Comfort my people

by Cisca Mudde

Who is ‘great’ enough to comfort Israel?
You, who feel no need of comfort?
All alone surrounded by a sea of fierce haters
Cold comfort is a biting sword.

Never is she allowed a moment’s rest.
Driven on, uncomforted!
Who will dare to console her?
Most comfort appears no more than gloating.

All puffed up, they lecture her:
“Come on, make peace, and don’t hit back!”
Haughtily they disdain her crops.
Belittling they pervert her deeds.
Is that your comfort?

Together they cry off-handedly:
“Give it away, your heritage, to your haters!
Your right has been put away!”
Whatever she does, it will never do.

‘Believers’ are basking in her name.
“Jerusalem has had its day! Israel is forgotten.
G’ds promises are us!
Why shall I comfort you?”

Pious people wish to console,
Denying her everlasting Covenant,
Her foundation, her Torah,
Cold comfort hurts even more,
Alienates, twists, deceives.

Many call to her haughtily:
“Talk to your enemy, you are so short tempered!
Do be calm and loving, Israel,
You are so aggressive!
We won’t comfort you, for you are wrong!”

Who has the courage to console her?
You who don’t feel the need for comfort
And know yourself high and dry?
Better be silent en know this:
Her G’d knows everything, sees you too!
Your pride will vanish like worthless tosh.

Prudently suit yourself into her tracks.
Follow her G’d and her Torah.
Like Jerusalem you will find out,
Her indignity is now done to you.
What man shall comfort you then?
So that you will truly heal.

Great is the day! Rosh HaShana.
HaMashiach comes with consolation,
Will not speak when silence is needed.
The Strong will not defame the weak,
Not aggravate her burden with that.
His comfort will relieve her completely
Forever and ever.

Be silent, comforter who are not able of consolation!
Are you acquainted with her grief, her existence?
Jerusalem will once be built,
Comforted to the depth of her soul.
And you who scornfully pushed her aside
Will anxiously cry out for some comfort.

The Spirit of Him, in you,
Will mildly bring comfort
Into a wounded soul:
Console without hurting.
Everything else is recklessness.

Isaiah 40:1-2
“Comfort and keep comforting my people,” says your G’d.
“Tell Yerushalayim to take heart; proclaim to her
That she has completed the time of service,
That her guilt has been paid off,
That she has received at the hand of Adonai
Double for all her sins.”