lam-na-TZAY-akh al yo-NAT AY-lem r’-kho-KEEM l’-da-VID mikh-TAM be-e-KHOZ o-TO f’-lish-TEEM b’-GAT
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל־יוֹנַת אֵלֶם רְחֹקִים לְדָוִד מִכְתָּם בֶּאֱחֹז אֹתוֹ פְלִשְׁתִּים בְּגַת׃
Constantly on the run in a very small Israelite kingdom, David does the irrational; he escapes to the Philistine city of Gath (I Samuel 21:11-16). The Philistines were the main enemy of the Israelites at the time, and David himself had slain Goliath, who was from the same city. How does David survive when the advisors of King Achish reveal that this is the same David who was responsible for the defeat of the Philistines? David feigns insanity. He dances uncontrollably, foams at the mouth and sputters unintelligible words. His behavior leads the king of Gath to make his famous statement “Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to rave for me? Should this fellow enter my house?” (I Samuel 21:16). He lets David free, and David responds to this near-death experience in the best way he knows: With a psalm of gratitude to Hashem.