Lament for 9/11

Three Songs One Verse

All of them are songs from Lamentations 2:19, but one starts with the beginning of the verse, the other picks up the sentiment at the zakeif (trope, pause), the third continues after the et-nach-ta (the resting place).

ק֣וּמִי | רֹ֣נִּי בַלַּ֗יְלָ [בַלַּ֗יְלָה] לְרֹאשׁ֙ אַשְׁמֻר֔וֹת
שִׁפְכִ֤י כַמַּ֨יִם֙ לִבֵּ֔ךְ נֹ֖כַח פְּנֵ֣י אֲדֹנָ֑י
שְׂאִ֧י אֵלָ֣יו כַּפַּ֗יִךְ עַל־נֶ֨פֶשׁ֙ עוֹלָלַ֔יִךְ
הָעֲטוּפִ֥ים בְּרָעָ֖ב בְּרֹ֥אשׁ כָּל־חוּצוֹת

The first part:

Kumi Roni ba-lai-lah
L’rosh ash-mu-rot

Arise, sing in the night
At the beginning of the watches,

The second part of the verse:

Shif-khi kha-mayim li-beikh
No-khach p’nei Hashem

Pour out your heart like water
Before the face of G*d

We sing the first song, because to start at zakeif might be false:
To Pour out your heart like water
But not before you get up and split the darkness with your song.

Let’s sing the next version:

The second version picks it up at the zakeif and begins with:

Shif-khi kha-mayim li-beikh
No-khach p’nei Hashem

What’s the difference between the two versions?

The first version takes on the darkness first:
Arise, sing, split the darkness with your song.

The second version moves into the heart of suffering, but let’s assume we’ve pushed through the darkness with our song:

Pour out your heart, like water, before the face of G*d.

One verse, three parts:
Sing, when darkest;
pour out your heart, go to the center with our tears;
lift up your hands for the sake of the children.

What if we added what follows the et-nach-ta [resting place] to the song?

S’i ei-lav ka-pa-yikh
al-nefesh ‘o-la-la-yikh
ha-a-tu-fim v’ra-av
b’rosh kol-chu-tzot.

Lift up your hands toward G*d
For the soul of your young children
Who faint from hunger
On the top of every street.

It’s not far away, about them – the response is here, at the top of every street. We might have been preoccupied with the empty geography of ground zero, or pursued enemies half way around the world but our attention is directed here — the souls of our young children starving from hunger at the top of every street.

That part we haven’t written yet.

jsg, usa