The kina (elegy, said on the ninth of Av) about Jeremiah's going to ask the avos to pray (kina 21 in at least some versions, 26 in the Artscroll edition) is said before the one about his being told to do so (22 or 27). Why this order?

  • Is this true in all nuschaot? (I have no idea) – Double AA Jul 27 '12 at 16:47
  • @DoubleAA, I heard today that some old versions had them reversed. – msh210 Aug 1 '17 at 10:12

My Kinos Hameforash notes that indeed this one belongs after the following one. Since Az Bahaloch has the phrase

שואג היה ירמיהו הנביא.
על מכפלה נוהם כלביא.
תנו קול בבכי אבות הצבי.
תעו בניכם והרי הם בשבי.

Yirmiyahu Hanavi yelled/ Like a lion he roared/ Raise your voices and cry, fathers of the Jews/ Your children veered and are now in captivity.

This 21/26 Piyut starts with אז בהלוך ירמיהו. It's not solid proof since אז can be a poetic way of referring to back then. This is, after all how אז במלאת ספק begins.

Either way. The Medrash of Yirmiyahu Hanavi meeting the "Ishah" does not include telling him to get the Avos. That was put into the Piyut at this point but it is not a quote from Tziyon. The Pirush (again in my קינות המפורש) explains that this part is from Hashem as the Medrash Eicha Rabbah says, which is the only source for this.

These two Kinos are bringing up two entirely different points.The latter, relaying the pain of the Shechina, connects with the one after.


The Artscroll footnote on kinna 27 actually addressed this.

After mentioning that some versions have 26 and 27 reversed, and the subject in 27 makes an appropriate introduction to 26, the footnote continues

According to our sequence, this kinnah comes later because its main theme is an event that occurred after the Destruction, as related in Pesikta Rabbosi (27): When Jeremiah returned to Jerusalem he met a woman sitting on a mountaintop, clothed in black, her hair disheveled. 'Who will console me?' she cried out. Jeremiah responded sternly, if you are a real woman, speak to me, but if you are a spirit, depart!' 'I am your mother, Zion!' the woman responded. Jeremiah said to her 'God, Himself, will console you! Mortal men built you and mortal men destroyed you. But in the future, God, Himself will rebuild you as Scripture states: The Builder of Jerusalem is Hashem (Psalms 147:2).

An idea I had is this: Both kinnos are written in the past, after the destruction had already happened. This follows the the events as found in the pisichta to Eicha Rabbasi 24.

In #27 we find

Jeremiah said to Hashem

מה לאב שהגלה בנו.

When Hashem responds and tells him to go to the Avos and Aharon and Moshe he also speaks in the past tense

זאבי ערב טרפו את השה

Again in Jeremiah's response to this he speaks of a nation already in captivity

והרי הם בשבי

Kinnah 26 also started off in the past tense

אָז בַּהֲלוֹךְ יִרְמְיָהוּ עַל קִבְרֵי אָבוֹת וְנָם עֲצָמוֹת חֲבִיבוֹתמָה אַתֶּם שׁוֹכְבוֹת בְּנֵיכֶם גָּלוּ וּבָתֵּיהֶם חֲרֵבוֹת

The story in thePisichta is also written after the fact

אמרו לו בן עמרם אי אתה יודע שבית המקדש חרב וישראל גלו 

All in all, this doesn't exactly answer why to mention his having gone before mentioning his being commanded to, it does however seem to mitigate the problem.


The Tisha B'Av (ninth of Av) is the date on the Jewish calendar that marks several disasters in Jewish history, which include the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians and later the Second Temple by the Romans in Jerusalem among others. On this date, the Lamentations of Jeremiah are recited in the Synagogue followed by the recitation of kinnot, which are the liturgical dirges that lament the loss of the Temples and Jerusalem. In the recitals there are examples of reverse order, which provide listeners the reassurance that blessing and not cursing is the ultimate purpose of God for the Jewish people.

For example, in the Book of Jeremiah, the command of Jeremiah to plead to the exiles to pray occurs in Jer 29:7, but the record of the Babylonian destruction of the temple and the major captivity of exiles does not occur until Jer 39:1, which is out of chronological order. The juxtaposition of record and event appear to reassure listeners that blessing and not cursing is the ultimate purpose of God for the Jewish people. In other words, blessing was proclaimed before the destruction of the Temple occurred.

Another example of literary juxtaposition is the reading of the Lamentations of Jeremiah during Tisha B'Av. When recited, they conclude with a juxtaposition order of verses, which have the purpose of ensuring that future blessing is in mind, and not cursing. In this regard, the received Masoretic text reflects that the Lamentations of Jeremiah appear to end on a negative verse. That is, the last parashah of the Lamentations of Jeremiah appear as follows:

Lamentations 5:19-22 (OJB)

19 Thou, Hashem, remainest forever;
Thy throne from generation to generation.
20 Why dost Thou forget us forever,
and forsake us for so long?
21 Restore us, Hashem, to Thyself that we may return;
renew yamenu (our days) as of old.
22 Unless Thou hast utterly rejected us
and Thou art angry with us beyond measure.

--------------------  REPEATED & ADDED -------------------   
|  21 Restore us, Hashem, to Thyself that we may return; |
|  renew yamenu (our days) as of old.                    |

Verse 21 is added during the recitals of Tisha B'Av so that the Lamentations of Jeremiah would not end on a negative note and leave the impression that the Jewish readers were not blessed. Therefore, Jewish tradition repeats Verse 21 right after Verse 22 so that the reading ends on a positive note.

The justification for repeating and adding Verse 21 in this way is because in the Book of Jeremiah, Jeremiah had declared in Jer 51:64 that his last “words” were words of against the enemies of the Jews. Because the subsequent chapters of the Book of Jeremiah discuss the new Temple and the restoration of the Jewish people, Jewish tradition has repeated and added Verse 21 at the end of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. In this way, the Book of Lamentations is aligned with the Book of Jeremiah that the Jewish people are blessed.

The following excerpt from the Jerusalem Talmud (y. Berachot 8d) is the basis for this understanding in Jewish thought. Words from the Tosefta are in bold font. Please note that the Jewish understanding of the term “words” includes blessing for the Jews per the conversation between Elijah and Elisha. (For example, Elijah and Elisha discussed the Shema, the Creation, and the Consolations of Jerusalem, which were “words” of blessing for the Jews.) This understanding was the essential logic for repeating and adding Verse 21 to the end of the Lamentations of Jeremiah according to oral Jewish tradition.

Jerusalem Talmud (y. Berachot 8d)

[I:2 A] It was taught: One may stand to recite the Prayer neither after conversation, nor after laughter, nor after levity, nor after any trivial matter, but only after words of Torah.

[B] And likewise one may depart from his associate neither after conversation, nor after laughter, nor after levity, nor after any trivial matter, but only after words of Torah. [And one may not depart after words of sorrow or anguish.] For so we find that the ancient prophets concluded their messages with words of praise and consolation [T. 3:21].

[C] Said R. Eleazar, “[All the prophets concluded with praise and consolation] except for Jeremiah who concluded with reproof.”

[D] Said R. Yohanan to him, “Even he concluded [his prophecy] with words of consolation saying, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, [to rise no more, because of the evil that I am bringing upon her. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah]’ (Jer. 51:64).”

[E] Because Jeremiah continues [in chapter 52] to prophesy regarding the Temple, you might argue that he concludes [his prophecy with a message of sorrow,] with the account of [the destruction of] the Temple. [Accordingly] it teaches explicitly that this [at the end of (Jer. 51:64)] is the conclusion of Jeremiah’s message, “Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.”

[F] [And are the concluding words of the prophet Isaiah not words of sorrow and anguish?] He concludes with a description of those who seek to destroy God, can you say these are not words of reproof? “[And they shall go forth and look on the dead bodies of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched,] and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh” (Isa. 66:24).

[G] [Are these not words of reproof? To answer this objection, you could say] this refers to those idolaters [who are enemies of God, not to Jews].

[H] [And does the book of Lamentations not conclude with words of reproof?] As it is written, “Or hast thou utterly rejected us? [Art thou exceedingly angry with us?]” (Lam. 5:22).

[I] [Here too you may interpret this conclusion as consolation because the writer requests in the verse before,] ‘Restore us [to thyself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old!]’ (Lam. 5:21) and do not utterly reject us.

[J] Elijah too took leave of Elisha only after speaking words of Torah: ‘As they still went on and talked, [wdbr] [behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven]’ (2 Kings 2:11).

[K] [What follows refers to places where the word ‘talk’, dbr appears.] And what were they talking about? R. Ahwa b. R. Zeira said, “They were discussing the recitation of the Shema’. In accord with what is said [in the Shema’ itself], ‘And you shall talk [dbrt] of them’ (Deut. 6:7).”

[L] R. Judah b. Pazzi says, “They were discussing the creation of the world. In accord with what is said, ‘By the word [dbr] of the Lord the heavens were made [and all the host by the breath of his mouth]’ (Ps. 33:6).”

[M] R. Yudan son of R. Ayybo said, “They were discussing the consolations of Jerusalem. As it says, ‘Speak [dbrw] tenderly to Jerusalem, [and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins]’ (Isa. 40:2).”

[N] And sages say, “They were discussing [description of the] Merkabah [chariot]. In accord with what is said, ‘[And behold they were walking and talking [wdbr], and behold here was] a chariot of fire and horses of fire’ (2 Kings 2:11).”

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