By Elsie R. Stern

From Rebuke to comfort considers the constellation of texts regarding the lectionary cycle for the 9th of Av season. It demonstrates that the lectionary cycle articulates a theology of comfort which isn't found in the constituent biblical texts. The comparable midrashic texts and liturgical poems echo and additional enhance this theology which the targum, which doesn't relate completely to the texts of their liturgical context, doesn't. The booklet explores the synagogue as a context for the general public interpretation of biblical texts and as a website for well known rabbinic interpretation.

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Additional info for From Rebuke to Consolation: Exegesis and Theology in the Liturgical Anthology of the Ninth of Av Season (Brown Judaic Studies)

Sample text

In Lam 3:21 attention to these theological assertions causes the speaker to have hope. ” By the end of the chapter, the speaker is confident enough in future reconciliation that he is able to ask God for help. The covenantal optimism of chapter 3 is not the dominant theme of Lamentations. Chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5 are unrelenting expressions of grief and despair, devoid of consolations and expressions of hope. In his commentary on Lamentations, Westermann notes how these chapters deviate from the other communal laments in the Bible.

Rather, you have utterly rejected us, you have raged against us exceedingly. (Lam 5:19–22) In the final two chapters of Lamentations, the consolation and optimism of chapter 3 are suspended. The speaker feels so abandoned by God that he fears that the abandonment may last forever. His grief and despair over the destruction of Jerusalem are so overwhelming that the brief moment of optimism and consolation expressed in chapter 3 cannot be sustained. Summary As the lectionary text for Tisha b’Av, Lamentations identifies the destruction(s) of the temple and Jerusalem as the catastrophe commemorated on the holiday.

Fortune and misfortune are not results of divine caprice, but rather are the consequences of moral and immoral behavior. The book of Lamentations supports this deuteronomic principle. ” In addition, the poems consistently identify God as the agent of Israel’s suffering. 32 While these assertions of divine control of history counter anxieties about divine impotence, they spawn a second theological problem. The 30. Examples in Isa 40–66 include Isa 41:2–4; 44:28; 45:1; 47:6. 31. Lam 1:5, 8–9, 14, 18; 3:42; 4:13; 5:7, 16.

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