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) 


Laments: A NEW Fresh Translation of Eikhah for 2015!

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. This newest version, updated for 2015, can be downloaded in full-page and booklet format. Copy it for your synagogue, havurah, minyan.

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 of the 2015 edition of Eikhah can be printed back-to-back, folded in half, and stapled in the center to make a 28-page booklet (seven sheets double-sided). There are two PDFs, one for the A sides and one for the B sides. When you click to download, a window will open to make a donation -- you do not need to donate to download the booklet.

Download A-sides 2015 PDF   Support neohasid!
Download B-sides 2015 PDF   Support neohasid!

If you stack the single-sided sheets, looking at them horizontally, the page numbers in the left hand corner would go like this: 1, 27, 3, 25, 5, 23, 7, 21, 9, 19, 11, 17, 13, 15. When copied back-to-back, the booklet should fold so that it opens like a Hebrew book. You may need to turn every other page upside down, depending on your copier. Make sure you've put the sheets in order correctly and that the page numbers are coming out right before you run more than one copy! Download the handout format if you're confused about what page should follow what (but note that the handout format does not put the same pages back-to-back).

==> For another English translation chanted to traditional trop (based on a number of translations, including neohasid's), go to Lenn Fellman's website.

The translation offered here is one of the best you'll find for liturgical use. It's closer to the Hebrew than the JPS and really tries to connect on a gut-level to what the day is about. I usually do at least one chapter reading phrase by phrase in Hebrew and English when I lead a group reading, and it's a very powerful experience. Laments also includes an afterword on theology and theodicy in Eikhah. Click here to read it!

Please consider making a donation if you use this offering of Eikhah and find it meaningful! $3 is appreciated; if you're making more than 10 copies, 50¢ per copy is appreciated. Any funds raised beyond expenses for this website will be used to subsidize Kabbalah and Ecology so that Jewish educators can afford to buy it. Thank you! share

Click here to download a PDF that staples like a handout in the upper left-hand corner. When you click, a window will open to make a donation -- you do not need to donate to get the download.
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

Thanks to Kay Magilavy for inserting page numbers into the 2008 edition!


Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006