Ken (Chanoch) Bloom's Blog

2nd August 2009

B'Leil Zeh Yibachayun

Translation of the Kinah בליל זה יבכיון (found on page 235 of the Or VaDerech siddur for fast days). The Hebrew text and recordings are available at http://www.piyut.org.il/textual/287.html

Tonight my children cry and wail. The night my house was destroyed and my palace burned. And all of the house of Israel groans in grief. They cry over the fire that Hashem burned.

Tonight, five harsh things were brought upon me: It was decreed on our ancestors and they were punished. That they would not enter into the holy land.

And the temple was destroyed and also plowed over -- the first temple and the second, the old one and the new one.

And the city of Beitar was trapped -- it became the object of the snare and stumbling block.

Tonight, because of Hashem's reasons.

They cry over the fire that Hashem burned.

Tonight, wailing, bitterness, poverty, and isolation. Today she is forsaken from the house of her father, and the time of her crying is lengthened. She wails dirges because her house was destroyed in a consuming fire, and coals were a flame were sent by Hashem.

They cry over the fire that Hashem burned.

Tonight I was exiled, and my house was destroyed. On the 9th of the month [of Av] at the time of Ma'ariv.

I was on my watch, the watch of Yehoyariv, and the enemy entered and offered his sacrifices, and he came into the Mikdash, which Hashem had commanded that he may not do.

They cry over the fire that Hashem burned.

Permalink | kinot, kinot-translation.
2nd August 2009

Aleichem Edah Kedosha

Translation of the Kinah אליכם עדה קדושה (found on page 240 of the Or VaDerech siddur for fast days). The Hebrew text and recordings are available at http://www.piyut.org.il/textual/288.html

To you, holy nation, I ask of you questions: Why is this night different from all other nights?

On Pesach night we eat matzah on marror. Why, now, on this night, are we satiated on scorn and bitterness? On the death of kosher ones and the seed of the upright. Therefore with tears of bitterness, I raise my voice like sick people do.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On Pesach night, the table is set with joy. Why now, in our sins, on this night, is there the voice of sighing? Because now we have not found rest for the soles of our feet. Oy! Because misfortune has come, I will forget forgiveness.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On Pesach night, we drink cups [of wine] for a blessing. Why now, on this night do we read megillat Eichah [the book of Lamentations]? Why do I sit in this exile, having come from my land in embarrassment. Thus on this I raise my voice in wailing.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On Pesach night, we always read the Haggadah. Why now, on this night do we cry short and bitter cries? Oy! Because during my life the time came that we were ordered [to leave] Oy! On the desirable city and on the houses of prayer.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On Pesach night, we always finish Hallel. Why now, on this night do we eulogize and wail. Because, in our sins, we can't pray because the Beit HaMikdash has been desecrated and the Heichal destroyed.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On Pesach night we say "pour out [your wrath upon the nations]" in song. Why now, on this night, do we drink wormwood, hemlock, and bitterness? Oy! Because joy is absent, and the way of Zion is mourning.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

Permalink | kinot, kinot-translation.
2nd August 2009

Al Heichali

Translation of the Kinah אל היכלי (found on page 252 of the Or VaDerech siddur for fast days). The Hebrew text and recordings are available at http://www.piyut.org.il/textual/285.html

On my heichal, I will cry day and night. And on the glory of Jerusalem, the praised city.

My soul cries over the double destruction, the lovely land, the lovely Jerusalem and on her nation which went into exile.

And on the glory of Jerusalem, the praised city.

The house of my glory the enemy put to desolation they returned to my hand Nevayot and desolation. on this I cry constantly with the sound of wailing.

And on the glory of Jerusalem, the praised city.

I mourn you, Torah, because your glory has been desecrated. Your crown has fallen since the day your house was destroyed. And I raise up dirges about Aholivah and Aholah.

And on the glory of Jerusalem, the praised city.

(Be strong, my nation -- I will quickly rebuild your [inner] sanctuary I will wear vengeance, and I will restore your captivity Within the heichal, I will rest as in times of old Then Torah and prayer will come forth from Zion.)

Translation of the Kinah ספדי והילילי תורת יקותיאל (found on page 167 of the Avodat Hashem Tisha B'Av siddur). I'm not sure where the Hebrew text can be found online

I mourn and praise the Torah of Yekutiel and I don sackcloth and rope on the exile of Ariel Who are steeped in troubles between Edom and Yishmael I cry on the death of the holy nation, the nation of God. Because the sword has eaten the remnant of Israel

I mourn and praise the holy Torah To the land of Israel, the head of all lands And the many sins for which she was conquered I cry over the holy mountain, the desolation of Harel.

Because the sword has eaten the remnant of Israel

I mourn and praise the perfect Torah on the Beit HaMikdash that aliens entered It was dispatched with fire -- with anger and rage. I cry on this with tears and (?).

Because the sword has eaten the remnant of Israel

Translation of the Kinah קומי וספדי תורה (found on page 168 of the Avodat Hashem Tisha B'Av siddur). I'm not sure where the Hebrew text can be found online

Arise and mourn, oh Torah! and I make dirges of remembrance on the 9th of Av, day of trouble and tumult, the day of anger -- the day anger flared up against me and the [inner] sanctuary and courtyard were destroyed. A loud and bitter scream -- this is the decree of the Torah

I ask, please, in my great sorrow. Where is the camp of the Shechinah, and the house of the Levi'im and their platform, and were are the men of faith? Where is your face? Where is the the glory of the faithful city? How could she become a prostitute? Most holy, for this your heart cries out in bitterness, like the heart of a woman in distress.

A loud and bitter scream -- this is the decree of the Torah

Where are the heads of the yeshivot, and where is your Sanhedrin? And where are those who walk the roads for the glory of your rays to shine? And where are the paths of return for those who ask of your secrets and for the thousands of myriads who explain your orders? They are all arrested in exile, they have gone into the hand of men of trouble.

A loud and bitter scream -- this is the decree of the Torah

Where are those who offered sacrifices and where are those who made oils and where are those who arranged the pieces and those who knew the secret of the showbreads? The head of the butchers came, and killed fathers and sons and we morn openings that the assistants arranged because God called out his destruction, and shot the arrow of his anger.

A loud and bitter scream -- this is the decree of the Torah

Permalink | kinot, kinot-translation.
2nd August 2009

Bat Tzion

Translation of the Kinah בת ציון (found on page 288 of the Or VaDerech siddur for fast days). The Hebrew text and recordings are available at http://www.piyut.org.il/textual/748.html

I have heard the daughter of Zion, her embittered words I wail because I drank from the cup and found its dregs.

I gnaw over the grace of the Shechinah, that its light has been darkened like a young woman who girds herself with sackcloth over her husband of her youth.

You wail, oh forest of Lebanon, your cedars have been consumed by fire. The gate of Zion mourns, because God brought this end. The courtyard wallows [in despair], because the elevation offering has ceased. The chamber [of hewn stone] sings dirges because there is no Sanhedrin.

I gnaw over the grace of the Shechinah, that its light has been darkened like a young woman who girds herself with sackcloth over her husband of her youth.

The chamber called "Birah" weeps, "Oy!" over the children of Aharon. The house of the holy of holies: "Oy!" over the hiding of the ark. The parochet screams out "there is no advantage to my [being here]" because savages have seen it and revealed its secrets.

I gnaw over the grace of the Shechinah, that its light has been darkened like a young woman who girds herself with sackcloth over her husband of her youth.

And the incense pan sings dirges "Where are the fragrant incense?" Aharon's heart is torn over the Urim and Tumim. The altar is angry about the Elevation offerings and Peace offerings, "Why don't you prepare the order [of these offerings] in their time?"

I gnaw over the grace of the Shechinah, that its light has been darkened like a young woman who girds herself with sackcloth over her husband of her youth.

The lyre of the levi'im wails "who will rouse my melodies?" The pure menorah asks "who will kindle my lamps?" The tent complains "nobody establishes my walls." The Torah thunders because they have ceased to support it.

I gnaw over the grace of the Shechinah, that its light has been darkened like a young woman who girds herself with sackcloth over her husband of her youth.

The shulchan's anticipation is desecrated "Nobody is setting out [my showbreads]." The kohanim pronounce "Alas! The service has ceased." On this the daughter of my people cries -- because of her oppressors, her leaders have been captured.

Permalink | kinot, kinot-translation.
2nd August 2009

Aleichem Edah Ne'emanah

Translation of the Kinah אליכם עדה נאמנה (found on page 302 of the Or VaDerech siddur for fast days). The Hebrew text and is available at http://www.shaar-binyamin.com/70480/אליכם-עדה-נאמנה

I ask of you a question, oh faithful nation: Why is today different from the rest of the year

On Pesach day, we pray in a pleasant voice. Why now, in our sins, does our voice wail like a raven. Because the holy city is destroyed, by spears and the sword. Why has she become like a prostitute, the faithful city?

Why is today different from the rest of the year

On Pesach day, all of Israel is joyous. Why now, in our sins, are we groaning in mourning? Because the faithful are like leaves [which have been eaten by] the worm, killed by the head of the butchers. The day had been bitter like wormwood to the faithful nation.

Why is today different from the rest of the year

In times of old, the tribes of Israel were princes. Why now, in our sins, are we abandoned to the hands of strangers, and to the children of Moav and Hagar to be destroyed and plundered? We are refuted by him every year, the nation of little faith.

Why is today different from the rest of the year

In times of old, we were the head of nations. Why now, in our sins, are we beneath all of the nations -- Exiled and distressed in the hands of men of blood? Until when and where will this great nation be like a widow?

Why is today different from the rest of the year

Permalink | kinot, kinot-translation.
2nd August 2009

Kinot for Tisha b'Av

On Tisha b'Av, I translated several kinot from the Sephardi tradition, because there are no translated Sephardi Tisha b'Av siddurim in print (as far as I know) and I want to help others understand these in the unfortunate event that we should be singing these again next year.

Please send me suggestions for improvement at kbloom@gmail.com. Though the Hebrew is a lot easier in the Sephardic tradition than in the Ashkenazi tradition, I'm still a rank amateur at this, and this was a big learning experience for me in terms of vocabulary. I may have (and probably did) make mistakes.

Also, I'm not sure how much more I'll translate in the year to come -- I'll probably restrict this project to the 3 weeks themselves if I put much more work into it at all, but there are a couple other translations you should be aware of if you want to print these for distribution: The kinah אש תוקד בקרבי (on page 220 in the Avodat Hashem Tisha b'Av Machzor) has a substantially similar version in the Ashkenazi tradition, and a translation can be found in the ArtScroll Kinos (#31, I think). Additionally, the psalm מזמור לאסף אלהים באו גוים (on page 210) is a psalm, and many translations of psalms are available.

Permalink | kinot.
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