(I presented this to my Board of Trustees in August 2008.)
That there is a Torah portion for this coming Shabbat is nothing remarkable; every Shabbat has a corresponding Torah portion. And it’s also not especially notable that the Haftarah this Shabbat equally relates to the Torah portion and to the calendar; after building up to Tisha b’Av with a series of Haftarot that bawl out and chastise the Israelites, the Haftarah for the Shabbat immediately following Tisha b’Av, known as Shabbat Nachamu, the first words of the Haftarah, does the opposite: the Israelites need to be comforted by and reassured of God’s love. The disaster has taken place and it is now time for communal healing. The people need to hear God’s reassuring words – all will be well, all will be made whole again. God is watching, helping, healing – all we have to do is believe and work hard to make things right again.