קינות לתשעה באב | Oy Meh Haya Lanu: Oy What Has Happened to Us, by Baruch ben Samuel d.1221 (translated by Rachel Salston)


זְכוֹר יְיָ מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ אוֹי. הַבִּיטָה וּרְאֵה אֶת חֶרְפָּתֵנוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Recall, Hashem, what happened to us. Oy.
Look and take note of our disgrace. Oy, what has happened to us.

נַחֲלָתֵנוּ נֶהֶפְכָה לְזָרִים אוֹי. בָּתֵּינוּ לְנָכְרִים. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Our inheritances have been transferred to strangers. Oy.
Our houses to heathens. Oy, what has happened to us.

יְתוֹמִים הָיִינוּ וְאֵין אָב אוֹי. אִמּוֹתֵינוּ מְקוֹנְנוֹת בְּחֹדֶשׁ אָב. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
We have become orphans without a father. Oy.
Our mothers wail in the month of Av. Oy, what has happened to us.

מֵימֵינוּ בְּכֶסֶף שָׁתִינוּ אוֹי. כִּי נִסּוּךְ הַמַּיִם בָּזִינוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
We had to pay to drink our own water. Oy.
Because we belittled the Water Libation ritual. Oy, what has happened to us.

עַל צַוָּארֵנוּ נִרְדָּפְנוּ אוֹי. כִּי שִׂנְאַת חִנָּם רָדָפְנוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
We are pursued at our necks. Oy.
Because we pursued Baseless Hatred. Oy, what has happened to us.

מִצְרַיִם נָתַנּוּ יָד אוֹי. וְאַשּׁוּר צָדוּנוּ כְּצַיָּד. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
We reached out our hand to Egypt. Oy.
But Assyria trapped us like a hunter’s prey. Oy, what has happened to us.

אֲבֹתֵינוּ חָטְאוּ וְאֵינָם אוֹי. וַאֲנַחְנוּ סוֹבְלִים אֶת עֲוֹנָם. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Our ancestors sinned and are no more. Oy.
But we suffer for their transgressions. Oy, what has happened to us.

עֲבָדִים מָשְׁלוּ בָנוּ אוֹי. כִּי שִׁלּוּחַ עֲבָדִים בִּטַּלְנוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Slaves are our masters. Oy.
Because we neglected the obligation to free our slaves. Oy, what has happened to us.

בְּנַפְשֵׁנוּ נָבִיא לַחְמֵנוּ אוי. כִּי קָפַצְנוּ מֵעָנִי יָדֵינוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
We get our bread at the risk of our lives. Oy.
Because we closed our hands to the poor. Oy, what has happened to us.

עוֹרֵנוּ כְּתַנּוּר נִכְמָרוּ אוי. כִּי כְבוֹדָם בְּקָלוֹן הֵמִירוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Our skin glows hot, like an oven. Oy.
Because we traded their glory for infamy. Oy, what has happened to us.

נָשִׁים בְּצִיּוֹן עִנּוּ אוֹי. כִּי אִישׁ אֶת אֵשֶׁת רֵעֵהוּ טִמְּאוּ וְזִנּוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
They have raped women in Zion. Oy.
Because we contaminated and screwed married women. Oy, what has happened to us.

שָׂרִים בְּיָדָם נִתְלוּ אוֹי. כִּי גְּזֵלַת הֶעָנִי חָמְסוּ וְגָזְלוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Our princes have been hung by their hands. Oy.
Because they robbed and mugged the poor. Oy, what has happened to us.

בַּחוּרִים טְחוֹן נָשָׂאוּ אוֹי. כִּי בְּבֵית זוֹנָה נִמְצָאוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Our young men had to haul heavy millstones. Oy.
Because they could be found in the whorehouse. Oy, what has happened to us.

זְקֵנִים מִשַּׁעַר שָׁבָתוּ אוֹי. כִּי מִשְׁפַּט יָתוֹם וְאַלְמָנָה עִוְּתוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Our elders are no longer in their honored seats at the gate. Oy.
Because they did not rule justly for the orphan and the widow. Oy, what has happened to us.

שָׁבַת מְשׂוֹשׂ לִבֵּנוּ אוֹי. כִּי נִבְטְלוּ עוֹלֵי רְגָלֵינוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Joy is no longer in our hearts. Oy.
Because we neglected our pilgrimage ascents to the Temple. Oy, what has happened to us.

נָפְלָה עֲטֶרֶת רֹאשֵׁנוּ אוֹי. כִּי נִשְׂרַף בֵּית מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
The crown has fallen off our head. Oy.
Because our Holy Temple has been cremated. Oy, what has happened to us.

עַל זֶה הָיָה דָוֶה לִבֵּנוּ אוֹי. כִּי נֻטַּל כְּבוֹד בֵּית מַאֲוָיֵנוּ. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Thus all of this our hearts ache. Oy.
Because the Glory of our Precious House has fallen away. Oy, what has happened to us.

עַל הַר צִיּוֹן שֶׁשָּׁמֵם אוֹי. כִּי נִתַּן עָלָיו שִׁקּוּץ מְשׁוֹמֵם. אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ:
Thus the Mountain of Zion is deserted. Oy.
Because a repulsive emptiness has been put upon it. Oy, what has happened to us.

אַתָּה יְיָ לְעוֹלָם תֵּשֵׁב כִּסְאֲךָ לְדוֹר וָדוֹר:
You, Hashem, are eternally enthroned, Your Throne stands throughout the generations.

לָמָּה לָנֶצַח תִּשְׁכָּחֵנוּ תַּעַזְבֵנוּ לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים:
Why do you obliterate us from your memory, disown us for such a long time?

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְיָ אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם:
Return us, Hashem, to face You and let us be restored, renew our days as they once were!

כִּי אִם מָאֹס מְאַסְתָּנוּ קָצַפְתָּ עָלֵינוּ עַד מְאֹד:
For you have become thoroughly sickened of us, fiercely seethed against us.

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְיָ אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם:
Return us, Hashem, to face You and let us be restored, renew our days as they once were!

Oy Meh Haya Lanu” is a kinah traditionally recited on the night of Tisha b’Av directly after the reading of Eikha. According to the Koren Mesorat HaRav Kinot, it is number 1 of 50. The title is the refrain of the poem, a reflective lament. This kinah is based on the fifth and final chapter of Eikha, taking the opening phrase of each line of the megillah as the first line of each couplet and poetically expanding the description for the second. This translation is an attempt to convey the vulgarity and horror of the paytan’s depiction of the destroyed Jerusalem in vernacular English. The kinah ends just as the megillah ends, with the four verses of pleas for redemption.

Comments, Corrections, and Queries


בסיעתא דארעא