tagged: קינות Ḳinnot

 

בַּחֹֽדֶשׁ הָֽרְבִיעִי | baḤodesh haRevi’i (In the fourth month), a ḳinah for the 17th of Tamuz attributed to Solomon ibn Gabirol (ca. 11th c.)

The seliḥah with its English translation as found in Siddur Siftei Tsadiqim (The Form of Prayers) vol. 6: Seder haTefilot laTaaniyot (ed. Isaac Leeser 1838) p.107-109. . . .

Ḳinah (lamentation) for Yitzḥak Rabin, by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen (2004)

A kinah (lamentation) for Israeli Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin, assassinated on 4 November 1995, the yahrzeit of which is י״א בְּמַרחֶשְׁוָן ‎(11 Marḥeshvan). . . .

על אלה אנו בוכים | Al eleh anu bokhim (For these we weep), a lamentation for humanity’s destruction of habitat and species, by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

A ḳinnah for humanity’s willful, negligent, and callous destruction of habitat and species known and unknown. . . .

אֱלִי צִיּוֹן וְעָרֶיהָ | Eli Tsiyon v’Arehah — Coronavirus, by Daniel Olson & Rabbi Benjamin Goldberg (2020)

An adaptation of the kinnah, “Eli Tsiyon v’Ar’eha,” Composed for Tisha B’Av 5780 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. . . .

אוֹי לַלֵב שֶׁאֵינָה שְׁבוּרָה | Woe to the Heart that is not Broken, a ḳinnah by Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen (2019)

A ḳinnah composed in response to the agonizing and cruel United States immigration policy implemented under the presidency of Donald Trump. . . .

בַּשָּׁנָה הַבָּאָה | baShanah haBa’ah (Next Year), an elegy by Ehud Manor for his brother killed during the War of Attrition (1968)

“baShanah haBa’ah” (Next Year) by Ehud Manor written in 1968 in memory of his brother Yehudah. . . .

אבלה נפשי | Avlah Nafshi (My soul mourns), a seliḥah for Tsom Gedalyah attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon (10th c.)

A seliḥah for the Fast of Gedalyah, attributed to Rav Saadia Gaon. . . .

אֵלֶּה אֶזְכְּרָה, נוּסַח פִּיטְסְבּוּרְג | Eileh Ezkarah for Pittsburgh, by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman with Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum and Rabbi Martin Cohen

A kinah for the martyrs of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Boston in 2018. . . .

קִינָה עַל חֻרְבָּן הָאַחֲרוֹן | Lamentation on the Holocaust, by Shimon Zuker (1980)

A kinnah composed by a concentration camp survivor. . . .

בורא עד אנה | Borei Ad Anah, “Creator! How long” (after 1492 C.E.)

Bore ‘Ad Anah” is a kinah recited in a number of Sephardic communities on Tishah b’Av (or in some cases on Shabbat Hazon, the Shabbat preceding Tishah b’Av), particularly in the Spanish-Portuguese and North African traditions. The author is unknown, but his name is likely Binyamin based on the acrostic made up of the first letters of the verses. In the kinah, the Children of Israel are compared to a wandering dove caught in a trap by predators, crying out its father, God. The kinah was likely written as a poignant response to the Spanish Inquisition, appropriate to Tishah b’Av since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain occurred on the 9th of Av in the year 1492. The version presented here was likely censored, as many manuscripts have the fifth verse presented in the following manner directly calling out their Catholic oppressors,” יועצים עליה עצות היא אנושה זרים העובדים אלילים שלושה אם ובן ורוח כי אין להם בושה גדול ממכאובי.” “They counsel against her and she languishes, the strangers who worship three idols, father, son and spirit, for they have no shame and great is my suffering.” . . .

אוֹי מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ | Oy Meh Haya Lanu (Oy What Has Happened to Us), by Barukh ben Shmuel of Mainz (ca. 12th c.)

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. . . .

אֱלִי צִיּוֹן וְעָרֶיהָ | Eli Tsiyon v’Areha (Mourn Zion and her cities), a ḳinnah for Tisha b’Av

One of the most well-known of the kinot (liturgical poems for mourning), Eli Tsiyon v’Areha is an alphabetical acrostic describing the destruction of Jerusalem. It is recited towards the conclusion of ḳinot, due to the hopeful note in the comparison of Zion to a woman about to give birth, thought by many to be a messianic reference. The author of the work is unknown. . . .

אֵשׁ תּוּקַד בְּקִרְבִּי | Aish Tuqad b’Qirbi: A Fire Shall Burn Within Me, translated by Gabriel Seed

Aish Tukad is a kinah for Tishah b’Av, usually recited towards the conclusion of the set of dirges for the morning service (in Goldshmidt’s numbering, it is number 32 of our 46 Kinot). According to Goldshmidt’s introduction, the structure of this Piyyut is based on a Midrash in Eicha Zuta 19, where Moses’ praises for God and Israel are seen as parallel to Jeremiah’s laments, thus creating the concept of a comparison between the joy of the Exodus and the pain of the Temple’s destruction. . . .

A Memory’s fire burns within me still, by Andrew Meit adapted from the Qinah, “Aish Tuqad b’Qirbi”

“A Memory’s fire burns within me still” was adapted by Andrew Meit from Gabriel Seed’s translation of the kinah, Aish Tukad b’kirbi (“A Fire Shall Burn Within Me”). . . .

וְאָהִימָה מִיָּמִים יָמִימָה | v’Ahimah Miyamim Yamimah: I Will Wail for All Time (translated by Hillary and Daniel Chorny)

V’ahimah Miyamim Yamimah” is a kinah that recounts the tragic tale of the children of Rabbi Yishmael as told in the Babylonian Talmud (Gittin 58a). The handsome brother and fair sister were separated and sold into slavery during the conquest of Jerusalem. Their respective masters, not knowing the two were siblings, paired them with the intent of creating beautiful offspring. In their shared cell, the two wept all night until morning, when they recognized one another. They cried on each other’s necks until their souls departed from their bodies. The narrator of our story laments their terrible fate, ending each verse with a haunting refrain: “And so I will wail for all time.” . . .

Ḳinah for the Chmielnicki Massacres of 1648–1649 in Sefer Ḳol Yaaqov (1658)

A kinah/elegy for those massacred in the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648–1649 composed by a possible eyewitness to the tragedy. . . .

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה | Ma Nishtana, a Spanish-Portuguese Qina for Ngereb Tishnga beAḇ

This qina is recited in the Spanish-Portuguese rite (as practiced in the Snoge in Amsterdam, the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London, and Shearith Israel in New York City among many other communities) at the conclusion of the recitation of qinot on the evening of the Ninth of Aḅ. Its refrain, taken from the Four Questions of the Passover liturgy, is reframed* as a reflection of the suffering of such a day, contrasting the celebration of salvation on Passover with the fear and desolation of the fast day. . . .

אֱמוּנֵי שְׁלוּמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל | Emunei Shlumei Yisrael — a seliḥah witnessing the Blois incident of 1171 by Hillel ben Yaaqov of Bonn

Some Jewish communities, especially those in the region of the Four Lands, have a custom of fasting on the 20th of Sivan. This day has a full seliḥot service, commemorating a series of horrors that occurred on that day, most prominently the Chmielnicki (Khmielnetsky) massacres of 1648-49. But this poem was written for another horrific occurrence on 20 Sivan, the blood libel of Blois in 1171. This was the first time the accusation of ritual murder was ever made against the Jews of France, but it wasn’t the last. This seliḥah poem, written by Hillel ben Jacob of Bonn, starts with the dramatic accusation that God has abandoned the people Israel, continuing by listing those who died in myriad horrid ways, and ending with several citations from the apocalyptic final chapter of the book of Joel. . . .

שַׁאֲלִי שְׂרוּפָה בָּאֵשׁ | Sha’ali Serufah ba-Esh (Question, Burnt in the Fire), a Ḳinah for Tisha b’Av, Translated by Gershom Scholem

A translation in German and English of the kinnah “Sha’ali Serufah ba-Esh.” . . .

אַלְלַי לִי | Alelai Li (Woe is me!), by Elazar ben Killir (ca. 7th c.)

Alelai Li” is a kinah recited on the morning of Tisha bAv. It was written by HaKalir around the 7th century. According to the Koren Mesorat HaRav Kinot, it is number 17 of 50. The title is the refrain of the poem and is an onomatopoeic whimper (try saying it aloud, focusing on the alliteration). It is difficult to translate the opening word “im” which means “if” or “should”. This is an allusion to Job 10:15, “If I have done evil, then woe unto me.” I have decided to translate the kinah not in the conditional tense (which would render “If these horrible things happened, then woe is me!”) but as a lament upon memory; however, the former would be a more accurate (if not more awkward in English) translation. Adding to the awkwardness of the poem’s language is the feminine conditional verb that each line has after the word “im”. I have maintained this strange verb tense and placement in my translation by using the English progressive tense. The kinah ends with a collection in lines in a different meter suggesting that the Holy One (and the paytan himself) is angered that the Jewish people announce their sufferings but not their transgressions. . . .

שריך לינקאלען | Memorial Prayer for Abraham Lincoln, by Isaac Goldstein haLevi (1865)

Exalted are you Lincoln. Who is like you! You were highly respected among Kings and Princes. All that you accomplished you did with a humble spirit. You are singular and cannot be compared to anyone else. Who among the great are like Lincoln? Who can be praised like you? . . .

קרובות לתשעה באב | Ḳerovot for Tishah b’Av, by Elazar ben Kilir (ca. 7th c.)

Many communities recite a series of poems interwoven with the Amidah on Purim. These poems, known as the “krovets,” were written by Elazar b. Rabbi Kalir, the greatest of the early paytanim. But lesser known than the krovets for Purim are the krovets for Tisha b’Av, written as well by Elazar b. Rabbi Kalir. A fine example of Elazar’s intricate poetry, the krovets for Tisha b’Av is rife with Biblical citations, finally culminating with the prayer for Jerusalem. Each stanza begins with five tightly rhymed lines beginning with a constant א followed by a quintuple half-acrostic on the second letter, then a poetic volta on the word אֵיכָה, followed by a Biblical citation, a verse starting with the last word in the citation, a letter from Elazar’s name, and a final Biblical citation. The krovets for Tisha b’Av is meant to be part of the morning service, tied into the cantorial repetition for Tisha b’Av. . . .

אז בהלוך ירמיהו | Az Bahalokh Yirmiyahu: Then As Jeremiah Went, by Elazar ben Killir circa 7th century CE (translated by Gabriel Seed)

Az Bahalokh Yirmiyahu is a kinah, “based on Eikhah Rabati Petikhta 24, in which Jeremiah says to God: “I am like a father who prepared to take his only son to be married, and the son tragically died under the wedding canopy. Do you not feel any pain for me or for my son?” God responds: “Go and rouse Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses from their graves, for they know how to cry…” (Daniel Goldschmidt, Seder Kinot le-Tisha b’Av, Jerusalem, 1972, 98). . . .