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מעשה מיץ | Maaseh Metz, a qinah after a crowd panic and deadly crush in the synagogue over Shavuot in Metz (1714)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=46894 מעשה מיץ | Maaseh Metz, a qinah after a crowd panic and deadly crush in the synagogue over Shavuot in Metz (1714) 2022-09-24 21:42:29 This qinah, a variation of Maaseh Metz, was written by an unknown author and copied by Glikl of Hameln into her memoirs. The text appearing here was made from that transcribed and published in Chava Turniansky's critical edition, <em>Glikl: Memoirs (1691-1719)</em> (Shazar 2006), pp. 596-597, and Sara Friedman's English translation of that edition, edited by Turniansky (Brandeis University Press 2019), pp. 306-307. Text the Open Siddur Project Chava Turniansky (transcription) Chava Turniansky (transcription) Sara Friedman (translation) Glikl of Hameln Unknown Author(s) https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Chava Turniansky (transcription) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107 Man-made Disasters Metz human stampedes and crowd crushes קינות Ḳinnot 55th century A.M. 18th Century C.E.
The following qinah appears near the conclusion of Glikl of Hameln’s seventh and final book in her memoirs. (For the details of this terrible crowd crush tragedy, please refer to Glikl’s first-person account.) Chava Turniansky writes,[1] Chava Tunriansky, Glikl: Memoirs (1691-1719) (Brandeis 2019), p. 306, ft. 91 (page 595 footnote 240 in the 2006 Hebrew edition). 

From here, up to the end of this paragraph (“Amen”), the text is in Hebrew. The wording of the first part (up to “a sacred occasion”) is quite similar to that of a manuscript Ḳinah (Lamentation) entitled Maaseh Metz (see Turniansky 2006a, p. 587, n. 188, source C). Language echoing lamentational rhymes occurs in both, as well as in Glikl’s version up to the end. It is likely that the mentioned Ḳinah (or a longer version of it) reached Glikl somehow (after all, her husband and his parents were pillars of the community), and that she copied from there into her memoir.


TABLE OPTIONS
Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)
אוי לנו, שכך עלתה בימינו
לשמוע אוזן דאבה נפשינו
שיקוים בנו הפסוק
”והבאתי מורך בלבבם
ורדף אתכם קול עלה נִדף
ונסו מנֻסת חרב
ונפלו ואין רודף
וכשלו איש באחיו כמפני חרב ורודף אין“.
Woe unto us that such a thing has come to pass in our time,
when our ears hear it, our soul is sick,[2] See Turniansky 2006a, p. 595, n. 241. 
that the verse has come to pass
“I will cast a faintness into their hearts.
The sound of a driven leaf shall put you to flight.
Fleeing as though from the sword,
they shall fall though none pursues.
[With no one pursuing, they shall stumble over one another as before the sword.]”[3] Leviticus 26:36-37 [part], with two changes: the phrase “in the land of their enemies” is left out, and “put you to flight” appears instead of “put them to flight.” 
ועל זאת דוה לבינו וחשכו עֵנינו
על החילול שבת ויום טוב
ועל ביטול התפילה
כמאמר הנביא ”מי בִקש זאת מידכם“.
ביום הקודש הזה מתן תורתינו הקדושה
ובחר בנו מכל עם ולשון
ואִלו זכינו היינו שמחים
בשמחת מתן תורה
מקראי קֹדש ה׳.

Because of this our hearts are sick, our eyes are dimmed[4] Cf. Lamentations 5:17. 
because of the desecration of the Sabbath and holy day
and because of prayers suspended,
in the words of the prophet “Who asked that of you” (Isaiah 1:12)
on that holy day of the giving of our holy Torah[5] The incident took place on the Shavuot festival, which celebrates the giving of the Torah. 
and He has chosen us from among every nation and tongue,[6] Cf. “who has chosen us from all peoples and raised us above all tongues” (from the blessing over the wine for holidays and Rosh Hashanah; Mahzor Rosh Hashanah 2014, p. 105). 
had we been deserving we could have rejoiced
on the day of the giving of the Torah,
a sacred occasion.[7] Cf. “These are the set times of the Lord, the sacred occasions” (Leviticus 23:4). 

ועכשיו היינו חרפה לשכנינו,
לעג וקלס לסביבותינו,
וכאִלו נחרב המקדש בימינו.
ועל הריגת עניות ואביונות
פלגי מים ירדו עינינו.
ורוב הנשים מהרוגי׳ הנ״ל הי׳ ילדות בעו״ה,
גם אחד הי׳ מהם מעוברת.
המה למנוחה ואנחנו לצער יגון ואנחה.
ולמחרתו אסרו חג
הנ״ל הולכים החבר׳ קברנים לבית עלמין בהשכמה
ונקברו השש׳ הרוגי׳ הנ״ל סמוכים זאת לזאת ודא לדא בשורה.

And now “We have become the butt of our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us,” (Psalms 79:4)
as though the Temple had been destroyed in our time.[8] Cf. as if the destruction of the Temple had taken place in his days” (b.Sanhedrin 22a). 
And because poor wretched women were killed
our eyes shed streams of water.[9] Cf. “My eyes shed streams of water” (Psalms 119:136). 
Most of these women had just given birth,
alas, and one was pregnant.[10] The sources cited earlier in Glikl: Memoirs (p. 303, n. 78) confirm these details. 
For them — rest, for us—sorrow and anguish and sighs.
The day after the festival
the Burial Society men go early to the cemetery,
the six dead women are buried next to each other in a row.[11] Up to this point, all details of Gliki’s description of the incident (except those relating to her personal experiences) that have parallels in the sources cited in Turniansky 1006a, p. 587, n. 188, are fully corroborated. However, the sources do not mention most of the events related in the text that follows here, from the paragraph beginning “It is true that talk of this incident continues unabated” through the paragraph ending “I, the mother, heard nothing either.” 

ומעתה מוטל
על כל אחד ואחד לפשפש במעשיו איש כדרכם
וכפרי מעלילותם
להגיד כי ישר ה׳
אל אמונה ואין עול
והוא רחום
יכפר עון ולא ישחית
ולא יעיר כל חמתו וחרון אפו,
ויאמר למלאך המשחית הרף ידך וגו׳.

Henceforth, all must examine their conduct,[12] Cf. b. Berakhot 5a. 
every man according to his ways,[13] Cf. Jeremiah 51:19. 
and with the proper fruit of their deeds,
attesting that the Lord is upright,[14] Psalms 91:16. 
a faithful God, never false,[15] Cf. Deuteronomy 31:4; the end of this verse — “true and upright is He” — connects to the former mention: “the Lord is upright” (see previous note). 
but He, being merciful,
forgave iniquity and would not destroy
and did not give full vent to His fury and wrath,[16] Cf. Psalms 78:38. 
and said to the angel who was destroying, “Stay your hand!”[17] Cf. 1 Samuel 14:16.  etc.

ובעל הרחמים ימלא בקשתינו
וישמור צאתינו ובואינו לחיים ולשלום
מעתה ועד עולם
ולא יהי׳ עוד פרץ וצווחה ברחובתינו
ובכל אחינו בית ישראל
ובכל מקומות מושבותיהם,
אמן.

May the Master of Compassion[18] A common appellation for God in the liturgy (e.g., see “You are a God slow to anger, you are called the Master of Compassion” in the Selichot prayers (Siddur 1016, p. 914).  grant our request,
the Lord will guard our going and coming to life and peace,
now and for evermore,[19] Cf. “The Lord will guard your going and coming now and for evermore” (Psalms 111:8). The insertion “to life and peace” is a common blessing formulation (see Siddur 1016, p. 631). 
And there will be no more breaching and wailing in our streets[20] Cf. “There is no breaching and no sortie, and no wailing in our streets” (Psalms 144:14). 
among our brethren, the whole house of Israel,
in all their dwelling places,[21] For “our brethren, the whole house of Israel,” see Mahzor Rosh Hashanah 1014, p. 195. For “in all their dwelling places,” see Siddur 1016, p. 166. 
and let us say Amen.


This qinah, a variation of Maaseh Metz, was written by an unknown author and copied by Glikl of Hameln into her memoirs. The text appearing here was made from that transcribed and published in Chava Turniansky’s critical edition, Glikl: Memoirs (1691-1719) (Shazar 2006), pp. 596-597, and Sara Friedman’s English translation of that edition, edited by Turniansky (Brandeis University Press 2019), pp. 306-307.

I have arranged the text, and set the Yiddish opposite its translation by linear phrase, and adding any missing text in brackets. –Aharon Varady

Source(s)

Glikl of Hameln Memoir 1691-1719 (Chava Turniansky 2006) p. 596

Glikl of Hameln Memoir 1691-1719 (Chava Turniansky 2006) p. 597

 

Notes

Notes
1Chava Tunriansky, Glikl: Memoirs (1691-1719) (Brandeis 2019), p. 306, ft. 91 (page 595 footnote 240 in the 2006 Hebrew edition).
2See Turniansky 2006a, p. 595, n. 241.
3Leviticus 26:36-37 [part], with two changes: the phrase “in the land of their enemies” is left out, and “put you to flight” appears instead of “put them to flight.”
4Cf. Lamentations 5:17.
5The incident took place on the Shavuot festival, which celebrates the giving of the Torah.
6Cf. “who has chosen us from all peoples and raised us above all tongues” (from the blessing over the wine for holidays and Rosh Hashanah; Mahzor Rosh Hashanah 2014, p. 105).
7Cf. “These are the set times of the Lord, the sacred occasions” (Leviticus 23:4).
8Cf. as if the destruction of the Temple had taken place in his days” (b.Sanhedrin 22a).
9Cf. “My eyes shed streams of water” (Psalms 119:136).
10The sources cited earlier in Glikl: Memoirs (p. 303, n. 78) confirm these details.
11Up to this point, all details of Gliki’s description of the incident (except those relating to her personal experiences) that have parallels in the sources cited in Turniansky 1006a, p. 587, n. 188, are fully corroborated. However, the sources do not mention most of the events related in the text that follows here, from the paragraph beginning “It is true that talk of this incident continues unabated” through the paragraph ending “I, the mother, heard nothing either.”
12Cf. b. Berakhot 5a.
13Cf. Jeremiah 51:19.
14Psalms 91:16.
15Cf. Deuteronomy 31:4; the end of this verse — “true and upright is He” — connects to the former mention: “the Lord is upright” (see previous note).
16Cf. Psalms 78:38.
17Cf. 1 Samuel 14:16.
18A common appellation for God in the liturgy (e.g., see “You are a God slow to anger, you are called the Master of Compassion” in the Selichot prayers (Siddur 1016, p. 914).
19Cf. “The Lord will guard your going and coming now and for evermore” (Psalms 111:8). The insertion “to life and peace” is a common blessing formulation (see Siddur 1016, p. 631).
20Cf. “There is no breaching and no sortie, and no wailing in our streets” (Psalms 144:14).
21For “our brethren, the whole house of Israel,” see Mahzor Rosh Hashanah 1014, p. 195. For “in all their dwelling places,” see Siddur 1016, p. 166.
 

 

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