Chapter 5 ה׳
1 א

זְכֹר ה' מֶה הָיָה לָנוּ, רַבִּי יִצְחָק פָּתַח (משלי ל, לא): זַרְזִיר מָתְנַיִם אוֹ תָיִשׁ, בְּנֹהַג שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם אָדָם מְגַדֵּל שְׁנֵי זַרְזָרִין בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ, אֶחָד גָּדוֹל וְאֶחָד קָטָן, כּוֹבֵשׁ אֶת הַגָּדוֹל לִפְנֵי הַקָּטָן בִּשְׁבִיל לָחוּס עַל מָמוֹנוֹ. אָמַר רַבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם הִכְתַּבְתָּ לָנוּ בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ (דברים כה, יז): זָכוֹר אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק, לִי עָשָׂה וּלְךָ לֹא עָשָׂה, לֹא הֶחֱרִיב אֶת מִקְדָּשְׁךָ. רַבָּנָן אָמְרִין אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אָנוּ שֶׁלְּךָ וְאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלְּךָ, מִפְּנֵי מָה אֵין אַתָּה חָס עַל אֻמָּתְךָ. וּמֶלֶךְ אַלְקוּם עִמּוֹ, אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שִׁכְחָה מְצוּיָה בָּנוּ אֲבָל אֵין שִׁכְחָה מְצוּיָה בְּךָ, וְאֵין שִׁכְחָה לְפָנֶיךָ, לְפִיכָךְ אַתְּ זְכֹר (תהלים קלז, ז): זְכֹר ה' לִבְנֵי אֱדוֹם אֵת יוֹם יְרוּשָׁלָיִם הָאֹמְרִים עָרוּ עָרוּ עַד הַיְסוֹד בָּהּ, רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר כַּהֲנָא אָמַר פַּגְּרוּ פַּגְּרוּ, וְרַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר פַּנּוּן פַּנּוּן. מַאן דְּאָמַר פַּגְרוּ פַּגְרוּ, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ירמיה נא, נח): חֹמוֹת בָּבֶל הָרְחָבָה עַרְעֵר תִּתְעַרְעַר. מַאן דְּאָמַר פַּנּוּן פַּנּוּן, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב: עַד הַיְסוֹד בָּהּ, אֲפִלּוּ יְסוֹדוֹתֶיהָ מָטוּן. הַבִּיטָה וּרְאֵה אֶת חֶרְפָּתֵנוּ, רַבִּי יוּדָן אָמַר הַבָּטָה מִקָּרוֹב וּרְאִיָּה מֵרָחוֹק, הַבָּטָה מִקָּרוֹב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים א יט, ו): וַיַּבֵּט וְהִנֵּה מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו עֻגַת רְצָפִים. וּרְאִיָּה מֵרָחוֹק, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית כב, ד): וַיַּרְא אֶת הַמָּקוֹם מֵרָחֹק. רַבִּי פִּנְחָס אוֹמֵר הַבָּטָה מֵרָחוֹק, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים פ, טו): הַבֵּט מִשָּׁמַיִם וּרְאֵה. וּרְאִיָּה מִקָּרוֹב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית לב, כה): וַיַּרְא כִּי לֹא יָכֹל לוֹ וַיִּגַּע בְּכַף יְרֵכוֹ.

"Remember, God, what happened to us..." (Lamentations 5:1) - Rabbi Yitzchak began: (Proverbs 30:31) "The greyhound or the male goat..." The way of the world is that when a person raises two greyhounds in his house, one big and one small, he puts the big one in front, [in case the big one is attacked,] a mercy on his expenses. Rabbi Berachia said: Israel said before the Holy One, blessed be He, "Master of the World, doesn't it say in your Torah, (Deuteronomy 25:17) 'Remember what Amalek did to you...'? He did it to us, but not to You? Didn't he destroy Your Temple? The Rabbanan said: Israel said before the Holy One, blessed be He, we are Yours and the nations of the world are Yours, why don't You have mercy on Your nation? "And the king against whom there is no rising up" (Proverbs 30:31): Rabbi Yitzchak said: Israel said to the Holy One, blessed be He, "Forgetfulness is among us, but it is not among You, nor before You. Therefore, remember! (Psalms 137:7) "Remember, God, the people of Edom on the day of Jerusalem; who said, "Aru, Aru", even to the foundation thereof." Rabbi Abba bar Kahana said: ["Aru, Aru" means] "Destroy, Destroy". And Rabbi Levi said: ["Aru, Aru" means] "Raze, Raze". the one who says, "Destroy, Destroy" uses the verse (Jeremiah 51:58) "Babylon's thick walls will be "Ar'er tit'ar'er" - "totally demolished"". The one who said "Raze, Raze" uses the verse (Psalms 137:7) "even the foundations thereof", even to it's bottommost foundations. "Look, see our shame" (Lamentations 5:1) - Rabbi Yudan said: Looking is up close, seeing is from afar. "Looking is up close", as is written, (I Kings 19:6) "And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake cooked on hot coals..." "Seeing is from afar", as is written, (Genesis 22:4) "And he saw the place from afar." Rabbi Pinchas said: Looking is from afar, as is written, (Psalms 80:14), "Look from the heavens and see." Seeing is up close, as is written, (Genesis 32:26), "And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh."

2 ב

נַחֲלָתֵנוּ נֶהֶפְכָה לְזָרִים, בְּאֵיזוֹ הֲפֵכָה (דברים כט, כב): כְּמַהְפֵּכַת סְדֹם. יִרְמְיָה קוֹרֵא אוֹתָהּ נַחֲלָתֵנוּ, יְשַׁעְיָה קוֹרֵא אוֹתָהּ (ישעיה סד, י): בֵּית קָדְשֵׁנוּ וְתִפְאַרְתֵּנוּ. בָּא אָסָף וְאָמַר לֹא נַחֲלָתֵנוּ הִיא וְלֹא בֵּית קָדְשֵׁנוּ וְתִפְאַרְתֵּנוּ הִיא, אֶלָּא בָּאוּ גּוֹיִם לְתוֹךְ שֶׁלָּךְ, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (תהלים עט, א): אֱלֹהִים בָּאוּ גוֹיִם בְּנַחֲלָתֶךָ טִמְאוּ אֶת הֵיכַל קָדְשֶׁךָ שָׂמוּ אֶת יְרוּשָׁלָיִם לְעִיִּים.

"Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers..."(Lamentations 5:2) - What kind of "turning over"? Like the turning over of Sodom. Jeremiah called it: "Our inheritance." Isaiah called it: (Isaiah 64:10)"Our holy and beautiful house." Asaf came and said: It is not "our inheritance", nor "our holy and beautiful house", but "the nations invade what is Yours". That is what is written: (Psalms 79:1) "[A psalm of Asaf:] O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy Temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble."

3 ג

יְתוֹמִים הָיִינוּ וְאֵין אָב, רַבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר, אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, אַתֶּם בְּכִיתֶם וַאֲמַרְתֶּם לְפָנַי יְתוֹמִים הָיִינוּ וְאֵין אָב, חַיֵּיכֶם אַף הַגּוֹאֵל שֶׁאֲנִי עָתִיד לְהַעֲמִיד מִכֶּם בְּמָדַי לֹא יִהְיֶה לוֹ אָב וָאֵם, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (אסתר ב, ז): וַיְהִי אֹמֵן אֶת הֲדַסָּה הִיא אֶסְתֵּר בַּת דֹּדוֹ כִּי אֵין לָהּ אָב וָאֵם.

"We have become orphans, and fatherless..." (Lamentations 5:3) - Rabbi Berachya said in the name of Rabbi Levi: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: You weep and say before me, "We have become orphans, and fatherless." By your lives, so will your redeemer that I will raise among you in Media, he will not have a father nor a mother. That's what is written: (Esther 2:7) "He brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter; for she had neither father nor mother."

4 ד

מֵימֵינוּ בְּכֶסֶף שָׁתִינוּ, פַּעַם אַחַת עָלוּ הַמְּצִיקִים וְנָטְלוּ פִּתָּן וְיֵינָן וְשַׁמְנָן וּמֵימֵיהֶן, חָזְרוּ וּמָכְרוּ אוֹתָם לָהֶם, אָמְרוּ אוֹי לָנוּ שֶׁנִּתְקַיֵּם בָּנוּ הַפָּסוּק הַזֶּה: מֵימֵינוּ בְּכֶסֶף שָׁתִינוּ עֵצֵינוּ בִּמְחִיר יָבֹאוּ.

"We pay to drink our water..." (Lamentations 5:4) - One time, enemies entered, took the bread, wine, oil, and water, came back and sold it to them. They said, "Woe is to us, that we have fulfilled this verse: 'We pay to drink our water, our wood comes at a price.'" (Lamentations 5:4)

5 ה

עַל צַוָּארֵנוּ נִרְדָּפְנוּ, אַדְרִיָּאנוּס שְׁחִיק עֲצָמוֹת פַּקֵּיד וַאֲמַר אִי דַּאֲתֵינַן מַשְׁכַּחְנַן שַׂעֲרָא בִּיהוּדָאֵי אֲרִימוּן רֵאשֵׁיהּ מִינֵּיהּ, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב: עַל צַוָּארֵנוּ נִרְדָּפְנוּ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, עַל צַוָּארֵנוּ נִרְדָּפְנוּ, עַל שֶׁבָּגַדְנוּ בְּצַוָּארֵנוּ בְּיוֹם צָרָה. יָגַעְנוּ וְלֹא הוּנַּח לָנוּ, נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר שְׁחִיק עֲצָמוֹת צִוָּה לִנְבוּזַרְאֲדָן וַאֲמַר לֵיהּ אֱלָהֲהוֹן דְּאִינוּן מְקַבֵּל בַּעֲלֵי תְּשׁוּבָה הוּא וְיָדוֹ פְּשׁוּטָה לְקַבֵּל שָׁבִים, כֵּיוָן דְּאַתְּ כָּבֵישׁ לְהוֹן לָא תִשְׁבְּקִינַן דִּיצַלּוּן דְּלָא יַעְבְּדוּן תְּיוּבְתָּא, וֵאלָהֲהוֹן יְרַחֵם עֲלֵיהוֹן, וְהַהוּא גַבְרָא נָחֵית בִּשְׁחוֹר אַפִּין, אֶלָּא לָא תְהֵי מַפְלֵּי עֲלֵיהוֹן. כֵּיוָן דִּכְבַשׁ יַתְהוֹן כַּד הֲוָה קָאֵים חַד מִנְהוֹן הֲוָה נָסֵיב לֵיהּ וּמְפַסַּל לֵיהּ אֵיבָרִים אֵיבָרִים, טְרֵיף לֵיהּ קוֹמֵיהוֹן וְאִינוּן מְהַלְּכִין בְּעַל כָּרְחֵיהוֹן שֶׁלֹא בְּטוֹבַתְהוֹן. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי נְבוּזַרְאֲדָן הוּא אַרְיוֹךְ, וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ אַרְיוֹךְ שֶׁהָיָה נוֹהֵם עַל הַשִּׁבְיָה כְּאַרְיֵה, עַד שֶׁהִגִּיעוּ לִפְרָת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעוּ לִפְרָת אֲמַר לְהוֹן לְחַיָּלוּתָא שַׁבְקִינוּן דְּנִיחוּן, דִּי מִן כַּדּוּן לֵית אֱלָהֲהוֹן חוֹזֵר עֲלֵיהוֹן, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (תהלים קלז, א): עַל נַהֲרוֹת בָּבֶל שָׁם יָשַׁבְנוּ גַּם בָּכִינוּ, עַד לְשָׁם לֹא יָשַׁבְנוּ.

"Our pursuers are at our necks..." (Lamentations 5:5) - Hadrian, may his bones be crushed, decreed and said: If we come and find a Jew with hair, we will take off his head. That's what is written, "Our pursuers are at our necks." (Lamentations 5:5). Alternatively: "Our pursuers are at our necks", for we rebelled against our necks on this day of distress [and had thrown off the yoke of Torah]. "We have toiled and have received no rest." (Lamentations 5:5) - Nebuchadnezzar, may his bones be crushed, commanded Nevuzaradan and said to him: "The god of these people accept repentant ones, and his hand extends to receive those who return [to him]. Once you have captured them, we must not allow leave for them to pray, so they won't repent for their god to have mercy on them, and they will leave with blackened faces. Don't be easy on them." Once he captured them, when one would stand before him, he had him sentenced to be torn limb from limb. He tore him up in front of them. They went unwillingly without [needing] shackles. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Nevuzaradan is Arioch. Why was his name Arioch? Because he would roar at the captives like a lion, until they arrived at the Euphrates. When they reached the Euphrates, he said to the soldiers: Let them rest now, for from this point on their god won't return to them. That is what is written, (Psalms 137:1) "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, we also cried." Until that point, we did not sit.

6 ו

מִצְרַיִם נָתַנוּ יָד אַשּׁוּר לִשְׂבֹּעַ לָחֶם, מָה הָיוּ עֲשֶׂרֶת הַשְּׁבָטִים עוֹשִׂין הָיוּ מְשַׁלְּחִין שֶׁמֶן לְמִצְרַיִם וּמְבִיאִין תְּבוּאָה וּמְשַׁלְּחִין לְאַשּׁוּר, שֶׁאִם יָבוֹאוּ שׂוֹנְאִים יִהְיוּ כְּדַי לְסַיְּעָן, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (הושע יב, ב): וּבְרִית עִם אַשּׁוּר יִכְרֹתוּ וְשֶׁמֶן לְמִצְרַיִם יוּבָל.

"We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread." (Lamentations 5:6) - What did the 10 tribes do? They sent oil to Egypt, brought in wheat and sent it to Assyria. For if enemies would come, they could help. That's what is written, (Hosea 12:1) "They do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt." [Additional version: That's what is written, (Lamentations 4:17) "Our eyes failed, looking in vain for help..."

7 ז

אֲבוֹתֵינוּ חָטְאוּ וְאֵינָם, אֲמַר לְהוֹן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּדִידְכוֹן קַיָּימִין. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אֲמַרוּ לְהוֹן קַיָּימִין בְּדִילָנָא.

"Our fathers sinned and are no more... [it is we who have borne their iniquities]" (Lamentations 5:7) - The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them: Through your [suffering] did they survive. Alternatively: [You] survive on My account.

8 ח

עֲבָדִים מָשְׁלוּ בָנוּ, אֵלּוּ מִצְרַיִם. פֹּרֵק אֵין מִיָּדָם, אִילוּלֵי משֶׁה. דָּבָר אַחֵר, עֲבָדִים מָשְׁלוּ בָנוּ, אֵלּוּ אַרְבַּע מַלְכֻיּוֹת. פֹּרֵק אֵין מִיָּדָם, אִילוּלֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא.

"Servants rule over us..." (Lamentations 5:8) - This refers to Egypt. "There is none to deliver us out of their hand." (Lamentations 5:8) - If it weren't for Moses. Alternatively: "Servants rule over us..." - This refers to the non-Jews. "There is none to deliver us out of their hand" - If it weren't for the Holy One, blessed be He.

9 ט

בְּנַפְשֵׁנוּ נָבִיא לַחְמֵנוּ, אָמַר רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הָרִאשׁוֹנִים עַל יְדֵי שֶׁהֵרִיחוּ מִקְצַת צָרָתָן שֶׁל אַרְבַּע מַלְכֻיּוֹת קָצְרָה רוּחָן, אֲבוֹתֵינוּ כְּתִיב בְּהוֹן (במדבר כא, ד): וַתִּקְצַר נֶפֶשׁ הָעָם בַּדָּרֶךְ. דָּנִיֵּאל אָמַר (דניאל ז, טו): אֶתְכְּרִיַּת רוּחִי אֲנָה. יְשַׁעְיָה אָמַר (ישעיה כא, ג): עַל כֵּן מָלְאוּ מָתְנַי חַלְחָלָה. יִרְמְיָה אָמַר: בְּנַפְשֵׁנוּ נָבִיא לַחְמֵנוּ. אָנוּ שֶׁנְּתוּנִים בְּתוֹךְ אַרְבַּע מַלְכֻיּוֹת עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה.

"We get our bread [in trade] for our spirit, [because of the sword in the wilderness]." (Lamentations 5:9) - Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel said: Originally, they were short of spirit, [and] distress from the non-Jews [only] shortened it [even more]. It is written about our ancestors: (Numbers 21:4) "The people became short of spirit on the way..." Daniel said: (Daniel 7:15) "I was short of spirit." Isaiah said: (Isaiah 21:3) "My loins are full of distress..." Jeremiah said: "We get bread [in trade] for our spirit." We, who find ourselves among the non-Jews, how much more so.

10 י

עוֹרֵנוּ כְּתַנּוּר נִכְמָרוּ, תְּרֵין אָמוֹרָאִין, חַד אֲמַר כְּאִילֵין כַּמְרְיָאתָא, וְחַד אֲמַר כְּתַנוּר שֶׁלֹא הֻסַּק כָּל צָרְכּוֹ.

"Our skin has become contracted (n-ch-m-r-u) like an oven('s heat), [because of the terrible famine]" (Lamentations 5:10) - 2 amoraim: One said, "[Their skin was] like those withered fruits [ch-m-r-y-a-t-a]." And one said, "Like an oven that has not been kindled as much as it needed to be [and have become blackened]."

11 יא

נָשִׁים בְּצִיּוֹן עִנּוּ, נְבוּזַרְאֲדָן צִוָּה לַחֲיָלוֹתָיו אָמַר לָהֶם אֱלָהֲהוֹן שֶׁל אֵלּוּ שׂוֹנֵא זִמָּה הוּא, הִזָּהֲרוּ אַל תִּגְּעוּ בְּאֵשֶׁת אִישׁ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁשָּׁמְעוּ נְשַׁיָּיא הַוְיָין אַתְיָין וַאֲמָרָן לִגְבַר מִן דִּילָנָא אֲנַן אָכְלָן וּמִן דִּילָנָא אֲנַן מִתְכַּסִּים, אֶלָּא בִּלְבָד דְּיִתְקַרְיָא שְׁמָךְ עֲלָן, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ישעיה ד, א): וְהֶחֱזִיקוּ שֶׁבַע נָשִׁים בְּאִישׁ אֶחָד וגו', בַּר מִתְּלַת נָשִׁים שֶׁנִּתְעַצְּלוּ וְלֹא עָשׂוּ כֵן וְנִתְעַנּוּ, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: נָשִׁים בְּצִיּוֹן עִנּוּ בְּתֻלֹת בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה, בְּתֻלַת כְּתִיב.

"They ravished the women of Zion..." (Lamentations 5:11) - Nevuzaradan [alt. Nevuchadnezzar] commanded his troops, saying to them, "The god of these people hates promiscuity. Be careful not to touch another man's wife." Once the women heard that, they came and said to a man: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own clothes; only let us be called by your name [so that the troops won't touch us]. That's what is written, (Isaiah 4:1) "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our shame." Except 3 were lazy and did not do this, and they were ravished. Therefore it says, (Lamentations 5:11) "They ravished the women of Zion, virgins [b-t-l-t] in the cities of Judah", written as "three" [b-t-l-t].

12 יב

שָׂרִים בְּיָדָם נִתְלוּ, הֲוָה אַפּוֹטְרוֹפָּא עָלֵל לְקַרְתָּא וַהֲוָה נָסֵיב טָבֵי דְקַרְתָּא וְתָלֵי לְהוֹן, בְּנֵי אֱנַשׁ סָבִין הֲווֹן אָתְיָין וּמְפַיְּיסִין לֵיהּ עֲלֵיהוֹן וְלָא הֲוָה מְקַבֵּל מִנַּיְיהוּ, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: שָׂרִים בְּיָדָם נִתְלוּ פְּנֵי זְקֵנִים לֹא נֶהְדָּרוּ.

"Princes were hanged up by their hand..." (Lamentations 5:12) - An appointed officer would enter the city, and would take the best of the city and hang them. The elderly would come and bribe them, but they wouldn't accept it from them. Therefore it says, "Princes were hanged up by their hand, the faces of elders were not honored." (Lamentations 5:12)

13 יג

בַּחוּרִים טְחוֹן נָשָׂאוּ, אַתְּ מוֹצֵא שֶׁלֹא הָיָה רֵחַיִם בְּבָבֶל, וּכְשֶׁעָלָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר הִטְעִינָן רֵחַיִם וְהוֹרִידָן, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ישעיה מג, יד): לְמַעַנְכֶם שִׁלַחְתִּי בָּבֶלָה וְהוֹרַדְתִּי בָרִיחִים כֻּלָּם, בָּרֵחַיִם כְּתִיב. דָּבָר אַחֵר, בַּחוּרִים טְחוֹן נָשָׂאוּ, לָשׁוֹן נְקִיָּה הוּא. כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (שופטים טז, כא): וַיְהִי טוֹחֵן בְּבֵית הָאֲסוּרִים. וּנְעָרִים בָּעֵץ כָּשָׁלוּ, אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי שְׁלשׁ מֵאוֹת תִּינוֹקוֹת נִמְצְאוּ חֲרוּזִים בְּשׂוֹכָה אַחַת.

"Young men must carry millstones (Lamentations 5:13)": It was the case that there were no millstones in Babylon and when Nebuchadnezzar came up he made them bring millstones and go down. See! It is written: " For your sake I send to Babylon; I will bring down all bars (barichim) (Isaiah 43:14); it is talking about millstones (barechim). Another interpretation: "Young men must carry millstones": this is euphemistic. And so it said: "and he became a mill slave in the prison (Judges 16:21)". "And youths stagger under loads of wood": Rabbi Yehoshua son of Levi said: Three hundred young kids were found hanged on one branch".

14 יד

זְקֵנִים מִשַּׁעַר שָׁבָתוּ בַּחוּרִים מִנְגִינָתָם, אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא בְּרַבִּי יִרְמְיָה מִזִּמְרֵיהוֹן שָׁבָתוּ.

"The old men are gone from the gate, The young men from their music (Lamentations 5:14)": Rabbi Abba son of Rabbi Jeremiah said: "They stopped from their singing".

15 טו

שָׁבַת מְשׂוֹשׂ לִבֵּנוּ, אָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה אֵימַת סַנְהֶדְרִין עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא הָיוּ אוֹמְרִין דְּבַר נְבָלָה בַּשִּׁיר, אֲבָל מִשֶּׁבָּטְלוּ הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין הָיוּ אוֹמְרִים דִּבְרֵי נְבָלָה בַּשִּׁיר. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי אָבִין בְּשֵׁם רַב חִסְדָּא בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה צָרָה בָּאָה עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיוּ פּוֹסְקִים כְּנֶגְדָּהּ שִׂמְחָה, מִשֶּׁבָּטְלָה סַנְהֶדְּרִין בָּטַל הַשִּׁיר מִבֵּית הַמִּשְׁתָּאוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה כד, ט): בַּשִּׁיר לֹא יִשְׁתּוּ יָיִן. מִשֶּׁפָּסְקוּ אֵלּוּ וָאֵלּוּ שָׁבַת מְשׂוֹשׂ לִבֵּנוּ נֶהְפַּךְ לְאֵבֶל מְחוֹלֵנוּ.

"Gone is the joy of our hearts (Lamentations 5:15)": Rabbi Chisda said: "At first when there was fear of the Sanhedrin over Israel they did not speak an offensive thing in song, but when they abolished the Sanhedrin, they said offensive things in song". Rabbi Jose the son of Rabbi Avin in the name of Rabbi Chisda said: "At first when trouble came upon Israel they stopped their joy because of that, and when they abolished the Sanhedrin, they abolished singing from the banquet house, as it is said: "They drink their wine without song (Isaiah 24:9)". Since this and that have been abolished: "Gone is the joy of our hearts; our dancing is turned into mourning".

16 טז

נָפְלָה עֲטֶרֶת רֹאשֵׁנוּ, רַבִּי יִרְמְיָה דְּשַׁבְשָׁב נָטַל עֲטֶרֶת זַיִת וּקְשָׁרָהּ בְּרֹאשׁוֹ, שָׁמַע שְׁמוּאֵל וְאָמַר וְהָא נִיחָא לֵיהּ דְּאִיתְרִים רֵישֵׁיהּ וְלָא עֲבֵיד כֵּן, הֲוַת (קהלת י, ה): כִּשְׁגָגָה שֶׁיֹּצָא מִלִּפְנֵי הַשַּׁלִּיט, וְכֵן הֲוָה לֵיהּ, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: נָפְלָה עֲטֶרֶת רֹאשֵׁנוּ אוֹי נָא לָנוּ כִּי חָטָאנוּ.

"The crown has fallen from our head (Lamentations 5:16)": Rabbi Jeremiah of Shabshab (Branch) made a crown of olive leaves and bound it on his head and Samuel heard and said: "Ah! Better for him to have his head cut off and not to this, as it is: "Here is an evil I have seen under the sun as great as an error committed by a ruler (Ecclesiastes 10:5)" and thus it was written for him: "The crown has fallen from our head; Woe to us that we have sinned!".

17 יז

עַל זֶה הָיָה דָּוֶה לִבֵּנוּ, רַבִּי שִׂמְלָאי אָמַר צַעַר גָּדוֹל נָתַן הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לָאִשָּׁה הַזֹּאת, מֵאַחַר שֶׁמְשַׁמֶּרֶת יְמֵי נִדָתָהּ חוֹזֶרֶת וּמְשַׁמֶּרֶת יְמֵי זִיבָתָהּ. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ שֶׁל רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר הָאִשָּׁה הַזֹּאת עַל יְדֵי שֶׁפֵּרְשָׁה מִבֵּיתָהּ שְׁנַיִם אוֹ שְׁלשָׁה יָמִים קוֹרֵא אוֹתָהּ הַתּוֹרָה דָּוָה, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ויקרא טו, לג): וְהַדָּוָה בְּנִדָּתָה, אָנוּ שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁנוּ מִבֵּית חַיֵּינוּ וּמִבֵּית מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ כַּמָּה יָמִים וְכַמָּה שָׁנִים עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה שֶׁנִּקָּרֵא דָּוִין, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: עַל זֶה הָיָה דָּוֶה לִבֵּנוּ, לָמָּה עַל אֵלֶּה חָשְׁכוּ עֵינֵינוּ.

"Because of this our hearts are sick (Lamentations 5:17)": Rabbi Simlai said: "The Holy One, blessed be He, gave great distress to this women, and after she watched for the days of her niddah she went and watched for the days of her zivah". Rabbi Eleazar the son of Rabbi Jose the Galilean says: "This woman because she leaves her house for two or three days thus the Torah says "sick". See! It is written: "who is in menstrual infirmity (Leviticus 15:33)". We leave the house of our life and the house of our holiness for how many days, how much more so should we be called "sick". Thus it is said: "Because of this our hearts are sick, because of these our eyes are dimmed".

18 יח

עַל הַר צִיּוֹן שֶׁשָּׁמֵם, וּכְבָר הָיָה רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל וְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה וְרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא נִכְנָסִין לְרוֹמִי וְשָׁמְעוּ קוֹל הֲמוֹנָהּ שֶׁל רוֹמִי מִפּוּטְלִיָּילוֹס עַד מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים מִיל, הִתְחִילוּ הֵם בּוֹכִים וְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא מְשַׂחֵק, אָמְרוּ עֲקִיבָא אָנוּ בּוֹכִים וְאַתָּה מְשַׂחֵק, אָמַר לָהֶם וְאַתֶּם לָמָּה בְּכִיתֶם, אָמְרוּ לוֹ לֹא נִבְכֶּה שֶׁהַגּוֹיִם עוֹבְדִים עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים לֶהֱווֹן מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לַעֲצַבֵּיהוֹן, וְיוֹשְׁבִין בֶּטַח וְשַׁאֲנָן וְשַׁלְוָה, וּבֵית הֲדוֹם רַגְלֵי אֱלֹהֵינוּ הָיָה לִשְׂרֵיפַת אֵשׁ וּמָדוֹר לְחַיַּת הַשָֹּׂדֶה וְלֹא נִבְכֶּה. אָמַר לָהֶם לְכָךְ אֲנִי מְשַׂחֵק, אִם כֵּן לְמַכְעִיסָיו קַל וָחֹמֶר לְעוֹשֵׂי רְצוֹנוֹ. פַּעַם אַחֶרֶת הָיוּ עוֹלִין לִירוּשָׁלַיִם הִגִּיעוּ לַצּוֹפִים וְקָרְעוּ בִּגְדֵיהֶם, הִגִּיעוּ לְהַר הַבַּיִת וְרָאוּ שׁוּעָל אֶחָד יוֹצֵא מִבֵּית קָדְשֵׁי הַקֳּדָשִׁים, הִתְחִילוּ הֵם בּוֹכִים וְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא מְשַׂחֵק, אָמְרוּ לוֹ עֲקִיבָא לְעוֹלָם אַתָּה מְתַמֵּהַּ עָלֵינוּ, אָנוּ בּוֹכִים וְאַתָּה מְשַׂחֵק, אָמַר לָהֶם אַתֶּם לָמָּה אַתֶּם בּוֹכִים, אָמְרוּ לוֹ וְלֹא נִבְכֶּה מָקוֹם שֶׁכָּתוּב בּוֹ (במדבר א, נא): וְהַזָּר הַקָּרֵב יוּמָת, וַהֲרֵי שׁוּעָל יוֹצֵא מִתּוֹכוֹ, וְעָלָיו נִתְקַיֵם הַפָּסוּק: עַל הַר צִיּוֹן שֶׁשָּׁמֵם שׁוּעָלִים הִלְּכוּ בוֹ, אָמַר לָהֶם אַף אֲנִי לְכָךְ אֲנִי מְשַׂחֵק, הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (ישעיה ח, ב): וְאָעִידָה לִי עֵדִים נֶאֱמָנִים אֵת אוּרִיָה הַכֹּהֵן וְאֶת זְכַרְיָהוּ בֶּן יְבֶרֶכְיָהוּ, וְכִי מָה עִנְיַן אוּרִיָה אֵצֶל זְכַרְיָה, אוּרִיָה בְּמִקְדָּשׁ רִאשׁוֹן וּזְכַרְיָה בְּמִקְדָּשׁ שֵׁנִי, אֶלָּא מָה אָמַר אוּרִיָּה (ירמיה כו, יח): כֹּה אָמַר ה' צְבָאוֹת צִיּוֹן שָׂדֶה תֵחָרֵשׁ וִירוּשָׁלַיִם עִיִּים תִּהְיֶה, וּמָה אָמַר זְכַרְיָה (זכריה ח, ד): עֹד יֵשְׁבוּ זְקֵנִים וּזְקֵנוֹת בִּרְחֹבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָיִם וְאִישׁ מִשְׁעַנְתּוֹ בְּיָדוֹ מֵרֹב יָמִים. וּכְתִיב בַּתְרֵיהּ (זכריה ח, ה): וּרְחֹבוֹת הָעִיר יִמָּלְאוּ יְלָדִים וִילָדוֹת מְשַׂחֲקִים בִּרְחֹבֹתֶיהָ, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הֲרֵי לִי שְׁנֵי עֵדִים אֵלּוּ, וְאִם קַיָּמִים דִּבְרֵי אוּרִיָּה יִהְיוּ קַיָּמִים דִּבְרֵי זְכַרְיָה, וְאִם יִבָּטְלוּ דִּבְרֵי אוּרִיָּה יִבָּטְלוּ דִּבְרֵי זְכַרְיָה, וְשָׂמַחְתִּי שֶׁנִּתְקַיְמוּ דִּבְרֵי אוּרִיָּה וּלְבַסּוֹף דִּבְרֵי זְכַרְיָה עֲתִידִין לְהִתְקַיֵּם. וּבַלָּשׁוֹן הַזֶּה אָמְרוּ לוֹ עֲקִיבָא נִחַמְתָּנוּ תִּתְנַחֵם בְּרַגְלֵי מְבַשֵֹּׂר.

"Because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate (Lamentations 5:18)": And it once was that Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, Rabbi Yehoshua, and Rabbi Akiva were walking along the road in the Roman Empire, and they heard the sound of the multitudes of Rome from Puteoli at a distance of one hundred and twenty mil. The city was so large that they were able to hear its tumult from a great distance. And the other Sages began weeping and Rabbi Akiva was laughing. They said to him: For what reason are you laughing? Rabbi Akiva said to them: And you, for what reason are you weeping? They said to him: These gentiles, who bow to false gods and burn incense to idols, dwell securely and tranquilly in this colossal city, and for us, the House of the footstool of our God, the Temple, is burnt by fire, and shall we not weep? Rabbi Akiva said to them: That is why I am laughing. If for those who violate His will, the wicked, it is so and they are rewarded for the few good deeds they performed, for those who perform His will, all the more so will they be rewarded. The Gemara relates another incident involving those Sages. On another occasion they were ascending to Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple. When they arrived at Mount Scopus and saw the site of the Temple, they rent their garments in mourning, in keeping with halakhic practice. When they arrived at the Temple Mount, they saw a fox that emerged from the site of the Holy of Holies. They began weeping, and Rabbi Akiva was laughing. They said to him: For what reason are you laughing? Rabbi Akiva said to them: For what reason are you weeping? They said to him: This is the place concerning which it is written: “And the non-priest who approaches shall die” (Numbers 1:51), and now foxes walk in it; and shall we not weep? Rabbi Akiva said to them: That is why I am laughing, as it is written, when God revealed the future to the prophet Isaiah: “And I will take to Me faithful witnesses to attest: Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah” (Isaiah 8:2). Now what is the connection between Uriah and Zechariah? He clarifies the difficulty: Uriah prophesied during the First Temple period, and Zechariah prophesied during the Second Temple period, as he was among those who returned to Zion from Babylonia. Rather, the verse established that fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah is dependent on fulfillment of the prophecy of Uriah. In the prophecy of Uriah it is written: “Therefore, for your sake Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become rubble, and the Temple Mount as the high places of a forest” (Micah 3:12), where foxes are found. There is a rabbinic tradition that this was prophesied by Uriah. In the prophecy of Zechariah it is written: “There shall yet be elderly men and elderly women sitting in the streets of Jerusalem” (Zechariah 8:4). Until the prophecy of Uriah with regard to the destruction of the city was fulfilled I was afraid that the prophecy of Zechariah would not be fulfilled, as the two prophecies are linked. Now that the prophecy of Uriah was fulfilled, it is evident that the prophecy of Zechariah remains valid. The Gemara adds: The Sages said to him, employing this formulation: Akiva, you have comforted us; Akiva, you have comforted us.

19 יט

אַתָּה ה' לְעוֹלָם תֵּשֵׁב כִּסְאֲךָ לְדוֹר וָדוֹר, וְכִי יֵשׁ יְשִׁיבָה בְּלֹא כִּסֵּא, וְיֵשׁ מֶלֶךְ בְּלֹא מַטְרוֹנָה.

"But You, Hashem, are enthroned forever, Your throne endures through the ages (Lamentations 5:19": And is there a sitting when there is no throne and there is a king without a wife?

20 כ

לָמָּה לָנֶצַח תִּשְׁכָּחֵנוּ, אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בַּר אָבִין אַרְבָּעָה דְבָרִים אָמַר יִרְמְיָה, מְאִיסָה, וּגְעִילָה, עֲזִיבָה, וּשְׁכִיחָה. מְאִיסָה וּגְעִילָה, דִּכְתִיב (ירמיה יד, יט): הֲמָאֹס מָאַסְתָּ אֶת יְהוּדָה אִם בְּצִיּוֹן גָּעֲלָה נַפְשֶׁךָ, וְהוּשַׁב עַל יְדֵי משֶׁה, דִּכְתִיב (ויקרא כו, מד): לֹא מְאַסְתִּים וְלֹא גְּעַלְתִּים. עֲזִיבָה וּשְׁכִיחָה, דִּכְתִיב: לָמָּה לָנֶצַח תִּשְׁכָּחֵנוּ תַּעַזְבֵנוּ לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים, וְהוּשַׁב עַל יְדֵי יְשַׁעְיָה, דִּכְתִיב (ישעיה מט, טו): גַּם אֵלֶּה תִשְׁכַּחְנָה וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי, אַרְבָּעָה דְבָרִים אָמַר יִרְמְיָה, מְאִיסָה, וּקְצִיפָה, עֲזִיבָה, וּשְׁכִיחָה. מְאִיסָה הוּשַׁב עַל יְדֵי עַצְמוֹ, דִּכְתִיב (ירמיה לא, לו): כֹּה אָמַר ה' אִם יִמַּדּוּ שָׁמַיִם מִלְּמַעְלָה וְיֵחָקְרוּ מוֹסְדֵי אֶרֶץ לְמָטָּה גַּם אֲנִי אֶמְאַס בְּכָל זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל כָּל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ נְאֻם ה'. קְצִיפָה, הוּשַׁב עַל יְדֵי יְשַׁעְיָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה נז, טז): כִּי לֹא לְעוֹלָם אָרִיב וְלֹא לָנֶצַח אֶקְצוֹף.

Why do You forget us forever, forsake us so long?” (Lamentations 5:20) R’ Yehoshua ben Avin said, ‘Jeremiah made four claims – abandonment, forgetting, rejection and wrath.’ Abandonment and forgetting - “Why do You forget us forever, forsake us so long?” Rejection and wrath – “For if You have utterly rejected us, You have been exceedingly wrathful against us.” (Lamentations 5:22) Rejection had already been reversed in his days, as it says “So said the Lord: If the heavens above will be measured and the foundations of the earth below will be fathomed, I too will reject…” (Jeremiah 31:36) Wrath was already reversed in the days of Isaiah, as it says “For I will not contend forever, neither will I be wrathful to eternity…” (Isaiah 57:16) Abandonment and forgetting have not been reversed, therefore Zion complains and says “But Zion said: ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.’” (Isaiah 49:14) Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said ‘Jeremiah made four claims – abandonment, forgetting, rejection and despising.’ Abandonment and forgetting - “Why do You forget us forever, forsake us so long?” Rejection and despising – “Have You indeed rejected Judah? Has Your soul despised Zion? (Jeremiah 14:19) Rejection and despising were already reversed in the days of Moses, as it says “But despite all this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them to annihilate them…” (Leviticus 26:44) Abandonment and forgetting have not been reversed, therefore Zion complains and says “But Zion said: ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.’” (Isaiah 49:14)

21 כא

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה' אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה, אָמְרָה כְּנֶסֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם שֶׁלְךָ הוּא הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ. אָמַר לָהֶם שֶׁלָּכֶם הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלאכי ג, ז): שׁוּבוּ אֵלַי וְאָשׁוּבָה אֲלֵיכֶם, נְאֻם ה', אָמְרָה לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם שֶׁלְךָ הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים פה, ה): שׁוּבֵנוּ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה' אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה. חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם, כְּאָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן, כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (בראשית ג, כד): וַיְגָרֶשׁ אֶת הָאָדָם וַיַּשְׁכֵּן מִקֶּדֶם לְגַן עֵדֶן. דָּבָר אַחֵר, חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם, כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (מלאכי ג, ד): וְעָרְבָה לַה' מִנְחַת יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלָיִם כִּימֵי עוֹלָם וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמֹנִיּוֹת, כִּימֵי עוֹלָם, זֶה משֶׁה, דִּכְתִיב (ישעיה סג, יא): וַיִּזְכֹּר יְמֵי עוֹלָם משֶׁה עַמּוֹ. וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמֹנִיוֹת, כִּשְׁנוֹת שְׁלֹמֹה. רַבִּי אוֹמֵר: כִּימֵי עוֹלָם, כִּימֵי נֹחַ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה נד, ט): כִּי מֵי נֹחַ זֹאת לִי. וּכְשָׁנִים קַדְמֹנִיּוֹת, כִּשְׁנוֹת הֶבֶל, שֶׁלֹא הָיְתָה עֲבוֹדַת כּוֹכָבִים עֲדַיִן בָּעוֹלָם.

"Take us back, O Hashem, to Yourself, And let us come back (Lamentations 5:21)": The assembly of Israel said before the Holy One, blessed be He: "Master of the universe, it is up to you, "take us back"". He said to them: "It is up to you, as it is said: "Turn back to Me, and I will turn back to you—said Hashem (Malachi 3:7)". They said before him: "Master of the universe, it is up to you, as it is said: "Turn again, O God, our helper, revoke Your displeasure with us (Psalms 85:5)" and so it is said: "Take us back, O Hashem, to Yourself, And let us come back". "Renew our days as of old!": Like Adam the first, according to what was written: "He drove the man out, and stationed east of the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24)". Another interpretation: "Renew our days as of old!": According to what was written: "Then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasing to Hashem as in the days of yore and in the years of old (Malachi 3:4)". "Days of yore": This is Moses, as it is written: "Then they remembered the ancient days, Him, who pulled His people out (mosheh) (Isaiah 63:11)". "Years of old": like the years of Solomon. Rabbi says: ""Days of yore": like the days of Noah, as it is said: "For this to Me is like the waters of Noah (Isaiah 54:9)". "Years of old": like the years of Abel, when there was no worship of idols in the world".

22 כב

כִּי אִם מָאֹס מְאַסְתָּנוּ קָצַפְתָּ עָלֵינוּ עַד מְֹאד, אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ אִם מְאִיסָה הִיא לֵית סְבָר, וְאִם קְצִיפָה הִיא, אִית סְבָר, דְּכָל מַאן דְּכָעֵיס סוֹפֵיהּ לְאִיתְרַצְּיָא.

"For truly, You have rejected us, Bitterly raged against us (Lamentations 5:22)": Rabbi Shimon son of Lakish said: "If there is rejection there is no hope, and if there is raging there is hope, as everyone who is angry is able to be calmed in the end".