Ahavat Shalom Synagogue Men’s Club sponsored a Shabbat Nachamu celebration on Sunday, Aug. 21, at Jonathan L. Ielpi Firefighters Park. The community was invited to enjoy a live DJ, an inflatable bounce house and hear encouragement from local leaders.
Shabbat Nachamu is a big celebration in Iran, where many of the congregants emigrated from. The festivities follow Tisha B’Av, which fell on the previous weekend and is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, as it commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples, as well as the many other tragedies that occurred on the ninth of Av, including the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and England in 1290. The restrictions on Tisha B’Av are similar to those on Yom Kippur and include fasting and following mourning practices.
On Shabbat Nachamu, the first of seven haftorot of consolation leading up to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is read.
“God gives us encouragement for comfort and recuperating, that things will be back to normal,” said Ahavat Shalom Rabbi Isaac Bakhshi.
Andrew H Gross, director of political affairs for the Consulate General of Israel, added, “The message today is that Israel has come back from the destruction of the holy temple, from the period of tragedy, to build an amazing Jewish state with a strong economy and technology that benefits the entire world.”
This is the second year the group has held the event and hopes to hold it every year. Manoucher Ashourzadeh, president of Ahavat Shalom, and event organizer Shahruz Shahery were pleased with the turnout. “We accomplished our objective of gathering more than 200 people,” they said. “We wanted to bring the community together. Our synagogue has events for children, teens and singles every day of the week.”