What is ‘Shabbat Chazon?’

Tomorrow we will commemorate ‘Tishah Be-Av’ {תשעה באב} – Hebrew for ninth of the month of Av – which is the day the Temple in Jerusalem was destructed (we will discuss that tomorrow). 
The ‘Shabbat’ {שבת} before ‘Tishah Be-Av’ {תשעה באב} is known in the Jewish tradition as ‘Shabbat Chazon’ {שבת חזון} – ‘the Sabbath of the Vision’ in Hebrew. The ‘vision’ refers to the weekly Prophet’s portion which is taken from the opening chapter of the Book of Isaiah: 

“The VISION of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.” (Isaiah 1:1)  

The Hebrew word ‘Chazon’ {חזון} (‘vision’) is very common in the Book of Isaiah in particular and the other books of the prophets in general. It is derived from the Hebrew root Ch-Z-H {ח-ז-ה} which means ‘to see.’
The Hebrew learners who read this are probably thinking now about the other (more common) Hebrew word for ‘seeing’ – ‘Le-Rot’ {לראות}. Well, both of these Hebrew words mean ‘to see.’ However, ‘Le-Rot’ is the simple act of seeing and ‘La-Chazot’ {לחזות} (the verb form of ‘Chazon’) implies more than just simply seeing and is usually strongly connected to the FUTURE.

Theodor Herzl

In fact, Theodor Herzl is called in Hebrew ‘Choze Ha-Medina’ {חוזה המדינה} – which literally means in Hebrew ‘visionary of the State.’ The Hebrew word ‘Choze’ {חוזה}  is also used as another name for a ‘prophet’ in the Hebrew Bible (the main Biblical Hebrew term for ‘a prophet’ is ‘Navi’){נביא}.  

Following the biblical concept, in the later forms of Hebrew – including Modern Hebrew – the verb ‘La-Chazot’ means ‘to foresee’ or ‘to predict.’ Another meaning for this Hebrew term can be found in one of the prayers Jews have recited every day for the last 2000 years:  

“Ve-Techezena Eineinu Be-Shuv’cha Le-Tziyon Be-Rachamim” {ותחזינה עינינו בשובך לציון ברחמים} which means in English: 

“May our eyes BEHOLD Your return to Zion in mercy.”