14 But I am like a deaf man, unhearing, like a dumb man who cannot speak up;
va-a-NEE kh’-khay-RAYSH LO esh-MA ukh-ee-LAYM LO yif-takh PEEV
יד וַאֲנִי כְחֵרֵשׁ לֹא אֶשְׁמָע וּכְאִלֵּם לֹא יִפְתַּח־פִּיו׃
38:14 Like a dumb man who cannot speak up
Psalm 38 is difficult to read, as it is almost entirely an expression of pain written by an individual who is suffering, physically and spiritually. While his bones have no peace and his sins are too much to bear, his friends stand afar, unable or unwilling to help, and his enemies seek to hurt him. His response is: I am deaf and mute. I pretend not to hear their taunts nor do I respond to their calls of malice and deceit. Instead, he calls out only to the Lord for salvation and deliverance. In the thirteenth century, Rabbi Menachem Meiri wrote that this psalm refers to the Jews in exile. He commented profoundly: “The psalm refers to our long exile in which our enemies are many and our nemeses ridicule us and sit in their serenity. We are hated and have no recourse but we pray that our salvation and redemption will come soon. Amen.” Eight centuries later, the redemption has begun and the Jewish people are no longer mute.