This week’s Parsha is Eschanan and has the Shema, the declaration a Jew says from birth to death, morning, afternoon and evening. We declare we know that G-d is infinite and ONE and that all His ways of manifesting in the world is all part of His Infinity.
The word Shema is an acronym for Shacharis, Mincha and Arvis, the three times a day when we pray. It is also an acronym for three words in this week’s Haftorah: Se’ooh Marom Ay’naychem – Lift on High Your Eyes. And backwards it tells us why we lift our eyes, why we stop three times a day for introspection and that is to accept on us Ohl Malchus Shamayim, the yoke of rule of Heaven. It is our call to action, our mission statement, the entire focus of our lives. To declare, to acknowledge, to broadcast the concept of G-dliness in the world.
So let us go examine the Haftorah now. We begin with the comfort of Shabbos Nachamu, where the Haftorah begins with the double reassurance of comfort, Nachamu-nachamu.
Comforted that we will be redeemed, secure that we will be helped, what is left for us to do – what are the challenges left for us?
The end of the Haftorah instructs us to “Lift on high your eyes and see Who created these, He who takes out by number the army [of stars] to each a name He calls…”
Each Jew is compared to a star. Whether you see its twinkle or not, whether closer to earth or more remote, each star is a brilliant glow and fire. Each one has a name and number. Each one is beloved. We get our Jewish name upon birth and we get called a name when we die. If we merit, those names match up – the name of our potential that was heralded at birth and the name that we earned through our actions.
We are told, look to Who created all these stars, those in the Heavens and those here one earth, all creations of the Almighty.
You are a star, valuable, beloved and precious. Declare your life mission with a resounded Shema. Keep your focus, my beloved friends, and have a comforting, meaningful Shabbos that will stretch into the Shabbos of no-end.