Friday, July 12, 2013

A Fancy Copy of Kinot

As it is the season, I have dusted off my copy of Kinot to get ready for Tisha B'Av.  My copy of kinot is old school - all Hebrew, no commentators or pictures; there is barely any punctuation and directions. I personally like it simple.  

Nowadays there are more sophisticated copies of kinot - with Koren publishing one in the teachings of Rabbi Soloveitchik and Rav Neventzal of the Old City publishing his own 'mahzor'.  I am more partial to the cover picture on this edition.   

But the concept of a special mahzor is worth appreciating (as there is a greater trend to specialized siddurim; for shabbat, holidays, or even Yom Ha'atzmaut).  Perhaps kinot are the exception to the rule.  Consider that Rabbi Soloveitchik was reported to teach the following
“There is an old Jewish custom not to collect and put away the Kinot book for next year. I remember this as a child. They did not save the Kinot books for next year but read through them and put them in the shaimos collection to be buried later in the cemetery.  Every Tisha B’Av they would buy new ones. (Of course, the Kinot books were not as expensive as they are now, particularly those with commentaries and translations.)  But the old custom was to buy new Kinot booklets every year. After all, after this year we will no longer need them.”

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