Monday night, July 31, begins the Jewish holy day of Tisha B'av, a day of mourning and fasting commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples, the expulsion of Jews from Iberia, and other tragedies in Jewish history.
To commemorate the events, special synagogue services include the reading (i.e., chanting) of the Book of Lamentations (m’gillat eikha), whose lyric poetry laments the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and describes the national agony, as well as a series of later kinot (elegies) by various medieval Hebrew poets. These refer to both ancient calamities, as well as subsequent catastrophes and massacres in lands of the diaspora.
You can listen to the full service, learn more about the parts of the liturgy (including summaries and translated lyrics) on our feature recording:
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