|Pondering the Pasuk: Tisha b’Av: Kinos-Elegies: Themes|
|Written by Dr Heshie Klein|
The themes of the Kinos vary between: Imploring God to see our suffering and answer us from on high; Asking God to have mercy on Zion and to rebuild Jerusalem; God’s lament about how we turned away from Him and forced him to do the same to us;
We have sinned against You, God, O have mercy upon Lo-Ruchama, the afflicted, beaten with storm, whose eyes are lifted up to thee, and who await thy help;
Happy is he that waits (and happy is he) that will succeed in witnessing the rising of Your light, when over him shall break forth Your dawn. Then shall he behold the welfare of your chosen ones, and he will exult in your rejoicing when you shall return to Your youthfulness as of old.
We want things to be the way they were before the relationship broke down.
We yearn for the return of our Relationship as it was previously.
And in Betzeisi Mimitzrayim . . . Betzeisi Mi’yeruhalayim, we speak about the highs and the lows, juxtaposed and intertwined, like the geulah (redemption) showing its head one minute, and withdrawing into the depths of pain the next minute – leaving Mitzrayim and leaving Yerushalayim – like the dear that shows its head for a second, then swiftly disappears – ratzo veshov. How hard it is to grab onto the redemption.
Oh how we yearn to embrace the dust of Your land . . . Arouse yourself to meet your beloved, and shake yourself from the dust when God returns to your [His] abode.
The wave of emotions are like a giant Roller coaster, soaring high and dropping five hundred feet straight down only to rise and fall again.
And as we wind down, we come to Eli Zion,
“Let Zion and her cities lament like a woman in the pangs of birth, and like a young woman girded with sack cloth (in mourning) for the husband of her youth.”
“For the rejoicing of her enemies who laughed at her destruction, and for the affliction of her freeborn sons, so noble and so pure.”
I can’t help but replay in my mind and my heart, the emotions I felt when the Arabs sang and danced in the streets on 9-11, as the Twin Towers collapsed and 2,976 people died horrible deaths. My friend’s wife died in that debacle. Her remains were never fully recovered.
I will always remember that. . . He will never forget it.
Then we repeat the two bookends:
Shomron kol titein metzauni avonai, l’eretz acheres yetzauni vanai –
Samaria lifts up her voice, “My iniquities have found me out!
My children have gone from me to another land.”
“And Oholibah cries, “My Palaces are burnt down!” and Zion says: “The Lord has forsaken me!”
Which ends with:
“Chadeish yameinu kimei kadmonai, k’na’amecha, bonei Yerushalayim Ado-nai –
Renew our days as the days of old, according to Your declaration: The Lord builds up Jerusalem.”
We are imploring God to remember His promise to us, as in “Pakod Pakadeti ”.
And the last of the two bookends, we cry out to Hashem, once again with Dayeinu:
“Ahd ana bechiya beTzion, u’mispeid Bi’yerushalyim. Terachiem Tzion, v’sivneh chomos Yerushalyim –
How much longer shall there be weeping in Zion and mourning in Jerusalem?
O have mercy upon Zion, and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.”
The final words of this last Kinah bear repeating:
“For the Lord shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places, and He will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the Garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”