3 Show us favor, Hashem, show us favor! We have had more than enough of contempt.
kha-NAY-nu a-do-NAI kha-NAY-nu kee RAV sa-VA-nu VUZ
ג חָנֵּנוּ יְהֹוָה חָנֵּנוּ כִּי־רַב שָׂבַעְנוּ בוּז׃
123:3 We have had more than enough of contempt
Rabbi Yosef Albo, a fifteenth century Spanish Jewish scholar, understands this psalm as a call to Hashem for mercy from the long, and difficult exile. The psalmist speaks of the shame he undergoes living in the protracted exile. In one of his most famous writings about the Land of Israel, called “Six Knocks,” Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, leader of American Modern Orthodoxy in the twentieth century, speaks of the miraculous nature of the re-birth of the Jewish people in our times, with the State of Israel as the modern Jewish homeland. Rabbi Soloveitchik notes that finally, after thousands of years of exile, Jewish blood is no longer cheap, as a Jew can always find “a secure refuge in the land of his ancestors.” The shame of being defenseless and landless is too much for the psalmist to handle, so he cries out to God for salvation. In modern times, we have begun to experience that salvation.