22 Is there no balm in Gilad? Can no physician be found? Why has healing not yet Come to my poor people?
ha-tzo-REE AYN b’-gil-AD im ro-FAY AYN SHAM KEE ma-DU-a LO a-l’-TAH a-ru-KHAT bat a-MEE
כב הַצֳרִי אֵין בְּגִלְעָד אִם־רֹפֵא אֵין שָׁם כִּי מַדּוּעַ לֹא עָלְתָה אֲרֻכַת בַּת־עַמִּי׃
8:22 Is there no balm in Gilad
Yirmiyahu laments the people’s suffering. Despite condemning their immorality, impudence and hypocrisy, he nevertheless identifies with their pain. Wistfully, he calls out, “Is there no balm in Gilad?” Gilad is located on the plains of Jordan, across the river from Yerushalayim, and was famous for its medicines. The commentators understand this balm as a metaphor — righteousness and good deeds could have healed the people, but they were too distant.