English Basic Explanation - Chapter 130
Psalm 130 is among the most famous chapters of Tehillim, as it is added to the daily Shaharit prayer service during the period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. Additionally, in many communities this Psalm is recited on behalf of gravely ill patients, Heaven forbid, or during times of other kinds of crisis.
The tenor of this chapter is established immediately in the first verse, where the Psalmist describes himself crying out to the Almighty "from the depths." This prayer was composed for times when one feels as though he has reached the very lowest depths, overwhelmed by anxiety. This is indeed the feeling we should experience during the Ten Days of Repentance, the period when we stand before God in judgment. Fully aware of our failings and inadequacies, we find ourselves in the "lowest depths" of despair and angst, pleading for undeserved mercy and compassion. And so, in verses 2-4 the author of this prayer begs the Almighty for forgiveness, noting that if He is unwilling to forgive, then no person can possibly survive.
In the final two verses, the Psalmist turns to the entire Jewish nation and urges them to join him in petitioning the Almighty for forgiveness and redemption. He emphasizes God's infinite kindness and willingness to pardon our wrongdoing, thereby encouraging us to seize the opportunity of repentance. Regardless of the "depths" to which a person has sunken, he must not give up on himself and despair from God's willingness to atone, and should rather feel confident in his ability to improve and God's preparedness to grant forgiveness.
The final verse of this Psalm emphasizes that God is prepared to forgive all of Israel's sins. No matter how grievous a sin or how many sins one has committed, he is still invited to repent, to commit himself to change, and thereby earn the Almighty's grace and kindness. Even after a person has reached the lowest "depths" of iniquity, he is still afforded the opportunity to elevate himself and gradually restore his relationship with God.