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    The style changes

    There are five chapters in M’gillat Echah, the Book of Lamentations read on Tishah B’Av. Tradition ascribes these chapters to the prophet Jeremiah.

    When you read the book you see how the poet’s style changes.

    The first chapter is searing but simple; and only as the book progresses does the author use more complicated language.

    The explanation might be tied up with the impact of the events of the destruction.

    At first the author is almost struck dumb at what has happened. He can hardly do more than, in effect, to say, “Woe is me! Woe is me! Veh iz mir! Veh iz mir!”

    Like Jeremiah, all we want to do, all we can do, at first is simply to weep.

    Time allows us to look for words and to speak through the midst of our tears.

    It is not (despite the common saying) that time is a great healer – it isn’t, and the trauma never goes away, but what happens is that we begin to get used to the pain.

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