Today is the 9th of Av
After the destruction of the first Bet haMikdash (9th of Av, 586 BCE), hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed or died of starvation. Several thousands were taken into captivity to the victorious Babylonian empire, where they were sold as slaves. This Psalm tells a story about those Jews, probably Leviim, who refused to forget their past. Known for their skills playing the harp in the Bet haMikdash, they were asked by their captors to play for them some of those beautiful songs of Zion…
This is their story:
1. On the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept, as we thought of Yerushalaim
2. We put away our harps, hanging them on the branches of willow trees.
3 But our captors demanded a song from us. Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn:
"Sing for us one of those songs of Jerusalem!"
4. But how could we sing the songs of HaShem while in a pagan land?
5. "If I would ever forget you, O Yerushalaim, let my right hand wither [=forget how to play the harp].
6. "Let my tongue stick to my palate if I fail to remember you, if I don't make Yerushalaim my greatest joy".
For a very powerful, meaningful and contemporary message of Tisha BeAv please watch!