adds that Malachi, the last of the Nevi’im and the one who prophesied for the last generation, began his nevuah with the words, “I loved you, says Hashem. But you say, ‘How have You loved us?’”

Bnei Yisrael are asking: Why does Hashem love us? We are undeserving of His love. But Hashem loves us nonetheless, as a father loves his children no matter how undeserving they may be.

Malachi continues: “Was not Esav the brother of Yaakov? — [this is] the word of Hashem: — yet I loved Yaakov and I hated Esav.”

Harav Tzadok of Lublin, zy”a, interprets these words to mean that Hashem is informing us that there are times when Esav and Yaakov are brothers, i.e. there is no obvious difference between them. Yet even when Yaakov acts like Esav, R”l, the Ribbono shel Olam still loves the descendants of Yaakov and hates the descendants of Esav.

The love the Ribbono shel Olam has for us is infinite, and it thrives in spite of our spiritual shortcomings.

The Apter Rav, zy”a, says, “this Shabbos is greater than all the other Shabbosos of the year.” On this most elevated Shabbos, may we merit to feel the infinite love the Ribbono shel Olam has for us, and instill this truth into our hearts.

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