These Two (or possibly four, or six) Things Have Befallen You

Shtaim heinh korotaich mi yanud lach hashod v’hashever v’haraav v’haherev mi anachameich.

These two things have befallen you: Devastation, destruction — Who will console you? Famine and sword — who will comfort you?

This seems to me to be a whole lot more than two things. There’s devastation, destruction, famine, and the sword. I count four. So it looks like we need a midrash. Here is what I came up with. Devastation and destruction are large scale things that we use mostly in hindsight. Famine and violence are things that the average villager could identify with. So the two things are: Horrible life in overview and horrible life from day to day.

Here’s another view: The two things are “hashod v’hashever v’haraav v’haherev,” Devastation and destruction and famine and sword, and “mi yanud lachmi anachameich” Who will console you, who can comfort you. Part of the problem is the devastation etc., but part of the problem is also that there is no one to comfort Israel.

By me, with help from G-d, Papa and Mama


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