July 13, 2009
Polyphonies of the TANAKH: The Book of Lamentations
By Judith Berinstein
The translation of eicha is “How?!”, an expression of profound anguish and perplexity.
Eicha in Hebrew is written איכה.
In the Book of Genesis we read that after having eaten of the tree of good and evil, the only forbidden tree, Adam and Eve feel guilty and therefore hide from God. God looks for them while asking “ayeka?”, “Where are you?”
But why does God ask? Isn’t God omniscient? Doesn’t God know where they are?
Ayeka, in Hebrew, is written with the same letters as eicha: איכה.
It might be a good idea to reflect on the relation between ayeka and eicha.
Perhaps eicha stems from our being unable to find an answer to “Where are you?”