Eicha- An Aching Heart Mumbles

Jameel’s post has had me thinking all day long. So many thoughts, so many things to say. Feelings that I want to express that come out in disjointed fashion. Incoherent ramblings that tear through me, but just don’t come out in the way that I want them to.

Eloquence is what I seek but it escapes me. So here I shall ramble for a bit and then head off to much needed sleep. It is Tisha B’Av. A sad and solemn day, even for those of us who wander on and off the derech.

Past thoughts that tie into this day can be found here, here, here.

Here is what I hear in my head:

“1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

2 Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps.

3 For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’

4 How shall we sing HaShem’S song in a foreign land?

5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.Psalm 137

It is easy to get caught up in the uncertainty of the future, the vagaries of life and the questions that surround the war. Most of us wish to see the future, but it is not a gift that is given out. In an age of instant gratification we look to the past and see hope for the present and the future.

Given the choice what I really want to hear are the reports of victory, the words of a lasting peace. It is late and I am tired so I am going to wrap this up. I don’t feel like going to sleep on such a down note so I am going to share this with you.

In the background I am listening to this recording of Twersky reporting the retaking of the Old City. Here is the excerpt that really holds my ear.

Rabbi Goren: We’re now going to recite the prayer for the fallen soldiers of this war against all of the enemies of Israel:

[Soldiers weeping]

El male rahamim, shohen ba-meromim. Hamtse menuha nahona al kanfei hashina, be-maalot kedoshim, giborim ve-tehorim, kezohar harakiya meirim u-mazhirim. Ve-nishmot halalei tsava hagana le-yisrael, she-naflu be-maaraha zot, neged oievei yisrael, ve-shnaflu al kedushat Hashem ha-am ve-ha’arets, ve-shichrur Beit Hamikdash, Har Habayit, Hakotel ha-ma’aravi veyerushalayim ir ha-elokim. Be-gan eden tehe menuhatam. Lahen ba’al ha-rahamim, yastirem beseter knafav le-olamim. Ve-yitsror be-tsror ha-hayim et nishmatam adoshem hu nahlatam, ve-yanuhu be-shalom al mishkavam [soldiers weeping loud]ve-ya’amdu le-goralam le-kets ha-yamim ve-nomar amen!

[Translation: Merciful G-d in heaven, may the heroes and the pure, be under thy Divine wings, among the holy and the pure who shine bright as the sky, and the souls of soldiers of the Israeli army who fell in this war against the enemies of Israel, who fell for their loyalty to G-d and the land of Israel, who fell for the liberation of the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem the city of the Lord. May their place of rest be in paradise. Merciful One, O keep their souls forever alive under Thy protective wings. The Lord being their heritage, may they rest in peace, for they shalt rest and stand up for their allotted portion at the end of the days, and let us say, Amen.]

[Soldiers are weeping. Rabbi Goren sounds the shofar. Sound of gunfire in the background.]

Rabbi Goren: Leshana HA-ZOT be-Yerushalayim ha-b’nuya, be-yerushalayim ha-atika![Translation: This year in a rebuilt Jerusalem! In the Jerusalem of old!]”

May tomorrow bring a better and brighter day for all of us.

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