The bus goes down down down from high altitude Jerusalem to below sea level Dead Sea.
With reflections of the skilled driver for Weekend Reflections.
A few days ago, on Tisha B'Av, Jews mourned the destruction of the Temples and of much of Jerusalem and the beginnings of our exile.
But God in his mercy does not leave us totally in this doom and gloom.
Instead, on the first Sabbath after Tisha B'Av he gives us Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath of Consolation, named after this day's reading from the prophet Isaiah 40:1-31 which begins "Nachamu nachamu ami," meaning "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people."
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
. . .
9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" 10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. . . .