The fast day of Tisha B’av, which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, begins this Monday night at sundown. One of the most moving rituals of this somber holiday is the public reading of the Book of Lamentations (Eicha), whose emotionally harrowing words and plaintive tune evoke the depth of the loss.
- Listen to Virtual Cantor chant Eicha in the original Hebrew.
- Still brushing up on your biblical Hebrew? Me too. Go to Mechon Mamre for a good translation.
- Eicha invisions Jerusalem as a mourning widow. Other texts even envision Israel an estranged or even beaten wife. What’s with that?
- This is a notoriously hard holiday to explain to children. Check out this great crafts project and resist the urge to have them build a giant Lego Temple that you unceremoniously destroy.
- It is a said that the Temple was destroyed because of senseless hatred. Read this story about the rivalry that brought the Temple down. Once you realize how mired in this dreck we still are, consider doing something with the J to help repair this broken world.