Monday, July 23, 2007


B"H A meaningful fast to all of you. May this be the last year of sadness! M
Chapter 1 1. O how has the city that was once so populous remained lonely! She has become like a widow! She that was great among the nations, a princess among the provinces, has become tributary. 2. She weeps, yea, she weeps in the night, and her tears are on her cheek; she has no comforter among all her lovers; all her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies. 3. Judah went into exile because of affliction and great servitude; she settled among the nations, [and] found no rest; all her pursuers overtook her between the boundaries. 4. The roads of Zion are mournful because no one comes to the appointed season; all her gates are desolate, her priests moan; her maidens grieve while she herself suffers bitterly. 5. Her adversaries have become the head, her enemies are at ease; for the Lord has afflicted her because of the multitude of her sins; her young children went into captivity before the enemy. 6. And gone is from the daughter of Zion all her splendor; her princes were like harts who did not find pasture and they departed without strength before [their] pursuer. 7. Jerusalem recalls the days of her poverty and her miseries, [and] all her precious things that were from days of old; when her people fell into the hand of the adversary, and there was none to help her; the enemies gazed, gloating on her desolation. 8. Jerusalem sinned grievously, therefore she became a wanderer; all who honored her despised her, for they have seen her shame; moreover, she herself sighed and turned away. 9. Her uncleanliness is in her skirts, she was not mindful of her end, and she fell astonishingly with none to comfort her. Behold, O Lord, my affliction, for the enemy has magnified himself. 10. The adversary stretched forth his hand upon all her precious things, for she saw nations enter her Sanctuary, whom You did command not to enter into Your assembly. 11. All her people are sighing [as] they search for bread; they gave away their treasures for food to revive the soul; see, O Lord, and behold, how I have become worthless. 12. All of you who pass along the road, let it not happen to you. Behold and see, if there is any pain like my pain, which has been dealt to me, [with] which the Lord saddened [me] on the day of His fierce anger. 13. From above He has hurled fire into my bones, and it broke them; He has spread a net for my feet, He has turned me back, He has made me desolate [and] faint all day long. 14. The yoke of my transgressions was marked in His hand, they have become interwoven; they have come upon my neck and caused my strength to fail; the Lord delivered me into the hands of those I could not withstand. 15. The Lord has trampled all my mighty men in my midst, He summoned an assembly against me to crush my young men; the Lord has trodden as in a wine press the virgin daughter of Judah. 16. For these things I weep; my eye, yea my eye, sheds tears, for the comforter to restore my soul is removed from me; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed. 17. Zion spreads out her hands [for help], but there is none to comfort her; the Lord has commanded concerning Jacob [that] his adversaries shall be round about him; Jerusalem has become an outcast among them. 18. The Lord is righteous, for I have rebelled against His word; hear, I pray, all you peoples, and behold my pain; my maidens and my youths have gone into captivity. 19. I called to my lovers, [but] they deceived me; my priests and elders perished in the city, when they sought food for themselves to revive their souls. 20. Behold, O Lord, for I am in distress, my innards burn, my heart is turned within me, for I have grievously rebelled; in the street the sword bereaves, in the house it is like death. 21. They have heard how I sigh, [and] there is none to comfort me, all my enemies have heard of my trouble [and] are glad that You have done it; [if only] You had brought the day that You proclaimed [upon them] and let them be like me. 22. May all their wickedness come before You, and deal with them as You have dealt with me for all my transgressions, for my sighs are many and my heart is faint. Chapter 2 1. How has the Lord in His anger brought darkness upon the daughter of Zion! He has cast down from heaven to earth the glory of Israel, and has not remembered His footstool on the day of His anger. 2. The Lord has destroyed and has had no pity on all the habitations of Jacob; in His wrath He has broken down the strongholds of Judah; He has struck [them] to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and its princes. 3. He has cut down in fierce anger all the strength of Israel; He has withdrawn His right hand [that shielded Israel] from the enemy, and He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire, consuming all around. 4. He has bent His bow like an enemy, standing [with] His right hand as an adversary, and He has slain all that were pleasant to the eye; in the tent of the daughter of Zion, He has poured out His fury, [which is] like fire. 5. The Lord has become like an enemy; He has destroyed Israel; He has destroyed all its palaces, laid in ruins its strongholds, and He increased in the daughter of Judah, pain and wailing. 6. And He stripped His Tabernacle like a garden, and laid in ruins His Meeting-Place; the Lord has caused festival and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion, and in His fierce indignation has spurned king and priest. 7. The Lord has rejected His altar, He has abolished His Sanctuary, He has delivered into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they raised a clamor in the House of the Lord, as on a day of a festival. 8. The Lord determined to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He stretched out a line; He did not restrain His hand from destroying; indeed, He caused rampart and wall to mourn, [and] they languish together. 9. Her gates are sunk into the ground; He has ruined and broken her bars; her king and princes are [exiled] among the heathens, [and] there is no more teaching; moreover, her prophets obtain no vision from the Lord. 10. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground in silence, they laid dust on their heads [and] put on sackcloth; the maidens of Jerusalem bowed their heads to the ground. 11. My eyes are spent with tears, my innards burn; my heart is poured out in grief over the destruction of the daughter of my people, while infant and suckling faint in the streets of the city. 12. They say to their mothers, "Where are corn and wine?" as they faint like one slain, in the streets of the city, while their soul ebbs away on their mothers' bosom. 13. What shall I testify for you? What shall I compare to you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea-who can heal you? 14. Your prophets have seen false and senseless visions for you, and they have not exposed your iniquity to straighten out your backsliding, but have prophesied for you false and misleading oracles. 15. All who passed along the road clapped their hands at you, they hissed and wagged their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem; "Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of all the earth?" 16. All your enemies have opened their mouths wide against you; they hissed and gnashed their teeth [and] said, "We have engulfed [her]! Indeed, this is the day we longed for; we have found it; we have seen it!" 17. The Lord has done what He devised, He has carried out His word, which He decreed long ago, [and] has devastated without pity; He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you, and exalted the might of your adversaries. 18. Their heart cried out to the Lord: "O wall of the daughter of Zion! Let tears stream down like a torrent day and night, give yourself no respite, let the pupil of your eye not rest! 19. Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord; lift up your hands to Him [and pray] for the lives of your infants, who faint because of hunger at the head of every street." 20. See, O Lord, and behold, to whom [else] have You done thus! Will women devour their own offspring, children that are petted? Will priest and prophet be slain in the Sanctuary of the Lord? 21. In the streets, on the [bare] ground lie [both] young and old, my maidens and my young men have fallen by the sword; You have slain them in the day of Your anger; You have slaughtered [them] without mercy. 22. You have summoned my neighbors on every side, as though it were a feast day, and on the day of the Lord's anger there was none that escaped or survived; those whom I dandled and reared, my enemy exterminated. Chapter 3 1. I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. 2. He has led me and made me walk [in] darkness and not [in] light. 3. Only against me would He repeatedly turn His hand the whole day long. 4. He has made my flesh and my skin waste away [and] has broken my bones. 5. He has built up [camps of siege] against me, and encompassed [me with] gall and travail. 6. He has made me dwell in darkness like those who are forever dead. 7. He has fenced me in, so that I cannot get out; He has made my chains heavy. 8. Though I cry out and plead, He shuts out my prayer. 9. He has walled up my roads with hewn stones, He has made my paths crooked. 10. He is to me a bear lying in wait, a lion in hiding. 11. He scattered thorns on my ways, He caused me to spread my legs apart, and made me desolate. 12. He bent His bow and set me up as a target for the arrow. 13. He has caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my reins. 14. I have become the laughing stock of all my people, their song [of derision] all day long. 15. He has filled me with bitterness; He has sated me with wormwood. 16. Indeed, He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and caused me to wallow in ashes. 17. And my soul is far removed from peace, I have forgotten [what] goodness [is]. 18. So I said, "Gone is my life, and my expectation from the Lord." 19. Remember my affliction and my misery, wormwood and gall. 20. My soul well remembers and is bowed down within me. 21. This I reply to my heart; therefore I have hope. 22. Verily, the kindnesses of the Lord never cease! Indeed, His mercies never fail! 23. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 24. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul; "therefore I will hope in Him." 25. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him. 26. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. 27. It is good for a man that he bear a yoke in his youth. 28. Let him sit solitary and wait, for He has laid [it] upon him. 29. Let him put his mouth into the dust; there may yet be hope. 30. Let him offer his cheek to his smiter; let him be filled with reproach. 31. For the Lord will not cast [him] off forever. 32. Though he cause grief, He will yet have compassion according to the abundance of His kindness. 33. For He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of man. 34. [Or] crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth. 35. [Or] turn aside the right of a man in the presence of the Most High. 36. To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord does not approve. 37. Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord ordained it? 38. [And] by the command of the Most High, neither good nor evil come. 39. Why should a living man complain? A man for his sins. 40. Let us search and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord. 41. Let us lift up our hearts to our hands, to God in heaven. 42. We have rebelled and have been disobedient; You have not forgiven. 43. You have enveloped Yourself with anger and pursued us; You have slain without mercy. 44. You have enveloped Yourself in a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through. 45. You make us as scum and refuse among the peoples. 46. All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us. 47. We had terror and pitfalls, desolation and ruin. 48. My eyes shed torrents of water over the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49. My eye streams and is not silent, without respite. 50. Till the Lord looks down from the heavens and beholds. 51. My eye sullies my soul more than all the daughters of my city. 52. My enemies have hunted me like a bird, without cause. 53. They have confined my life in the dungeon and have cast a stone upon me. 54. Water flowed over my head; I thought, "I am cut off." 55. I called on Your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. 56. You did hear my voice; hide not Your ear from my sighing [or] from my crying. 57. You did draw near when I called on You; You did say, "Do not fear." 58. You did plead my cause, O Lord; You did redeem my life. 59. You have seen wrong done to me, O Lord; judge my cause. 60. You have seen all their [acts of] vengeance, all their devices against me. 61. You have heard their insults, O Lord, all their plots against me. 62. The utterances of my assailants and their thoughts are against me all day long. 63. Behold their sitting down and their rising; I am their song [of derision]. 64. Requite them, O Lord, according to the work of their hands. 65. Give them a weakness of heart; may Your curse be upon them. 66. Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the Lord. Chapter 4 1. How dim the gold has become, [how] changed is the fine gold jewelry! The holy stones are scattered at the head of every street. 2. The precious children of Zion, praised with fine gold; how they are regarded as earthen pitchers, the work of a potter's hands! 3. Even the sea-monsters offer the breast [and] suckle their young; the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. 4. The tongue of the suckling child cleaves to his palate through thirst; the young children beg [for] bread, [but] no one breaks it for them. 5. Those who used to eat dainties are perishing in the streets; they that were reared on crimson clasp the dunghills. 6. The iniquity of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands fell on her. 7. Her Nazirites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, their appearance was ruddier than coral, [and] sapphire was their form. 8. [But now] their appearance has become darker than charcoal, they are not recognized in the streets; their skin is shriveled on their bones; it has become as dry as a stick. 9. Better off were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger, for they ooze, pierced by the fruits of the field. 10. The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children; they have become their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people. 11. The Lord has spent His fury, He has poured out His fierce anger, and He has kindled a fire in Zion, which has consumed her foundations. 12. The kings of the earth did not believe, nor all the inhabitants of the world, that a foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem. 13. [It was] for the sins of her prophets, the iniquities of her priests, who shed in her midst the blood of the righteous. 14. The blind stagger through the streets, they are defiled with blood, and none can touch their garments. 15. "Depart, unclean!" they called out to them, "Depart, depart, do not touch!" for they are foul, even slipping; they said, "They shall no more sojourn among the nations." 16. The anger of the Lord divided them; He will regard them no longer; they respected not the presence of the priests; they favored not the elders. 17. Our eyes still strained for our futile help; in our expectations we hoped for a nation that could not save [us]. 18. They dogged our steps [and prevented us] from walking in the streets; our end drew near, our days were fulfilled, for our end had come. 19. Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens; they chased us on the mountains, they lay in wait for us in the wilderness. 20. The breath of our nostrils, the Lord's anointed, was captured in their pits, of whom we had said, "Under his protection we shall live among the nations." 21. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, who dwells in the land of Uz; upon you also shall the cup pass, you shall become drunk and vomit. 22. [The punishment of] your iniquity is complete, O daughter of Zion; He will no longer send you into exile; [but] your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, He shall punish-He will reveal your sins. Chapter 5 1. Recall, O Lord, what has befallen us; behold and see our disgrace. 2. Our heritage has been turned over to strangers, our houses to aliens. 3. We have become orphans and fatherless, our mothers are like widows. 4. Our water we have drunk for payment; our wood needs must come by purchase. 5. We are pursued [with a yoke] on our necks; we toil but it does not remain with us. 6. We have stretched out our hands to Egypt [and to] Assyria to get enough food. 7. Our fathers have sinned and are no more, and we have borne their iniquities. 8. Slaves rule over us, [and] there is none to deliver [us] from their hand. 9. With our lives we bring our bread, because of the sword of the wilderness. 10. Our skin is parched as by a furnace because of the heat of hunger. 11. They have outraged women in Zion [and] maidens in the cities of Judah. 12. Princes were hanged by their hands, elders were not shown respect. 13. Young men carried the millstones, [and] youths stumbled under [loads of] wood. 14. The elders have ceased from the [city] gate, the young men from their music. 15. The joy of our heart has ceased, our dancing has turned into mourning. 16. The crown of our head has fallen, woe to us, for we have sinned. 17. For this our heart has become faint, for these things our eyes have grown dim. 18. For Mount Zion, which has become desolate; foxes prowl over it. 19. [But] You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne endures throughout the generations. 20. Why do You forget us forever, forsake us so long? 21. Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old. 22. For if You have utterly rejected us, You have [already] been exceedingly wroth against us.

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