Tachanun 6

יָגַעְתִּי בְּאַנְחָתִי אַשְׂחֶה בְכָל לַיְלָה מִטָּתִי, בְּדִמְעָתִי עַרְשִׂי אַמְסֶה

I am worn out by my sighing (about my illness); every night I cause my bed to float from crying, with my tears I melt my couch.

עָשְׁשָׁה מִכַּעַס עֵינִי, עָתְקָה בְּכָל צוֹרְרָי

My eye is dimmed from anger (at my enemies who rejoice in my illness); it has aged because of my tormentors.

סוּרוּ מִמֶּנִּי כָּל פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן, כִּי שָׁמַע ה' קוֹל בִּכְיִי

Depart from me, all evildoers (for you will not be able to overcome me), because Hashem accepted my prayer with tears (for the Gates of Tears are never locked).

שָׁמַע ה' תְּחִנָּתִי, ה' תְּפִלָּתִי יִקָּח

Hashem heard my plea (and healed me), (therefore I am confident) that Hashem will accept my prayer (in the future).

יֵבֹשׁוּ וְיִבָּהֲלוּ מְאֹד כָּל אֹיְבָי, יָשֻׁבוּ יֵבֹשׁוּ רָגַע

All my enemies will be ashamed and very terrified (seeing my unbelievable success); they will regret (their animosity and come to make peace with me), (and) at that moment they will be ashamed (from me).

In this segment, we address the second half of Tachanun. The Malbim in T’hilim 6, where most of Tachanun stems from, understands that the p’sukim we have covered to date speak about the illness that David HaMelech suffered from. The p’sukim above, in this segment, address his suffering from his enemies.

The Malbim derives from these p’sukim that the pain from his enemies was more painful to David than his illness (בְּכָל צוֹרְרָיb’chol tzorerai – because of my tormentors). David concludes by addressing his enemies, telling them that his tefilos will surely be accepted. At that time, his enemies will be extremely ashamed (יֵבֹשׁוּyeivoshu – they will be ashamed) and will be judged (וְיִבָּהֲלוּv’yibahalu – and will be very terrified). David, therefore, advises them to return to Hashem immediately and perform t’shuvah (יָשֻׁבוּyashuvu – they will regret and do t’shuvah). That way, they will only be embarrassed for a moment (יֵבֹשׁוּ רָגַעyeivoshu raga – at that moment they will be ashamed).

On the other hand, the Radak understands that all of the p’sukim relate to the illness. The reference to his enemies relates to their rejoicing over his illness, hoping for and expecting him to die. The Radak offers two versions of the last few p’sukim. One, that David, while still sick, warns his enemies that his tefilos will be accepted and they should immediately return to Hashem and perform t’shuvah to avoid being extremely embarrassed and judged. In his second version, the Radak understands David speaking about his enemies after he has been healed. He says that his enemies, who were hoping for his death, are now very ashamed and they will now return to him in peace.

The Radak adds:

וכל אדם [חולה] המתפלל בזה המזמור יוכל לומר זה, כי בטוח הוא כי הא-ל ישמע תפלתו אם יתפלל בלב נשבר ונדכה

And every [sick] man who prays with this Psalm is able to say this, for he is confident that Hashem will hear his prayer if he prays with a broken and contrite heart.

This is one of the sources we began with. What a powerful statement from the Radak! If we recite chapter 6 of T’hilim (or recite Tachanun) with a broken and pained heart, then our tefilos are assured to be accepted!

From now on, let us commit to seize the great opportunity we have been granted, and recite Tachanun with renewed heart and mind. May all our tefilos be accepted b’ratzon, and may we all see the r’fuos and salvations we all need – nationally, communally, and individually.