Richard Kaplan | Lamenting Her Temple So Wounded - Single

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Lamenting Her Temple So Wounded - Single

by Richard Kaplan

A lament dedicated to greater awareness of our profoundly wounded and threatened planet - our larger "temple" - ending with a global call for its heartfelt and reverent mending.
Genre: World: World Traditions
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
In this time of our country's greatest ecological disaster, of mother's milk being one of our most toxic substances full of heavy metals and hundreds of other compounds, of disappearing habitats and their species, of vast numbers of underground water tables now undrinkable, we offer this chant as a wake-up call to open our hearts and minds toward
saving this Eden which we have been given to steward.

For more on this song please visit. www.kaplanmusic.com/news

Lyrics:
Jeremiah wept, oh! hearing her song,
Lamenting her Temple so wounded

(Gaia sings:)
"Alas my forests are dying,
I hear my waters crying,
Have all the lessons been lost?
Oh! oh that I, oh that they, were pure again"

Jeremiah wept, oh! hearing her song,
Lamenting her Temple so wounded

(Gaia sings:)
"My precious forms of life that are no more
In silence live the children of the poor
Alas! why will they not feel their disgrace?
Oh! oh that I, oh that they, were pure again"

In the night, she weeps and weeps
Longing for her lovers,
Who so seldom come to comfort her

Bring us back to You, oh Soul of Souls
Spark us to turn, that we may be seen
Mending this Temple, our Eden


The saddest day in the Jewish calendar is a festival (called such because tears shed on this day water the seeds of a longed-for global consciousness, of oneness and reverence for all Creation) known as Tisha be’Av (the ninth of the month of Av – which falls in the dog days of summer). It commemorates major tragedies in Jewish history – such as the destruction of the Two Temples in Jerusalem. It is said the Expulsion from Spain began on Tisha be’Av. This festival has its own special laments, known in Hebrew as kinot (kinah is the singular).

While looking through these texts one day I came across one that had the First Temple singing in the first person - “Alas, my walls have been breached, my holiness desecrated.” And it was in a female voice known as the "Shekhinah" - the Divine Feminine presence.

I used this concept to lament the distress of our larger temple – Gaia – the Earth Mother, and composed a lament with Her singing in the first person as well, and called it "Lament on the Destruction of the Garden of Eden." (Over the years I had been dreaming of a global lament on behalf of the planet. Imagine 100,000 people in a stadium, weeping empathically with the pain of the Earth).

So, I set my verses to a couple of these traditional Eastern European lament melodies, but the middle section is based on chanting forms from the Book of Lamentations, which is a scroll particular to the liturgy of Tisha be’Av. The Book of Lamentations is attributed to the Prophet Jeremiah, hence the opening lines of my lament, “....and Jeremiah wept.” I worked on this piece over a period of years, re-sculpting it until satisfied. I coined a term to describe this genre of song, I call it an "eco-lament," or ecological lament.

I sang this piece a few Earth Days ago for 3000 folks at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral as part of an ecumenical consortium offering prayers, poetry, and dances on behalf of our planet – the experience of a lifetime! May hearing it become less infrequent, and over time, may it no longer be necessary!



Reviews


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Marsha Attie

Richard Kaplan soars again
I just listened to Richard Kaplan's "Lamenting Her Temple So Wounded" and I am so moved by the beauty of his expression, the depth of his pathos and the skillful artistry that infuses his work. He is a rare wonder in the world of Jewish Sacred Music and we are lucky to have one of his caliber among us.