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The Poetics Of Exile And Suffering: Memory And Perceptions A Cognitive-Linguistics Study Of Lamentations

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Chapter Summary

For about two hundred generations, since 587 BCE, at the ninth of the Hebrew month of Ab, this is the traditional date of the fall of Jerusalem by the Babylonians; Jews all over the world gather together and recite biblical poems reflecting over the national catastrophe. The singularity of the famine of the historical event has been transformed through the poetry of Lamentations into a universal feeling that expresses the awful starvation that drove mothers mad till they cooked their own children. The words of poetry are the things themselves, natural things which sprout naturally upon the earth like a grass and trees. The metaphors of Lamentations shaped the poetics of the collective memory of the day of destruction which has been perpetuated in the Jewish liturgy through the annual fasting day of the 9th of Ab.

Keywords: Babylonians; collective memory; Jewish liturgy; lamentations

10.1163/ej.9789004171046.i-286.74
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