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Soldiers evacuate settler
Photo: AP
Machon Shilo publishes Ninth of Av dirge for Gush Katif
Dirge commemorates evacuation of settlements, destruction of Gush Katif communities and is to be recited as part of service in memory of Temple's destruction
Machon Shilo has published a dirge (“kinna”) for the destroyed communities of Gush Katif and the northern Samaria. The dirge is to be recited as part of the Jewish Ninth of Av Service that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples on this day, by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and by the Romans in 70 CE.


The Jewish Communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria were destroyed on the Tenth of Av in 2005— the very same day, according to the Talmud, that the greater part of the Temple was destroyed.


The dirge, authored by Rav Yehoshua Buch of Machon Shilo, is written in the style of Rabbi Eliezer HaKalir, the 6th century composer of


liturgical poetry. Rav Buch’s dirge is based on “How the Rose of Sharon Sits”, HaKalir’s dirge of 24 stanzas about the 24 shifts of the Priests (“Kohanim”) in the Jewish Temple. Certain expressions are borrowed from Rabbi Eliezar’s original version as well as from the first chapter of the Book of Lamentations (“Megilat Eicha”). The stanzas are arranged according to the Hebrew alphabetical order. The last line of each stanza ends with the name of one of the destroyed communities.


“This is religious poetry that truly speaks from the heart. It eloquently captures the feelings of the day, of both the destruction of our Holy Temple and the holy communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria,” says Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, the head of Machon Shilo.


“Many words in the dirge have double meanings and reflect the bitterness caused by this modern tragedy. Rabbi Buch has expended great

effort to adhere to the historical style of the traditional dirge. All words of his dirge—except for one—are found in the Hebrew Bible although grammar may have necessitated minor changes. My only regret is that Rabbi Buch’s beautiful poetry reflects our current state of mourning rather than celebration. I look forward to the day when we will be able to publish poetry celebrating the rebuilding of the destroyed communities and our Holy Temple.”


The dirge can be downloaded from the Machon Shilo website at


First published: 07.22.07, 16:37
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