Jul 19, 2007

new kina for 9 Av from Machon Shilo

Machon Shilo has published a Hebrew-language dirge ("kinna") for the destroyed communities of Gush Katif and the northern Samaria. The dirge is to be recited as part of the Jewish Ninth of Av Service that commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples on this day, by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and by the Romans in 70 CE. The Jewish Communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria were destroyed on the Tenth of Av in 2005. According to the Talmud, this is the very same day that the greater part of the Temple was destroyed. The motivation of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in destroying these communities has been the subject of considerable speculation.

The dirge, authored by Rav Yehoshua Buch of Machon Shilo, is written in the style of Rabbi Eliezer HaKalir, the 6th century composer of liturgical poetry. Rav Buch's dirge is based on "How the Rose of Sharon Sits", HaKalir's dirge of 24 stanzas about the 24 shifts of the Priests ("Kohanim") in the Jewish Temple ("Bet HaMiqdash"). Certain expressions are borrowed from Rabbi Eliezar's original version as well as from the first chapter of the Book of Lamentations ("Megilat Eicha"). The stanzas are arranged according to the Hebrew alphabetical order. The last line of each stanza ends with the name of one of the destroyed communities.

"This is religious poetry that truly speaks from the heart. It eloquently captures the feelings of the day, of both the destruction of our Holy Temple and the holy communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria," says Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, the head of Machon Shilo.

"Many words in the dirge have double meanings and reflect the bitterness caused by this modern tragedy. Rabbi Buch has expended great effort to adhere to the historical style of the traditional dirge. All words of his dirge—except for one—are found in the Hebrew Bible although grammar may have necessitated minor changes. My only regret is that Rabbi Buch's beautiful poetry reflects our current state of mourning rather than celebration. I look forward to the day when we will be able to publish poetry celebrating the rebuilding of the destroyed communities and our Holy Temple."

The dirge can be downloaded from the Machon Shilo website at http://machonshilo.org/PDF/Machon_Shilo_Gush_Katif_Kinna.pdf


  1. "The stanzas are arranged according to the Hebrew alphabetical order."

    Ahhh, I love it when people think that because they are well educated in one field,like religion, that makes them qualified in other fields....like writing or judging poetry.

    Feel free to consult the princton encyclopedia of poetry and poetics, or the oxford poetry and poetics and you will discover that poetry written in alphabetical order, or poetry written in the shape of the subject matter, is rarely used outside of the religious world and is considered the worst and most banal form of poetry. It is considered such because it is a cheap trick to write poetry in such a manner and shows none of the talent or rhyme scheme or honesty or creativity which is required to generate true poetry.

    But the point of this dirge isn't to have good peorty it is to have a religious prayer. So for those of us who still appreciate poetry, please do not confuse prayer with poetry.

  2. Dan - I know nothing about poetry, nor does it interest me in the slightest. I was asked to post the post as it was, by a friend associated with Machon Shilo.

    So, I will not comment about poetry or about the specific dirge.

  3. Rafi,

    1st, when you post something on your blog the expectation is that you have some thoughts on the issue.

    Aside from that, for someone as extensive a reader and thinker to say there is no interest in poetry is equivalent to a person saying they have no interest in air. Unfortunatly due to your upbringing and schooling you were never exposed to poetry in a smart or comprehensive manner. But you like music and music is poetry. You like books and books all stand on the shoulders of all the poetry which preceded whatever book you read.
    You have an interest in poetry, you just don't know what is poetry.

  4. not really. I peripherally support Machon Shilo. I am not a follower of them, but I like some of what they do, so I was willing to put this up as is.

    I have no interest in poetry, and when I see what I think is poetry my mind usually turns off.

    I am not that interested in music either BTW. I just listen to it most of the time as background noise....

  5. think of this post as a "public service announcement" rather than a "rant" or "op-ed"

  6. Yeah, well, what if we want to know what you think about the kinnah? Will you be reading it?

  7. I doubt I will be reading it. I have nothing against it, but I have a hard enough time reading the ones that are in the kinos book, I am nto so quick to take on new ones....

  8. I'm curious to know if Dan actually read the Hebrew before passing judgment. I showed it to an Israeli co-worker (who actually read it) and he said that the quality of the poetry and the richness of the language made it seem as if it was written 1000 years ago.

    The alphabetical order of the 24 stanzas is just the smallest part of the story. (Again, if you'd actually read the kinna before commenting, you'd probably understand this).

    I can also assure you that Rav Buch is a true talmid hacham with mastery of the Hebrew language.

    Anyone who was disturbed by the churban of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron should read the kinna. Even at home it would make for appropriate reading as it should evoke the proper feelings of the day. And I highly recommend that Rafi G take the time to peruse it... even on the train.

  9. Louis - I know nothign about quality of peotry...but on the other note, I have a hard enough time making it through all of davening without getting bored and losing interest. Certain parts are better than others, of course, but still my point stands. My goal is first to find a way to say what I am supposed to before I add extra...

  10. Fair enough. My complaint was more with passing judgment on poetry before reading it.

    In any case, reading it would be permissible learning of the day.

  11. This was posted on Ynet in Hebrew and English. Look at the comments by people who read it. http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3428938,00.html


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