ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Rereading tragedy

Authors, poets to read Book of Lamentations in protest of overhaul

‘We are currently on the brink of destruction of the Third House,’ says writer Ilan Sheinfeld

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

People gather to hear a reading of the Book of Lamentations at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on August 6, 2022. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
People gather to hear a reading of the Book of Lamentations at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall on August 6, 2022. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)

Dozens of writers and poets were set to gather Tuesday to read the Book of Lamentations (Eicha), written in 586 BCE for the destruction of Jerusalem.

Writers Lihi Lapid, Yehudit Rotem, Michal Shalev, Ilan Sheinfeld and dozens of others said they would assemble at Jerusalem’s Rose Garden at 6 p.m. for a full reading of the scroll.

The group of poets and writers chose the Book of Lamentations, said Sheinfeld, “because we are currently on the brink of the destruction of the Third House [Temple].”

The Book of Lamentations is read on the Ninth of Av, an annual fast day in July or August marking several calamities that occurred in Jewish history, including the destruction of the First Temple, also known as Solomon’s Temple, and the Second Temple by the Roman Empire in Jerusalem.

The day is observed with a 25-hour fast, a reading of the Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem, and the recitation of liturgical dirges that lament the loss of the Temples and Jerusalem.

“By reading it, we’re warning of the necessity to immediately stop the coup d’état and resume the story, the one that unites us, the Israelis,” said Sheinfeld, a poet and author.

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