"The book of Lamentations has found its teacher. Through magisterial literary analyses, informed by deep psychological and spiritual understanding, Dr. Yael Ziegler shows how the text gives authentic voice to the whirlwind of emotional responses to human suffering while still affirming the central faith in God’s abiding goodness. A magnificent reading."
Leon Kass, Professor Emeritus
Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago
How do people progress from despair to hope? How does one maintain faith in God’s justice in a world that seems cruel and unfair? What is the nature of Israel’s culpability and to what degree does sinfulness factor in Israel’s calamities? What is the nation’s relationship to its land, to Jerusalem, and to the outside world?
Artfully combining traditional and academic scholarship, Dr. Yael Ziegler weaves together close readings of the book of Lamentations (Eikha) with an integrated reading of each chapter and examinations of larger themes. To the reader’s surprise, Lamentations emerges as a coherent discourse on the way that people – as individuals and as nations – contend with adversity.
Independent essays at the beginning and end of the book, as well as in appendices at the conclusion of the chapters, cover topics such as Eikha’s historical background, poetic techniques, theology, structure, and linguistic and thematic connections to other biblical books, most notably the chapters of consolation in Isaiah. Wide-ranging biblical and religious themes emerge, a veritable journey through the Bible’s most profound questions.
Interweaving careful literary analysis with attention to religious themes, Lamentations: Faith in a Turbulent World illustrates that Eikha is a testimony to the resilient faith of humans, who can persevere through adversity, emerging with a more meaningful relationship with God, with the nation, and with themselves.