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2009-01-23-OT12 - Page 1 of 5 Old Testament 12 Friday...

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Page 1 of 5 1/23/09 Old Testament 12 Friday, January 23 2009 Lamentations: speaks to corporate loss. Lamentations: think about 911. How the city sits alone that was once full of people? A new faculty member in the department of Religion. First, reflect on the genre of lamentations or loss, second, the specific in the book. Genre: before the fall of Jerusalem, at least a century, a tradition of responding to the loss of a city with beautiful poetry. Over the fall of Ur, 2025 BCE. Samerian Lamentation over the Destruction of Ur. “After the Holocaust, poetry became impossible.” Historical evidence points in exactly the opposite direction. Poetry is the first form of literature that emerges in extremists. It might be more accurate to say that doing Philosophy after the Holocaust became impossible. Heschel says that Philosophy had become self-serving and myopic. “The tragic failure of the modern mind, incapable of averting its own destruction.” Prague Spring of 1968. The Czech Republic rebelled against the USSR. It lasted for 8 months and then failed. Imprisonments of Czechs. Out of prison emerged the mighty effervescence of poetry. [And there is the poetry of Guantanamo Bay.] The poetry of loss is a form of love poetry. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/poems-from-guantanamo- bay_b_91575.html http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/inmates-words-the-poems-of- guantanamo-454005.html http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/01/sb-the-waste-land-1169582427 Polish poetry: People began to re-order their disrupted lives through the ordering of language. Lamentations is the most formalized language of the Bible. The first four chapters are ordered on the order of the Hebrew alphabet. The verses begin with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. An “acrostic”. Chapters 1 through 4.
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Page 2 of 5 1/23/09 Chapter 5 has 22 verses, which is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The rhythm is also highly organized. A qinah meter. A tremendous regularity to the meter. Three things gathered into this poem. Chap 1:11 An 18-month siege. They have kept their precious things in exchange for food, so that they might keep life in their body. I have become cheapened. As usual in a siege situation, it is the little ones who die first.
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