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Introduction. “If I Forget You, O Jerusalem”: Traumatic Memory And The Fall Of Zion

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a glimpse of the key concepts discussed in this book, which is a study on the city of ruins. Mourning as religious expression has been institutionalized in Judaism in numerous traditions, many of which relate in some way to the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The Book of Lamentations represents one of the first reconsiderations of the Holy City and the religion of the Judeans in light of the Babylonian Conquest. This study addresses the way in which a set of texts from the apocalyptic genre reflects and confirms this expectation for certain Jews in the cultures from which these texts derive. It directly relates the loss of Jerusalem and its Temple-first to the Babylonians, then again six centuries later to the Romans-to a psychoanalytic model of mourning. The texts examined in this study are collectively called the 'Zion Apocalypses'..

Keywords: Babylonian Conquest; Book of Lamentations; Israelite mourning practices; Jerusalem; Jewish Temple; Zion Apocalypses



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