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Kinah for Tisha B’Av

By Rabbi Label Lam

    Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about!
    Woe for all the heads without Tefillin
    After 3700 years from Avraham Avinu
    After having survived Holocausts and Inquisitions…
    Jewish boys and girls blunder
    In the darkness that plagues our generation
    And go lost by the millions
    With visions of isms and instant pleasures
    Rapt in utter ignorance
    Bathed in a blue light they may never escape
    And generations and giant whole families
    Holy congregations have disappeared
    For nothing!
    And their names dead ended
    Now only grace lonely stones
    In forgotten cemeteries
    Bearing words their children
    Those that had- Could never read
    Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about!

    The pervasive angst of isolation!
    Microwaves our very beings!
    We feel beaten from within.
    The continuous waves of psychological pain.
    We suffer with a wry smile and a diet coke.
    The gnawing insecurity and emptiness.
    It brings us to search for things that do not exist.
    The sublime is substituted with the virtual.
    Pictures and fantasies tickle n’ dissolve like
    Cotton candy for the eyes…in a world of lies
    Fire works for lonely hearts that only grow lonelier
    Noshing on empty calories for an endless soul
    And as for the big itch…the really big itch…
    That small thin voice is starved…
    Portrait of a Holocaust victim!
    So we turn up the tempo
    Tapping like a blind man
    Louder and more frantically
    We are lost as never before.
    Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about!

    The Chutzpah around us and within.
    The skirts…the so called “styles”…the pressure to conform
    The lewdness …the angry language
    Rap -rap -rap….bark -bark –bark!
    Bitter and desperate…is the new normal
    The almost total loss of respect
    Nothing and no one is Holy
    The good ones are ridiculed-
    The object of derision
    For framing a G-dly Image
    And dressing as humans do
    For keeping the Shabbos Holy
    Watching our eyes and tongues!
    While pictures of the unthinkable
    The pop-ups of our lives
    Invade constantly
    On every bus that passes by
    Our brothers and sisters
    Drop like fall leaves
    Fewer and fewer hang strong
    Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about!

    The inmates are running the asylum.
    Clouds of chaos gather all around
    Bombs are fashioned for our final solution
    And we are lost in the mirror again.
    Wondering if we are loved or looking good
    70 wolves salivate with teeth like daggers
    Aimed to devour our tiny flock!
    Where are we?
    Busy with our cell phones
    Texting our way to oblivion
    Dealing with emergencies of little import
    Consumed by crumb size concerns
    Like Chometz…And the size of our noses
    Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about!

    The Chillul HASHEM
    We have lost our luster
    Suspicion surrounds us
    The Nation of HASHEM
    The people of truth
    Are ridiculed and considered low
    While every sports team and slick politician
    Has their stadium…Their edifice their complex
    Where their glory is on open display
    Where is the place of HASHEM in this world?
    Billions speak falsely in His name
    Identity theft on the grandest scale
    Religion is a rejected and dirty word
    We are tagged zealots and bigots
    For preserving four cubit of Hallacha
    This is our crime
    And so we owe the world an apology
    HASHEM and we His People
    Share all time low approval ratings
    For this we truly owe a broken heart
    Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about!

    What can be done when what’s done is done?
    Who can rebuild such a wall torn down?
    Our Holy Temple is destroyed!
    Echoing in the cosmos
    Is a muffled scream!
    Of unspeakable abuse
    A silent crime!
    Against our most beautiful daughters
    Made to suffer alone
    Scarred in a way
    No one can say
    With more than broken hearts
    Shattered Tablets
    And bitter memories
    Bleed bad blood
    And families crumble
    With no happy choices
    But to seek greatness
    And avoid the pit of insanity
    There I said it! Without saying it!
    Woe to us on this bitter day! We have what to cry about!

    Thousands take to the streets
    In a moment’s notice
    To look for Leiby
    The heart …my heart… where’s my heart?
    How can we go up to our father and the youth is not with us?
    How can we go up to our Father in Heaven
    and the innocence and youthfulness is no longer with us?
    HASHEM wants the heart! Where’s the heart? A frantic cry!
    It’s been stifled, torn asunder in the heart of our hearts!
    In the midst of our midst!
    Our innocence is ravaged from within!
    We cannot even trust ourselves!
    A knife is driven repeatedly into our heart again and again
    Where is our heart!
    Where are our youth?
    HASHEM wants the heart!
    If not for the watchful eye of…
    A camera …random… nothing is!
    We could live in the shadows of doubt…
    Postulating and philosophizing
    So now we are all mourners …
    We are done looking outward
    The mirrors are covered…enough…enough
    We sit low and quiet
    Our eyes turned inward…at last…
    We hope to find a heart yet beating…there
    from where we can build-
    …from where can we build
    On this day of brutal truth? We have what to cry about!

    How did it happen? Where are you?
    Unanswerable questions!
    Persist in their asking!
    Where a person’s mind is…
    Says the Ba’al Shem Tov
    That is where he is entirely!
    So with a single Holy thought!
    One of 60,000 a day!
    An apple…a golden apple
    Is rescued from the thieves
    And goodness is restored
    When opening our inner eyes
    We begin to realize
    The ground we are standing upon
    Is not less than the Holy of Holies
    The shoes are easily removed
    A Burning bush…is revealed
    We survived! We survived!
    Till this historic moment!
    You and I together
    With a song …the wail of a longing heart…
    Brought history and destiny to meet and embrace
    As tearful friends reunited!
    After thousands of years!
    Moshiach is born!
    On this special day! We have what to cry about!


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 






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