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A Translation of Alei Tzion in Rhyme By Rabbi Yair Hoffman

There is something that takes hold of you when you combine a slow dirge with rhyme.  Those that are not so fluent in the Hebrew lose the impact.   To some, this poetic translation may help bring across that feeling. 

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her!

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her.

And like a mournful, newly-wed bride,

Crying over her groom who died.

Cry for the palace abandoned and forlorn,

Because of the sins of the flock she had borne.

And for the arrival of the blasphemers that looms,

Into the sanctuary of the Temple’s rooms.

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her!

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her.

And like a mournful newly-wed bride,

Crying over her groom who died.

Cry for the exile of the servants of G-d,

Who sang songs, praised and applaud,

And for their blood, spilled in barrels..

Bursting forth like waters of her channels.

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her!

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her.

And like a mournful, newly-wed bride,

Crying over her groom who died.

Cry for the lyrics of her dances so grand

Now absent and silent throughout the land

And for the great hall, in which it did stand

The glorious Sanhedrin, now unmanned.

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

Cry for the daily offering lost to the nation

And for the Pidyon Bechor’s negation..

And for her vessel’s desecration

And for the incense altar’s salvation..

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

For the children of her kings, let’s cry

The descendents of David, flying so high

And for their beauty, now entirely lost

When her royal crowns were tossed

6] Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

Cry for the Divine honor now in exile

At the destruction of temples erstwhile

And for the persecutor who did scorn

As she dons her garments torn

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

Cry for the pounding and numerous blows

Her noblemen received from their foes

And for the smashing upon the stone

The skulls of infants and children not yet grown

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

Cry for the joyous shouts of the enemy

Laughing at her misfortunate and calamity

And upon the affliction of free men set apart

Noble in spirit and pure of heart.

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

Cry for the sin that she had wrought

Diverting her from the straight path she had sought

And for the legions of congregations slackened

With faces now wrinkled and blackened

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

Cry over the curses of those who abused her

Multiplying corpses as they pursued her

And for the sounds of those who blasphemed  long and hard

Inside the tabernacle of her courtyard

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

Cry for the Name that was profaned

In the mouth of the tormentor so disdained

And for the prayer we cry out to You

Hear our cries, through and through!

Cry, O Zion, and cities around her..

As a woman in labor whose birth pangs confound her..

And like a mournful newly-wed bride..

Crying over her groom who died..

 

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Posted by on July 29, 2012. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to A Translation of Alei Tzion in Rhyme By Rabbi Yair Hoffman

  1. Atara

    July 29, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Le’shana Ha’bah Be’Yerushalayim

  2. Israeli Mother

    July 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    beautiful