Eicha

by Ariela

Tonight begins the fast of Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. It is a day of mourning for the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, and mourning the sinat chinam, the baseless hatred that brought said destruction about.

On the eve of the Ninth of Av, we read the book of Lamentations, identified in Hebrew as Eicha for its opening word. Before we sign off later today for the duration of the fast, we wanted to share a few images of scrolls and codices of Eicha.

Scroll of Eicha damaged during the Holocaust. Image from the dubious site Scrolls4all.org.

Scroll of Eicha damaged during the Holocaust. Image from the dubious site Scrolls4all.org.

Photo of a scroll open to the third chapter of Eicha. The text is formatted to in diagonals that are supposed to look like walls falling in. Image from HaSoferet.com

Photo of a scroll open to the third chapter of Eicha. The text is formatted to in diagonals that are supposed to look like walls falling in.
Image from HaSoferet.com

Opening page of Eicha from British Library MS 4709 f. 149r. The penman was Abraham ben Mordecai Farissol. Note the marginalia. Browse all of BL MS 4709 on their site.

Opening page of Eicha from British Library MS 4709 f. 149r. The penman was Abraham ben Mordecai Farissol. Note the marginalia.
Browse all of BL MS 4709 on their site.

Opening of Eicha in British Library MS 10455. Not sure why the initial isn't filled in, as it is in other books in the same codex. Also note the hand, which is closer to the Birds' Head Haggadah hand. Browse all of BL MS 10455 on their site.

Opening of Eicha in British Library MS 10455. Not sure why the initial isn't filled in, as it is in other books in the same codex. Also note the hand, which is closer to the Birds' Head Haggadah hand.
Browse all of BL MS 10455 on their site.

And now we are off to contemplate the consequences of sinat chinam, baseless hatred, which led to the destruction of the Temple. The more things change, the more they stay the same.