1 ALEPH. O how a city once filled with people now sits alone! The Governess of the Gentiles has become like a widow. The Prince of the provinces has been placed under tribute.
2 BETH. Weeping, she has wept through the night, and her tears are on her cheeks. There is no one to be a comfort to her and to all her beloved. All her friends have spurned her, and they have become her enemies.
Lamentations of Jeremiah
3 GHIMEL. Judah has migrated because of affliction and great servitude. She has lived among the nations and not found rest. All of her persecutors have apprehended her, amid torments.
4 DALETH. The pathways of Zion mourn, because there are none who approach for the solemnity. All her gates are destroyed. Her priests groan. Her virgins are filthy. And she is overwhelmed with bitterness.
5 HE. Her enemies have been made her leaders; her adversaries have been enriched. For the Lord has spoken against her, because of the multitude of her iniquities. Her little ones have been led into captivity before the face of the tribulator.
6 VAU. And all her elegance has departed, from the daughter of Zion. Her leaders have become like rams that cannot find pasture, and they have gone away without strength before the face of the pursuer.
7 ZAIN. Jerusalem has remembered the days of her affliction and the betrayal of all her desirable ones, whom she held from the days of antiquity, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and there was no one to be a helper. The enemies have looked upon her and mocked her Sabbaths.
8 HETH. Jerusalem has sinned a grievous sin. Because of this, she has become unstable. All who glorified her have spurned her, because they have looked upon her disgrace. Then she groaned and turned away again.
9 TETH. Her filth is on her feet, and her end has not been remembered. She has been vehemently put down, having no consolation. O Lord, look upon my affliction, for the adversary has been lifted up.
10 JOD. The enemy has sent his hand against all her desirable ones. For she has watched the Gentiles enter her sanctuary, even though you instructed that they should not enter into your church.
11 CAPH. All her people are groaning and seeking bread. They have given up whatever was precious in exchange for food, so as to remain alive. See, O Lord, and consider, for I have become vile.
12 LAMED. O all you who pass by the way, attend, and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow. For he has made me a vintage, just as the Lord has spoken in the day of his furious anger.
13 MEM. From on high, he has sent fire into my bones, and he has educated me. He has spread a net for my feet; he has turned me back. He has placed me in desolation, consumed by grief, all day long.
14 NUN. Vigilant is the yoke of my iniquities. They have been folded together in his hand and imposed on my neck. My virtue has been weakened. The Lord has given me into a hand, out of which I am not able to rise.
15 SAMECH. The Lord has taken away all of my great ones from my midst. He has called forth time against me, so as to crush my elect ones. The Lord has trampled the winepress, which was for the virgin daughter of Judah.
16 AIN. For this I weep, and my eyes bring forth water. For the consoler has been far away from me, changing my soul. My sons have become lost, because the enemy has prevailed.
17 PHE. Zion has reached out her hands; there is no one to console her. The Lord has given orders against Jacob; his enemies are all around him. Jerusalem among them is like a woman made unclean by menstruation.
18 SADE. The Lord is just, for it is I who has provoked his mouth to wrath. I beg all people to listen and to see my sorrow. My virgins and my youths have gone into captivity.
19 COPH. I called for my friends, but they deceived me. My priests and my elders have been consumed in the city. For they were seeking their food, so as to revive their life.
20 RES. See, O Lord, that I am in tribulation. My bowels have been disturbed, my heart has been subverted within me, for I am filled with bitterness. Outside, the sword puts to death, and at home there is a similar death.
21 SIN. They have heard that I groan and that there is no one to console me. All my enemies have heard of my misfortune; they have rejoiced that you caused it. You have brought in a day of consolation, and so they shall become like me.
22 THAU. Let all their evil enter before you. And make vintage of them, just as you made vintage of me, because of all my iniquities. For my sighs are many, and my heart is grieving.