Lamentations: Kinah 6 – Line 1
“Everything came to a standstill”. “Shavat” – This is based on Lamentation 5:15: “Gone –Shavat – is the joy of our hearts, our dancing has turned into mourning”. The Ibn Ezra explains that the “joy of our hearts” refers to the Offerings brought in the Temple, as in Ezekiel 24:25: “And you, Son of Man, behold, on the day that I take their stronghold from them, the joy of their glory, the darling of their eyes, and the exaltation of their soul, their sons and their daughters.”
The imagery of this prophecy begins with the death of Ezekiel’s wife: (Ezekiel 24:15-27)
One moment Ezekiel’s wife is there and the next moment she is gone. The ‘darling of his eyes” was taken away in an instant. His life was shattered. “Won’t you tell us what these acts that you are doing mean for us?” (Ezekiel 24:19) People did not understand Ezekiel’s response to such a tragedy. They could only understand that the prophet was sending a message to them.
Our lives can change in a moment. Our world can stop. There is nothing we can do but watch. We all remember exactly what we were doing and where we were at the moment we heard of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center on 9-11. Time seemed to stop at that moment. Ezekiel was telling his people that they were functioning in Babylon with the assumption that the Temple was still standing and that sacrifices were still being offered. They still relied on that protection. Ezekiel was warning them that their world would change in one moment; a moment they knew, but refused to believe was coming. Nothing would be the same afterward.
Our lives can change in a single moment. The world is entirely different from one minute to the next. It can happen for good, as with the “Az”! of the Splitting of the Sea, or, it can happen in a negative way, as with the loss of the Altar and sacrifices.
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