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Eichah - Lamentations - Chapter 2

Eichah - Lamentations - Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

1How 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.   אאֵיכָה֩ יָעִ֨יב בְּאַפּ֤וֹ | אֲדֹנָי֙ אֶת־בַּת־צִיּ֔וֹן הִשְׁלִ֤יךְ מִשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙ אֶ֔רֶץ תִּפְאֶ֖רֶת יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְלֹֽא־זָכַ֥ר הֲדֹֽם־רַגְלָ֖יו בְּי֥וֹם אַפּֽוֹ:
brought darkness: Heb. יָעִיב, brought darkness, as Scripture states (I Kings 18:45): “the heavens grew dark with clouds (בְּעָבִים).”  
from heaven to earth: After He lifted them up to heaven, He cast them to earth all at once, and not little by little, [as] from a lofty roof to a deep pit.  
His footstool: that is the Temple.  
2The 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.   בבִּלַּ֨ע אֲדֹנָ֜י וְלֹ֣א (כתיב לֹ֣א) חָמַ֗ל אֵ֚ת כָּל־נְא֣וֹת יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב הָרַ֧ס בְּעֶבְרָת֛וֹ מִבְצְרֵ֥י בַת־יְהוּדָ֖ה הִגִּ֣יעַ לָאָ֑רֶץ חִלֵּ֥ל מַמְלָכָ֖ה וְשָׂרֶֽיהָ:
the habitations of Jacob: Heb. נְאוֹת, the houses of Jacob, an expression of נָוֶה, a dwelling.  
He has struck [them] to the ground: He humbled them to the ground.  
He has profaned the kingdom and its princes: These are the Israelites, who were called (Exod. 19: 6): “a kingdom of priests.”  
and its princes: There is a Midrash Aggadah (Lam. Rabbah 2:5) [that states that] these are the heavenly princes [whose assignments] He changed. The one appointed over fire He appointed over water, and He changed all the appointees because there were among the wicked of Israel those who knew the Ineffable Name, and they relied [upon the fact] that they could adjure the heavenly princes to save them from fire, from water and from the sword. Now, when he would adjure the prince of fire by his name, he would reply, “This dominion is not in my hands,” and similarly, all of them.  
3He has cut down in fierce anger all the strength of Israel; He has withdrawn His right hand [that shielded Israel] from the enemy, and He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire, consuming all around.   גגָּדַ֣ע בָּֽחֳרִי־אַ֗ף כֹּ֚ל קֶ֣רֶן יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הֵשִׁ֥יב אָח֛וֹר יְמִינ֖וֹ מִפְּנֵ֣י אוֹיֵ֑ב וַיִּבְעַ֤ר בְּיַֽעֲקֹב֙ כְּאֵ֣שׁ לֶֽהָבָ֔ה אָֽכְלָ֖ה סָבִֽיב:
He has withdrawn His right hand: He withdrew Himself as though withdrawing His right hand from waging war on behalf of His children.  
4He 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.   דדָּרַ֨ךְ קַשְׁתּ֜וֹ כְּאוֹיֵ֗ב נִצָּ֤ב יְמִינוֹ֙ כְּצָ֔ר וַֽיַּֽהֲרֹ֔ג כֹּ֖ל מַֽחֲמַדֵּי־עָ֑יִן בְּאֹ֨הֶל֙ בַּת־צִיּ֔וֹן שָׁפַ֥ךְ כָּאֵ֖שׁ חֲמָתֽוֹ:
He has bent His bow: Heb. דרך lit. trod. Since this is the procedure of those who bend the bow, who are strong, to place their foot upon them when he bends them; it is therefore worded as an expression of treading.  
He has poured out His fury like fire: The arrangement of the words is as follows: He poured out His anger, which is like fire, for we do not find pouring of fire, except in conjunction with anger, as it is written (Ps. 79:6): “Pour out Your wrath upon the nations.”  
5The 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.   ההָיָ֨ה אֲדֹנָ֤י | כְּאוֹיֵב֙ בִּלַּ֣ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בִּלַּע֙ כָּל־אַרְמְנוֹתֶ֔יהָ שִׁחֵ֖ת מִבְצָרָ֑י ו וַיֶּ֨רֶב֙ בְּבַת־יְהוּדָ֔ה תַּֽאֲנִיָּ֖ה וַֽאֲנִיָּֽה:
and He increased in the daughter of Judah: He increased in the congregation of Judah.  
pain and wailing: Heb. תַּאֲנִיָה וַאֲנִיָה, pain and wailing.  
and He increased: Heb. וַיֶרֶב. The “yud” is vowelized with a small “pattah” (seggol), which is an expression of increasing others. (Exod. 1:20): “and the people multiplied (וַיִרֶב) and became very strong,” is vowelized with a “hirik” , which is an expression meaning that he himself increased, and so every word whose radical ends with a “hey,” e.g. פנה, to turn, זנה to go astray, בכה, to weep, are vowelized in that manner when the “hey” is missing, when it speaks of itself [i.e., the simple (קַל) conjugation, not the causative], e.g. (Exod. 7:23): “And Pharaoh turned (וַיִפֶן).” But when he speaks of others [i.e, the causative conjugation (הפעיל)], it is vowelized with a small “pattah” (seggol), e.g. (Jud. 15:4): “and he turned (וַיֶפֶן) tail to tail” ; (II Kings 25:21): “And Judah went into exile (וַיִגֶל) from his land” ; (ibid. 18:11): “and the king of Babylon (sic) exiled (וַיֶגֶל) Israel to Assyria.”  
6And 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.   ווַיַּחְמֹ֤ס כַּגַּן֙ שֻׂכּ֔וֹ שִׁחֵ֖ת מֹֽעֲד֑וֹ שִׁכַּ֨ח יְהֹוָ֤ה | בְּצִיּוֹן֙ מוֹעֵ֣ד וְשַׁבָּ֔ת וַיִּנְאַ֥ץ בְּזַֽעַם־אַפּ֖וֹ מֶ֥לֶךְ וְכֹהֵֽן:
He stripped: Heb. וַיַחְמֹס, an expression of cutting, and so (Job 15:33): “He will cast off (יַחְמֹס) like a vine” ; (Jer. 13:22): “your steps were cut off (נֶחְמְסוּ).”  
like a garden: as they cut off the vegetables of a garden.  
His Tabernacle: Heb. שֻׂכּוֹ, His habitation. It is written שֻׂכּוֹ [with a “sin” rather than with a “sammech”, intimating] that He assuaged (שִּׁכֵּ) His anger against His children with the destruction of His House. Thus it is interpreted in the Midrash of Lamentations (Lam. Rabbah).  
and laid in ruins His Meeting Place: The Holy of Holies, where He would meet with His children, as it is said (Exod. 25:22): “And I will meet (וְנוֹעַדְתִּי) you there.”  
king and priest: King Zedekiah and Seraiah the High Priest.  
7The 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.   זזָנַ֨ח אֲדֹנָ֤י | מִזְבְּחוֹ֙ נִאֵ֣ר מִקְדָּשׁ֔וֹ הִסְגִּיר֙ בְּיַד־אוֹיֵ֔ב חוֹמֹ֖ת אַרְמְנוֹתֶ֑יהָ ק֛וֹל נָֽתְנ֥וּ בְּבֵֽית־יְהֹוָ֖ה כְּי֥וֹם מוֹעֵֽד:
He has abolished: Heb. נִאֵר, and so, (Ps. 89:40): “You abrogated (נֵאַרְתָּה) the covenant of Your servant.”  
as on a day of a festival: For they were making merry and singing in its midst with a loud voice. So did the enemies let out a cry of joy when it was destroyed.  
8The 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.   חחָשַׁ֨ב יְהֹוָ֤ה | לְהַשְׁחִית֙ חוֹמַ֣ת בַּת־צִיּ֔וֹן נָ֣טָה קָ֔ו לֹֽא־הֵשִׁ֥יב יָד֖וֹ מִבַּלֵּ֑עַ וַיַּֽאֲבֶל־חֵ֥ל וְחוֹמָ֖ה יַחְדָּ֥ו אֻמְלָֽלוּ:
The Lord determined to destroy: It is already many days since this entered His mind, as it is written (Jer. 32:31): “For this city has aroused My anger and My wrath until this day, to remove it from before My face.”  
He stretched out a line: of judgment to be punished for our iniquities.  
rampart and wall: a large wall and a small wall, a low wall opposite a high wall.  
9Her 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.   טטָֽבְע֤וּ (ט זעירא) בָאָ֨רֶץ֙ שְׁעָרֶ֔יהָ אִבַּ֥ד וְשִׁבַּ֖ר בְּרִיחֶ֑יהָ מַלְכָּ֨הּ וְשָׂרֶ֤יהָ בַגּוֹיִם֙ אֵ֣ין תּוֹרָ֔ה גַּם־נְבִיאֶ֕יהָ לֹא־מָֽצְא֥וּ חָז֖וֹן מֵֽיהֹוָֽה:
Her gates are sunk into the ground: The Midrash Aggadah (Lam. Rabbah) states: Because they imparted honor to the Ark, as it is said (Ps. 24:9): “[You] gates, lift up your heads.” Therefore, no one had any power over them, and they sank into the ground (Lam. Rabbah). Our Sages (Sotah 9a) said that they were David’s handiwork; therefore, the enemies did not have any power over them.  
there is no more teaching: There is no one among them who gives instruction.  
10The 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.   ייֵֽשְׁב֨וּ לָאָ֤רֶץ יִדְּמוּ֙ זִקְנֵ֣י בַת־צִיּ֔וֹן הֶֽעֱל֤וּ עָפָר֙ עַל־רֹאשָׁ֔ם חָֽגְר֖וּ שַׂקִּ֑ים הוֹרִ֤ידוּ לָאָ֨רֶץ֙ רֹאשָׁ֔ן בְּתוּלֹ֖ת יְרֽוּשָׁלָֽםִ:
sit on the ground, etc.: [This is to be understood] according to its apparent meaning. But the Midrash Aggadah (Lam. Rabbah) states: Nebuchadnezzar caused them to sit on the ground when Zedekiah rebelled against him and transgressed his oath. He came and stationed himself in Daphne of Antioch, and sent for the Sanhedrin, and they came toward him. He recognized that they were men of imposing appearance and sat them down in golden chairs. He said to them, “Recite your Torah for me chapter by chapter and translate it for me.” As soon as they reached the chapter dealing with vows, he said to them, “What if he wishes to retract, can he retract?” They said to him, “Let him go to a sage, and he will absolve him of it.” He said to them, “If so, you absolved Zedekiah of his oath.” He gave the order, and they pushed them off [their seats] and sat them on the ground. They then tied the hair of their heads to the tails of horses and dragged them.  
11My 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.   יאכָּל֨וּ בַדְּמָע֤וֹת עֵינַי֙ חֳמַרְמְר֣וּ מֵעַ֔י נִשְׁפַּ֤ךְ לָאָ֨רֶץ֙ כְּבֵדִ֔י עַל־שֶׁ֖בֶר בַּת־עַמִּ֑י בֵּֽעָטֵ֤ף עוֹלֵל֙ וְיוֹנֵ֔ק בִּרְחֹב֖וֹת קִרְיָֽה:
my innards burn: Heb. חֳמַרְמְרוּ, regrizi(l)lerent in Old French, have shriveled up. It is usual that when a person casts intestines into the fire, they shrivel up and burn.  
faint: Heb. בֵּעָטֵף, pa(s)mer in Old French, to faint, swoon.  
12They 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.   יבלְאִמֹּתָם֙ יֹֽאמְר֔וּ אַיֵּ֖ה דָּגָ֣ן וָיָ֑יִן בְּהִֽתְעַטְּפָ֤ם כֶּֽחָלָל֙ בִּרְחֹב֣וֹת עִ֔יר בְּהִשְׁתַּפֵּ֣ךְ נַפְשָׁ֔ם אֶל־חֵ֖יק אִמֹּתָֽם:
13What 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?   יגמָֽה־אֲעִידֵ֞ךְ (כתיב אֲעִודֵ֞ךְ) מָ֣ה אֲדַמֶּה־לָּ֗ךְ הַבַּת֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלַ֔ ִם מָ֤ה אַשְׁוֶה־לָּךְ֙ וַֽאֲנַֽחֲמֵ֔ךְ בְּתוּלַ֖ת בַּת־צִיּ֑וֹן כִּֽי־גָד֥וֹל כַּיָּ֛ם שִׁבְרֵ֖ךְ מִ֥י יִרְפָּא־לָֽךְ:
What shall I testify for you? What shall I compare to you: to say to you, “Why do you wonder about your destruction? Didn’t that also happen to such and such a nation, just like you?”  
What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you: When trouble befalls a person, [others] say to him, “This also happened to so-and-so.” These are consolations for him.  
14Your 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.   ידנְבִיאַ֗יִךְ חָ֤זוּ לָךְ֙ שָׁ֣וְא וְתָפֵ֔ל וְלֹֽא־גִלּ֥וּ עַל־עֲו‍ֹנֵ֖ךְ לְהָשִׁ֣יב שְׁבוּתֵ֑ךְ (כתיב שְׁבֻיּתֵ֑ךְ) וַיֶּ֣חֱזוּ לָ֔ךְ מַשְׂא֥וֹת שָׁ֖וְא וּמַדּוּחִֽם:
false and senseless visions: words that have no taste, and in Old French aflestrimant, insipidity, sickliness.  
and they have not exposed your iniquity: to reprove you to your face about your way.  
to straighten out your backsliding: Heb. לְהָשִּׁיב שְׁבוּתֵ, an expression of (Jer. 8:5) שּׁוֹבְבָה (ibid. 3:14) שּׁוֹבְבִים, backsliding; (Isa. 57:17): “and he went rebelliously (שּׁוֹבָב).”  
misleading oracles: They misled you away from Me.  
15All 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?"   טוסָֽפְק֨וּ עָלַ֤יִךְ כַּפַּ֨יִם֙ כָּל־עֹ֣בְרֵי דֶ֔רֶךְ שָֽׁרְקוּ֙ וַיָּנִ֣עוּ רֹאשָׁ֔ם עַל־בַּ֖ת יְרֽוּשָׁלָ֑םִ הֲזֹ֣את הָעִ֗יר שֶׁיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ כְּלִ֣ילַת יֹ֔פִי מָשׂ֖וֹשׂ לְכָל־הָאָֽרֶץ:
they hissed: To blow with the mouth, siblir in Old French, to hiss, whistle. It is customary for a person to do this when he sees an important thing that was ruined.  
the perfection of beauty: All beauty was hers.  
16All 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!"   טזפָּצ֨וּ עָלַ֤יִךְ פִּיהֶם֙ כָּל־אֹ֣יְבַ֔יִךְ שָֽׁרְקוּ֙ וַיַּֽחַרְקוּ־שֵׁ֔ן אָֽמְר֖וּ בִּלָּ֑עְנוּ אַ֣ךְ זֶ֥ה הַיּ֛וֹם שֶׁקִּוִּינֻ֖הוּ מָצָ֥אנוּ רָאִֽינוּ:
All your enemies have opened their mouths wide against you: Why did Scripture place the “pey” before the “ayin” ? Because they were saying with their mouths (פֶּה) what they did not see with their eyes (עַיִן).  
17The 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.   יזעָשָׂ֨ה יְהֹוָ֜ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר זָמָ֗ם בִּצַּ֤ע אֶמְרָתוֹ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה מִֽימֵי־קֶ֔דֶם הָרַ֖ס וְלֹ֣א חָמָ֑ל וַיְשַׂמַּ֤ח עָלַ֨יִךְ֙ אוֹיֵ֔ב הֵרִ֖ים קֶ֥רֶן צָרָֽיִךְ:
He has carried out His word: He completed His decree, like (Job 6:9): “let loose His hand and finish me off (וִיבַצְעֵנִי).”  
which He decreed long ago: that which is written in the Torah (Lev. 26:18): “and I shall continue to chastise you sevenfold.”  
18Their 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!   יחצָעַ֥ק לִבָּ֖ם אֶל־אֲדֹנָ֑י חוֹמַ֣ת בַּת־צִ֠יּ֠וֹן הוֹרִ֨ידִי כַנַּ֤חַל דִּמְעָה֙ יוֹמָ֣ם וָלַ֔יְלָה אַל־תִּתְּנִ֤י פוּגַת֙ לָ֔ךְ אַל־תִּדֹּ֖ם בַּת־עֵינֵֽךְ:
respite: Heb. פוּגַת, an expression of letting up, tresalemant in Old French, respite, let up, like (Gen. 45:26): “and his heart grew faint (וַיָפָג).”  
the pupil of your eye: the black area of the eye, which is called prunelle in French, pupil.  
19Arise, 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."   יטק֣וּמִי | רֹ֣נִּי בַלַּ֗יְלָה (כתיב בַלַּ֗יְלָ) לְרֹאשׁ֙ אַשְׁמֻר֔וֹת שִׁפְכִ֤י כַמַּ֨יִם֙ לִבֵּ֔ךְ נֹ֖כַח פְּנֵ֣י אֲדֹנָ֑י שְׂאִ֧י אֵלָ֣יו כַּפַּ֗יִךְ עַל־נֶ֨פֶשׁ֙ עֽוֹלָלַ֔יִךְ הָֽעֲטוּפִ֥ים בְּרָעָ֖ב בְּרֹ֥אשׁ כָּל־חוּצֽוֹת:
at the beginning of the watches: [i.e., at the beginning of the final] two parts of the night, for the night is divided into three parts, as our Rabbis stated in Tractate Berachoth (3).  
who faint: pâmés in French, faint, swooning.  
20See, 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?   כרְאֵ֤ה יְהֹוָה֙ וְֽהַבִּ֔יטָה לְמִ֖י עוֹלַ֣לְתָּ כֹּ֑ה אִם־תֹּאכַ֨לְנָה נָשִׁ֤ים פִּרְיָם֙ עֹֽלְלֵ֣י טִפֻּחִ֔ים אִם־יֵֽהָרֵ֛ג בְּמִקְדַּ֥שׁ אֲדֹנָ֖י כֹּהֵ֥ן וְנָבִֽיא:
children that are petted: tender children, who are still being raised with their mothers’ pampering. And our Sages expounded on Doeg the son of Joseph, whose mother would measure him with [her] fists every day, to give gold to the Temple according to how much he grew, and she ultimately devoured him.  
Will priest and prophet be slain in the Sanctuary of the Lord: The holy spirit answers them, “Now was it proper for you that you slew Zechariah the son of Jehoiada?” as is written in (II) Chronicles (24:22), that he reproved them when they came and prostrated themselves to Joash, and deified him. (ibid. verse 20): “And the spirit of God enveloped Zechariah the son of Jehoiada.” He was a priest and a prophet, and they slew him in the forecourt.  
21In 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.   כאשָֽׁכְב֨וּ לָאָ֤רֶץ חוּצוֹת֙ נַ֣עַר וְזָקֵ֔ן בְּתֽוּלֹתַ֥י וּבַֽחוּרַ֖י נָֽפְל֣וּ בֶחָ֑רֶב הָרַ֨גְתָּ֙ בְּי֣וֹם אַפֶּ֔ךָ טָבַ֖חְתָּ לֹ֥א חָמָֽלְתָּ:
22You 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.   כבתִּקְרָא֩ כְי֨וֹם מוֹעֵ֤ד מְגוּרַי֙ מִסָּבִ֔יב וְלֹ֥א הָיָ֛ה בְּי֥וֹם אַף־יְהֹוָ֖ה פָּלִ֣יט וְשָׂרִ֑יד אֲשֶׁר־טִפַּ֥חְתִּי וְרִבִּ֖יתִי אֹֽיְבִ֥י כִלָּֽם:
You have summoned… as though it were a feast day: Heb. תִּקְרָא, like קָרָאתָ, and this is the present tense.  
my neighbors: my evil neighbors, to gather about me to destroy.  
those whom I dandled and reared, my enemy exterminated: The children whom I dandled and reared, the enemy came and exterminated.  
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