Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919
KLOPPER, Frances. Lament, the language for our times. Old testam. essays [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.1, pp.124-135. ISSN 2312-3621.
Lament has many faces. The kind of lament addressed in this paper is indeed a form of mourning but not about death, not for a purpose, but an existential wail as primal as a child's need to cry. Through the ages it was a way of bearing the unbearable, a supremely human need. In Israel it was integral to the people's relationship with God. The paper discusses particular cases of lament in the Hebrew Bible as well as expressions of lament during painful moments in our world history. Lamenting is healing and the need for healing is paramount the world over, therefore the loss of lament in Western culture is lamentable.