The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Laments: A Fresh Translation of Eikhah

You can fast, sit on the ground, etc., but you can't really observe Tish'a B'Av without feeling it. A good translation of Eikhah, "Lamentations" or "Laments", makes a huge difference. If you want to get what makes Tish'a B'Av real or relevant, try this translation. It's still fresh after 5 years! Copy it for your synagogue, havurah, minyan.    share

Tish'a B'Av is not about mourning, but about becoming refugees, being thrown into a hostile world without shelter or protection. Tish'a B'Av is not primarily about the end of sacrifices or the Temple – Chaza"l, the rabbis, figured out how to live without the Temple long ago. Rather, it's about homelessness, fleeing from war into famine, about things that are all too present in our world. It's also an opportunity to confront the ways in which we as individuals (and as a people) use our power to make others (people and species) into refugees...

* Read Reb David Seidenberg's article on images of cannibalism in Eikhah, "To Prey or to Pray?" For more on the questions and customs of Tish'a B'Av, including the meaning of Tish'a B'Av after the state of Israel, click here. For all Tish'a B'Av material on Neohasid, click here]

Eikhah Booklet:

The following files printed back-to-back, can be stapled in the center and folded over to make a 28-page booklet (seven pages double-sided, folded in half). There are two PDFs, one for the A sides and one for the B sides. Thanks to Kay Magilavy for inserting page numbers into these documents!

Download A-sides PDF   Support neohasid!
Download B-sides PDF    Support neohasid!

The formatting assumes that you take the seven sheets of the first file, turn the whole stack over, and put it back in the copier. (E.g., the beginning of the first chapter, which copies onto the back of the first page of the A sides, is the last page of the B sides). You can also just print both files separately and interpolate them. Make sure you put them in order correctly before you run more than one copy!

==> For another translation (partly based on neohasid's), go to Lenn Fellman's website.

The translation offered here is the best one available in English. It's a lot more real than the JPS; it's also much closer to the Hebrew. It includes a helpful afterword on theology and theodicy in Eikhah. Click here to read it!

Please click here and make a donation for Eikhah! $3 is appreciated; if you're making more than 20 copies, 50¢ per copy would be appreciated!

Click here to download a PDF that staples in the upper right-hand corner.
To download a booklet layout, click here.

Laments page one


Hi David...
thanks for this. much love. good luck in Mass. SL

Posted by: SaraLeya at July 22, 2007 3:45 PM

Playing a solea or siguiriya does it for me.

Posted by: Solea at July 22, 2007 11:54 PM

Thank you so much, David. Having a good translation is really important to connect to this very difficult holiday. Thanks too for the linear layout (What software did you use to create it?)
b'Ahavah, Chaim

Posted by: Chaim Schneider at July 25, 2008 5:47 PM

Without page numbers, this is confusing. Why didn't you include them?

Answer: Davkawriter won't put booklet page numbers in the right order! Print the regular version (with page numbers) and use it as a guide. ~ Reb Duvid

Posted by: Norman Weingart at July 30, 2008 9:38 PM

Super Great Job! I love the layout and translation.

Posted by: Felipe at July 31, 2008 11:58 AM

Thanks. I've just added a post to my site with your Fresh Translation.

Posted by: Victorino at July 26, 2009 11:56 AM


Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006