The Gendered Voices of Eikhah
Most chapters of Eikhah feature a woman, Chapter 3 a gever or quintessential male.
Most chapters feature a woman’s suffering in agonizing detail, Chapter 3 a gever’s anguish in almost stylized terms.
Most chapters feature a woman and narrator who speak at varying lengths, Chapter 3 a man who consistently communicates in staccato.
Most chapters feature a woman’s poetic expression, Chapter 3 a gever’s abstract ruminations.
Most chapters feature a woman clinging to her children and community, Chapter 3 a gever abandoned in the depths of a pit.
None of the chapters is ultimately about men or women; all of the chapters are about the ways we mourn.
There is no one right way to grieve. Eikhah offers different models of mourning that allow each of us to connect with Tisha B’Av’s themes of loss, hope, and despair.
Today and always, may we locate our unique voices in the echoes of our sacred texts and traditions.