Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
Laments: A Fresh Translation of Eikhah, 2017...for more Tisha B'Av resources click here!
Tish'a B'Av is not primarily about mourning, but about becoming refugees, being thrown into a hostile world without shelter or protection. Part of this experience is mourning for what has been lost, but what we think of as mourning customs -- not wearing fresh clothes, not washing, eating or drinking, not being able to sit down -- more closely resembles the experience of a refugee than a mourner sitting shiva. Tish'a B'Av is not primarily about the end of sacrifices or the Temple – Chaza"l, the rabbis, figured out how to live without the Temple long ago. Rather, it's about homelessness, fleeing from war into famine, about things that are all too present in our world. It's also an opportunity to confront the ways in which we as individuals (and as a people) use our power to make others (people and species) into refugees...
* Read Reb David Seidenberg's article on images of cannibalism in Eikhah, "To Prey or to Pray?" For more on the questions and customs of Tish'a B'Av, including the meaning of Tish'a B'Av after the state of Israel, click here. For all Tish'a B'Av material on Neohasid, click here]
The following file of the 2017 edition of Eikhah can be printed back-to-back, folded in half, and stapled in the center to make a 28-page booklet (seven sheets double-sided). When you click to download, a window will open to make a donation -- but you do not need to donate in order to download the booklet.
Download 2017 PDF in booklet format
The translation offered here is one of the best you'll find for liturgical use. For 2017, chapter 3 has been fully retranslated, art has been added, the afterward was rewritten, and corrections have been made. It's closer to the Hebrew than the JPS and strives to connect on a gut-level to what the day is about. I usually do at least one chapter reading phrase by phrase in Hebrew and English when I lead a group reading, and it's a very powerful experience. Laments also includes an afterword on theology and theodicy in Eikhah. Click here to read the afterward.
Click here to download a PDF that staples like a handout in the upper left-hand corner. When you click, a window will open to make a donation -- you do not need to donate to get the download. To download a booklet layout, click here. (See description at left.)
Posted by: SaraLeya at July 22, 2007 3:45 PM
Playing a solea or siguiriya does it for me.
Posted by: Solea at July 22, 2007 11:54 PM
Thank you so much, David. Having a good translation is really important to connect to this very difficult holiday. Thanks too for the linear layout (What software did you use to create it?)
Posted by: Norman Weingart at July 30, 2008 9:38 PM
Posted by: Felipe at July 31, 2008 11:58 AM
Thanks. I've just added a post to my site with your Fresh Translation.
Posted by: Victorino at July 26, 2009 11:56 AM
Thanks to Kay Magilavy for inserting page numbers into the 2008 edition!
Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006