Every year on the 9th day of Av (July-August time period), the Hebrew ear is fed with the mournful strains of a book in the Hebrew scriptures called Ekah when they assembled in the synagogue to commemorate the temple’s destruction. The Hebrew people named the books of the scriptures from the first word of the book. Ekah means “how” which came to represent the meaning of this book. How could God’s city, Jerusalem, and God’s temple be destroyed? How could it be that God, Israel’s redeemer, has turned his back and allowed the temple to be destroyed? How can the city that was full of people now be left empty and desolate? This “how” declaration opens the first verse of chapters 1,2, and 4. The first temple was destroyed on the 9th day of Av in 586 BC. The second temple was destroyed on the 9th day of Av in 70 AD. For centuries, even continuing today for the orthodox Jews, this book is read on the 9th day of Av. Our English scriptures call this book, Lamentations.
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