"If I Forget Thee Oh Earth..." is a story of the exile of the people of Earth from their home world. Author Arthur C. Clarke uses the title, which is from a verse in the Bible, to compare the exile of the lunar colony from Earth with the exile of the Jews in Babylon from their homeland of Israel. Psalm 137 in the Bible is a poetic lament of the Israelites as they mourn their captivity far from home. The first verse says: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion." Zion is the Jew's name for Israel. Verses 5 and 6 say:
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
This passage emphasizes the importance of the memory of their...
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