The Jewish Text Art Challenge verse for the Hebrew month of Av comes from the book of Lamentations (Eichah). The 9th day of the month was traditionally set aside as a fast day to commemorate the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Over time, the day itself, and the weeks leading up to it, has become a period of mourning, during which the community reflects and remembers times of persecution.
Eichah includes a great deal of suffering, describing in graphic detail, some of the awful punishments afflicting the Jewish people at the time of the ancient expulsion. The verse for the challenge comes at the exact halfway mark of the book, and is one of a very few mentions of goodness. It also reflects the strength of the relationship between God and the Jewish people. At one of the darkest moments of the nation’s history, there is still opportunity to connect with the Divine.