Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tisha B'Av thusfar

In efforts to fight boredom which is a frequent thing on Tisha B'Av when much is forbidden (maybe even blogging, I don't know...) I decided to put something up. Of course it is regarding the holiday as it is really the only thing you are allowed to make reference to (though as leaving shul tonight I got into a big discussion about the Matzav in Israel. That could be directly related. In fact, since that time until today, since Abraham made the radical and revolutionary statement that there is only One God people have hated us, and even today, the vast majority of the world hates Jews and if you hate Jews, you hate Israel, and I would also say vice versa. The motivations during Babylonian and Roman times were probably geographical as Israel/Judah/Judaea was the crossroads of civilizations, the nexus and hub of three continents. The city of Megiddo in particular (I'm tagging it with reservations, as it might be outside the scope of Tisha B'Av study, and have not actually looked at the article, but I make it conveniently available to you).

Anyway, I chanted Chapter 3 again this year and had some fun with the flourishes, but no so much fun because the congregation tried to chant along with me.

I decided that there needed to be an electronic version of Eli Tzion, so here it is.
I worked hard on programming and formatting this because there isn't much you can do that's Kosher on Tisha B'Av. In fact, I don't know if I should be blogging. Oh well. Soon after the destruction of the Second Temple, after pious Jews said they wouldn't eat meat or have grape-anything anymore because they were offered in the Temple and it wouldn't be right to enjoy something in the temple, one of the great Rabbis countered. THIS I cannot look up for you as it is not within the permitted sections of scripture and talmud that we are allowed to study on Tisha B'Av (then again, maybe it is, but I'm not about to try and prove myself right or wrong and end up being liable to kareit). Anyway, here's the most famous of the kinot (elegies/dirges). Its melody is quite haunting, but, then again, so is everything else on Tisha B'Av if sung slowly and with feeling, and also, that's the point. Without further ado, Eli Tzion:

אֱלִי צִיּוֹן וְעָרֶיהָ
כְּמוֹ אִשָּׁה בְּצִירֶיהָ
וְכִבְתוּלָה חֲגוּרַת שַׂק
עַל בַּעַל נְעוּרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי אַרְמוֹן אֲשֶׁר נֻטַּשׁ
בְּאַשְׁמַת צֹאן עֲדָרֶיהָ
וְעַל בִּיאַת מְחָרְפֵי אֵל
בְּתוֹךְ מִקְדַּשׁ חֲדָרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי גָלוּת מְשָׁרְתֵי אֵל
נְעִימֵי שִׁיר זְמָרֶיהָ
וְעַל דָּמָם אֲשֶׁר שֻׁפַּךְ
כְּמוֹ מֵימֵי יְאוֹרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי הֶגְיוֹן מְחוֹלֶיהָ
אֲשֶׁר דָּמַם בְּעָרֶיהָ
וְעַל וַעַד אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַם
וּבִטּוּל סַנְהֶדְרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי זִבְחֵי תְמִידֶיהָ
וּפִדְיוֹנֵי בְּכוֹרֶיהָ
וְעַל חִלּוּל כְּלֵי הֵיכָל
וּמִזְבֵּחַ קְטוֹרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי טַפֵּי מְלָכֶיהָ
בְּנֵי דָוִד גְּבִירֶיהָ
וְעַל יָפְיָם אֲשֶׁר חָשַׁךְ
בְּעֵת סָרוּ כְּתָרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי כָבוֹד אֲשֶׁר גָּלָה
בְּעֵת חָרְבַּן דְּבִירֶיהָ
וְעַל לוֹחֵץ אֲשֶׁר לָחַץ
וְשָׂם שַׂקִּים חֲגוֹרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי מַחַץ וְרֹב מַכּוֹת
אֲשֶׁר הֻכּוּ נְזִירֶיהָ
וְעַל נִפּוּץ אֱלֵי סֶלַע
עֲוִילֶיהָ נְעָרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי שִׂמְחַת מְשַׂנְאֶיהָ
בְּשָׂחְקָם עַל שְׁבָרֶיהָ
וְעַל עִנּוּי בְּנֵי חוֹרִין
נְדִיבֶיהָ טְהוֹרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי פֶשַׁע אֲשֶׁר עָוְתָה
סְלוֹל דֶּרֶךְ אֲשׁוּרֶיהָ
וְעַל צִבְאוֹת קְהָלֶיהָ
שְׁזוּפֶיהָ שְׁחוֹרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי קוֹלוֹת מְחָרְפֶיהָ
בְּעֵת רַבּוּ פְגָרֶיהָ
וְעַל רִגְשַׁת מְגַדְפֶיהָ
בְּתוֹך מִשְׁכַּן חֲצֵרֶיהָ

עֲלֵי שִׁמְךָ אֲשֶׁר חֻלַּל
בְּפִי קָמֵי מְצֵרֶיהָ
וְעַל תַּחַן יְצַוְּחוּ לָךְ
קְשׁוֹב וּשְׁמַע אֲמָרֶיהָ

The Kotel (Western Wall) is the place to be tonight (well, throughout Tisha B'Av). When I looked at TheWall webcam at 2 AM Jerusalem Summer Time Thursday (4 PM PDT/7 PM EDT Wednesday), there were TONS of people there. Here's the picture I saved:

The camera is currently down, possibly due to Tisha B'Av, but I feel this is the day that people WANT to see Jerusalem. They reangle the camera upwards during Shabbat and Festivals (I know this because there is a 10 hour difference between here and Jerusalem and therefore there is a ten hour period where I can still go online; the webcam exists on shabbat regardless of whether or not I look at it, and before they got a direction-controllable camera, it was focused on the same location 24/7, which meant you can really see it fill up on the morning of the first day of Pesach (didn't I mention that before college I was an apikorus, that I did Judaism my OWN way?)

Finally, I'm a freakin' camel. I always drink WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY too much water before a fast, particularly the two major ones, and end up running out at least one time during services. At camp the campers used to keep a running count of how many cups I had during the Seudah Mafseket, If memory serves me right my record was 22 cups at one sitting. (Iron Chef is totally inappropriate for the day...) Yeah, TMI.

May we be feasting and partying with the Messiah next Tisha B'Av in the rebuilt Temple Jerusalem!

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