Translation and Transliteration of
Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1Remember, Hashem, what has befallen us; Behold, and see our disgrace!
Z'-KOR a-do-NAI meh ha-YAH LA-nu (ha-BEET) [ha-bee-TAH] u-r'-EH et-kher-pa-TE-nu
אזְכֹ֤ר יְהֹוָה֙ מֶֽה־הָ֣יָה לָ֔נוּ (הביט) [הַבִּ֖יטָה] וּרְאֵ֥ה אֶת־חֶרְפָּתֵֽנוּ׃
2Our heritage has passed to aliens, Our homes to strangers.
na-kha-la-TAY-nu ne-hef-KHAH l'-za-REEM ba-TAY-nu l'-nokh-REEM
בנַחֲלָתֵ֙נוּ֙ נֶֽהֶפְכָ֣ה לְזָרִ֔ים בָּתֵּ֖ינוּ לְנׇכְרִֽים׃
5:2 Our heritage has passed to aliens
In the past century, we have merited to witness a reversal of this prophetic statement with our own eyes. Whereas Yirmiyahu bemoans the fact that Jewish land has been seized by foreigners, today, Jews have returned to their ancient homeland and reclaimed lands that have belonged to them from the time that they were promised by Hashem to Avraham and his descendants for eternity.
3We have become orphans, fatherless; Our mothers are like widows.
ye-to-MEEM ha-YI-nu (EIN) [v'-AYN] AV i-MO-tay-NU k'-al-ma-NOT
גיְתוֹמִ֤ים הָיִ֙ינוּ֙ (אין) [וְאֵ֣ין] אָ֔ב אִמֹּתֵ֖ינוּ כְּאַלְמָנֽוֹת׃
4We must pay to drink our own water, Obtain our own kindling at a price.
mei-MEY-nu b'-KE-sef sha-TEE-nu e-TZEY-nu b'-m'-KHEER ya-VO-u
דמֵימֵ֙ינוּ֙ בְּכֶ֣סֶף שָׁתִ֔ינוּ עֵצֵ֖ינוּ בִּמְחִ֥יר יָבֹֽאוּ׃
5We are hotly pursued; Exhausted, we are given no rest.
al tza-va-RE-nu nir-DAF-nu ya-GA-nu (lo) [v'-LO] hu-NAKH-la-NU
העַ֤ל צַוָּארֵ֙נוּ֙ נִרְדָּ֔פְנוּ יָגַ֖עְנוּ (לא) [וְלֹ֥א] הֽוּנַֽח־לָֽנוּ׃
6We hold out a hand to Egypt; To Assyria, for our fill of bread.
mitz-RA-yim na-TA-nu YAD a-SHUR lis-BO-a LA-khem
ומִצְרַ֙יִם֙ נָתַ֣נּוּ יָ֔ד אַשּׁ֖וּר לִשְׂבֹּ֥עַֽ לָֽחֶם׃
7Our fathers sinned and are no more; And we must bear their guilt.
a-vo-TAY-nu kha-T'-U (AY-nam) [v'-AY-nam] (a-na-KHA-nu) [va-a-na-KH'-nu] a-vo-NOT-hem sa-va-l'-NU
זאֲבֹתֵ֤ינוּ חָֽטְאוּ֙ (אינם) [וְאֵינָ֔ם] (אנחנו) [וַאֲנַ֖חְנוּ] עֲוֺנֹתֵיהֶ֥ם סָבָֽלְנוּ׃
8Slaves are ruling over us, With none to rescue us from them.
a-va-DEEM ma-sh'-LU va-NU po-REK AYN mi-YA-dam
חעֲבָדִים֙ מָ֣שְׁלוּ בָ֔נוּ פֹּרֵ֖ק אֵ֥ין מִיָּדָֽם׃
9We get our bread at the peril of our lives, Because of the sword of the wilderness.
b'-na-f'-SHE-nu na-VEE lakh-MAY-nu mi-p'-NAY khe-REV ha-mid-BAR
טבְּנַפְשֵׁ֙נוּ֙ נָבִ֣יא לַחְמֵ֔נוּ מִפְּנֵ֖י חֶ֥רֶב הַמִּדְבָּֽר׃
10Our skin glows like an oven, With the fever of famine.
o-RE-nu k'-ta-NUR nikh-ma-ROO mi-p'-NEI zal-a-FOT ra-AV
יעוֹרֵ֙נוּ֙ כְּתַנּ֣וּר נִכְמָ֔רוּ מִפְּנֵ֖י זַלְעֲפ֥וֹת רָעָֽב׃
11They have ravished women in Tzion, Maidens in the towns of Yehuda.
na-SHEEM b'-tzi-YON i-NU b'-tu-LOT b'-a-REI y'-hu-DAH
יאנָשִׁים֙ בְּצִיּ֣וֹן עִנּ֔וּ בְּתֻלֹ֖ת בְּעָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָֽה׃
12Princes have been hanged by them; No respect has been shown to elders.
sa-RIM b'-ya-DAM nit-LU pe-NEI ze-KE-nim lo ne-h'-da-ROU
יבשָׂרִים֙ בְּיָדָ֣ם נִתְל֔וּ פְּנֵ֥י זְקֵנִ֖ים לֹ֥א נֶהְדָּֽרוּ׃
13Young men must carry millstones, And youths stagger under loads of wood.
ba-KHU-rim t'-KHON na-SA-u u-ne-a-RIM ba-ETZ ka-SHA-lu
יגבַּחוּרִים֙ טְח֣וֹן נָשָׂ֔אוּ וּנְעָרִ֖ים בָּעֵ֥ץ כָּשָֽׁלוּ׃
14The old men are gone from the gate, The young men from their music.
ZE-ke-NIM mi-SHA-ar sha-VA-tu ba-KHU-rim mi-ne-gi-NA-tam
ידזְקֵנִים֙ מִשַּׁ֣עַר שָׁבָ֔תוּ בַּחוּרִ֖ים מִנְּגִינָתָֽם׃
15Gone is the joy of our hearts; Our dancing is turned into mourning.
sha-VAT me-SOS li-BE-nu, neh-PAKH le-E-vel me-KHO-le-nu
טושָׁבַת֙ מְשׂ֣וֹשׂ לִבֵּ֔נוּ נֶהְפַּ֥ךְ לְאֵ֖בֶל מְחֹלֵֽנוּ׃
16The crown has fallen from our head; Woe to us that we have sinned!
na-FE-lah a-TE-ret ro-SHE-nu, OY-na LA-nu, KEE kha-ta-NU
טזנָֽפְלָה֙ עֲטֶ֣רֶת רֹאשֵׁ֔נוּ אֽוֹי־נָ֥א לָ֖נוּ כִּ֥י חָטָֽאנוּ׃
17Because of this our hearts are sick, Because of these our eyes are dimmed:
al-ZEH ha-YA da-VEH li-BE-nu, al-E-leh kha-SHE-khu e-NE-nu.
יזעַל־זֶ֗ה הָיָ֤ה דָוֶה֙ לִבֵּ֔נוּ עַל־אֵ֖לֶּה חָשְׁכ֥וּ עֵינֵֽינוּ׃
18Because of Mount Tzion, which lies desolate; Jackals prowl over it.
AL har tzi-YON she-sha-MAYM shu-a-LEEM hi-l'-khu VO
יחעַ֤ל הַר־צִיּוֹן֙ שֶׁשָּׁמֵ֔ם שׁוּעָלִ֖ים הִלְּכוּ־בֽוֹ׃
5:18 Because of Mount Tzion, which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it
Though the image of jackals running freely on Har HaBayit certainly reflects the devastation and desolation of Yerushalayim, some find hope even in the depths of darkness. The Talmud (Makkot 24b) relates that a number of leading Sages were visiting Yerushalayim following the destruction of the Temple, and they came upon the ruins of the Temple Mount. Upon seeing a jackal scamper across the holiest site in the world, three of the four rabbis began to cry. The great Rabbi Akiva, on the other hand, began to laugh joyously. Shocked, they asked him to explain his behavior. Rabbi Akiva explained that if the prophecies of destruction had indeed been fulfilled, we can be certain that the promises of redemption will also be fulfilled. The Jews have always maintained immutable optimism and unwavering faith that the Almighty will preserve His covenant with them, and in modern times He has begun to fulfill His promises of redemption.
19But You, Hashem, are enthroned forever, Your throne endures through the ages.
a-TAH a-do-NAI l'-o-LAM tay-SHEV kis-a-KHA l'-DOR va-DOR
יטאַתָּ֤ה יְהֹוָה֙ לְעוֹלָ֣ם תֵּשֵׁ֔ב כִּסְאֲךָ֖ לְד֥וֹר וָדֽוֹר׃
20Why have You forgotten us utterly, Forsaken us for all time?
la-MAH la-NE-tsakh tish-KA-khe-NU ta-a-Z'-VE-nu l'-o-REKH ya-MEEM
כלָ֤מָּה לָנֶ֙צַח֙ תִּשְׁכָּחֵ֔נוּ תַּֽעַזְבֵ֖נוּ לְאֹ֥רֶךְ יָמִֽים׃
21Take us back, Hashem, to Yourself, And let us come back; Renew our days as of old!
ha-shee-VAY-nu a-do-NAI ay-LE-kha v'-na-SHU-vah kha-DAYSH ya-MAY-nu k'-KE-dem
כאהֲשִׁיבֵ֨נוּ יְהֹוָ֤ה ׀ אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ (ונשוב) [וְֽנָשׁ֔וּבָה] חַדֵּ֥שׁ יָמֵ֖ינוּ כְּקֶֽדֶם׃
5:21 Take us back, Hashem
This verse is one of the most significant verses in the entire book. Traditionally, when Megillat Eicha is read in synagogues on the ninth of Av, this verse is repeated at the conclusion of the reading, to highlight its significance and to end on a positive note. The verse emphasizes that Hashem will one day return the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, and renew the intimate relationship with Him centered around a rebuilt Temple in Yerushalayim. Moreover, it reminds us that a relationship with our Maker is a two-way street; we return to God, and God returns to us. Our generation has been blessed with the beginning of the fulfillment of this promise. The Jewish people have started their return to the land of their fathers, and the realization of the dream of redemption has begun. We sincerely pray for the fulfillment of the final redemption, a complete return to Hashem and the coming of the Mashiach.
22For truly, You have rejected us, Bitterly raged against us. Take us back, Hashem, to Yourself, And let us come back; Renew our days as of old!
ki im-ma-OS m'-as-TA-nu, ka-TZAF-ta a-LE-nu ad m'-OD. ha-SHI-v'-nu a-do-NAI e-le-KHA, v'-na-SHU-vah kha-DASH y'-ME-nu ka-KE-dem.
כבכִּ֚י אִם־מָאֹ֣ס מְאַסְתָּ֔נוּ קָצַ֥פְתָּ עָלֵ֖ינוּ עַד־מְאֹֽד׃השיבנו יהוה אליך ונשובה חדש ימינו כקדם