A New Lamentation for Tisha b’Av

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אוי ללב שאינה שבורה 1

אריה כהן

אוֹי לַלֵב שֶׁאֵינָה שְׁבוּרָה

וְלַעֵנַיִם שֶׁאֵינָם זוֹלְגוֹת דִמְעָה

אוֹי לַאוֹזְנַיִים שֶׁאֵינָן שׁוֹמְעוֹת

וְלַפִּיוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן זוֹעַקוֹת

”וּבְּאֶמֶת פֶּלֶא הוּא אֵיך הַעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד אַחַר כ״כ הַרְבֵּה צַעַקוֹת כּאֵלוּ[2

אוֹי לָנוּ עַל שֶׁאָטַמְנוּ אֶת לִבֵּנוּ

לְעָרְלֵי לֵב וּפֶה נִהְיֵינוּ

הַלֹא אִם לֹא צָעַקנוּ הִסְכַּמנוּ

וּבְּעַצַת רְשָׁעִים נִתְּפַּסְנוּ

”וּבְּאֶמֶת פֶּלֶא הוּא אֵיך הַעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד אַחַר כ״כ הַרְבֵּה צַעַקוֹת כּאֵלוּ“

אוֹי לַמֶמְשָׁלָה שֶׁכָּכָה מוֹשֶׁלֶת

וּלְמִשְׁטֶרֶת הַגְבוּלוֹת שֶׁכָּכָה מְקַלְגֶסֶת

וְאֵיפֹה אַנַחְנוּ שְׁלוּחֵי הַצֶדֶק

קוֹל דְמָמָה דַקָה בִּמְקוֹם קוֹל תְּרוּעָה

”וּבְּאֶמֶת פֶּלֶא הוּא אֵיך הַעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד אַחַר כ״כ הַרְבֵּה צַעַקוֹת כּאֵלוּ“

ּכּי לֹא מֵרָחוֹק הֵם הַזְדוֹנוֹת וְהַפְּשָׁעִים

אוֹי אֶלוֹהִים – בִּשְׁמֵנוּ עוֹשִים אֶת הַדְבָרִים הַבְּזוּיִים

כִּי קָרוֹב מְאוֹד אֵלֵינוּ הַמַעַשִׂים

וּפִינוּ שְׁקֵטִים וְלִבֵּנוּ רְדוּמִים וְאֵינֶנוּ מִתְקוֹמְמִים

”וּבְּאֶמֶת פֶּלֶא הוּא אֵיך הַעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד אַחַר כ״כ הַרְבֵּה צַעַקוֹת כּאֵלוּ“

בַּיוֹם אַשֶׁר צָעַקנוּ וְלֹא עָנוּ לָנוּ

אָמַרְנוּ לֹא כָּכָה יֵעָשֶׂה בִּמְקוֹמֵינוּ

וּבְבוֹא הָעֵת, הִבְטַחְנוּ, נָקוּם בְּרֹאשׁ הָעֵדָה

וְהִנֵה הַיוֹם וְאַיֵה הַתְּגוּבָה אַיֵה הַזְעָקָה

מְמַלְמְלִים ״הַמָקוֹם יְרַחֵם״

וְאוֹמְרִים עוֹד תְּחִינָה

”וּבְּאֶמֶת פֶּלֶא הוּא אֵיך הַעוֹלָם עוֹמֵד אַחַר כ״כ הַרְבֵּה צַעַקוֹת כּאֵלוּ“

הֲכָזֶה צוֹם אֶבְחָרֵהוּ – יוֹם אַשֶׁר רְעֵבִים לַלֶחֶם?

הֲלוֹא זֶה צוֹם אֶבְחָרֵהוּ – יוֹם אַשֶׁר נָקוּם אֱלֵי צֶדֶק.

יוֹם פְּתִיחַת חַרְצוּבּוֹת רֶשַׁע,

יוֹם שַׁלַח רְצוּצִים חָפְשִׁים,

יוֹם הַכָּרַת אֶנוֹשׁוּת כָּל אָדָם,

כַּךְ נִגְאַל אֶת מְקוֹמֵנוּ וְאֶת הַמָּקוֹם בָּרוּך הוּא

כִּי קָרוֹב אֵלֵינוּ הַדָּבָר בְּפִינוּ וּבְלִבֵּנוּ לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ

 

 

Woe to the Heart that is not Broken

Aryeh Cohen

 

Woe to the heart that is not broken

and to the eyes that do not cry

Woe to the ears that do not hear

and to the mouths that do not scream

 

“And in truth, it is amazing that the world is still standing after so many cries for help such as these”[3]

 

Woe to us that closed our hearts

we have become uncircumcised of heart and mouth

for lo if we have not cried out we are in agreement

we have become entrapped in the counsel of evil

 

“And in truth, it is amazing that the world is still standing after so many cries for help such as these”

 

Woe to the government that governs in this manner

and to the Border Patrol that behaves like stormtroopers

And where are we, the messengers of righteousness?

A soft murmuring sound rather than the blast of a trumpet.

 

“And in truth, it is amazing that the world is still standing after so many cries for help such as these”

 

For these crimes and venalities were not committed far away

Oh God—in our name they do these disgraceful things

For these actions are very close to us

And our mouths are silent and our hearts are asleep and still we are not outraged

 

“And in truth, it is amazing that the world is still standing after so many cries for help such as these”

 

On the day that we cried out and no one answered us,

We said: “It shall not be thus in our places”

“When the time comes,” we promised, “we will rise up at the head of the people.”

And yet here is the day, and where is our reaction? where is our outcry?

We mumble “God have mercy”

and we just say another prayer.

 

“And in truth, it is amazing that the world is still standing after so many cries for help such as these”

 

Is this the fast that I would choose—a day in which people hunger for bread?

Is this not the fast I would choose—a day on which we rise to righteousness.

A day of opening the fetters of wickedness,

A day of sending the oppressed free,

A day of recognizing the humanity of people,

Thus we will redeem our places, and The Place blessed be s/he

For the thing is very close to us, it is in our mouths and in our hearts, to do it

[To download a printable version, click here.]

NOTES

[1]. With thanks to Maeera Schreiber.

[2]. This line is from the אש קודש written in the Warsaw Ghetto by Kalonymous Kalmish Shapira of Piasczena.

[3]. This line is from the אש קודש written in the Warsaw Ghetto by Kalonymous Kalmish Shapira of Piasczena.

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One thought on “A New Lamentation for Tisha b’Av

  1. Beautiful piyyut, Dr. Cohen.
    I am thinking of using this on Tishah B’av with my community. I would, of course, quote it בשם אמרך. Would this be o.k.?

    In a similar vein, I regret that I will not be joining your gathering for Tishah B’Av shacharit this year, as I will be in Ventura with my kahal.

    I appreciate your holy efforts.
    J.B.

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