web analytics
October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

My Hero, King David

Mizrahi-061512

The Bible introduces us to many fascinating and inspiring personalities, righteous men and women whose example of piety continue to guide and uplift us to this very day. There are some, however, to whom we can relate in an especially powerful way and whom we can truly strive to emulate.

One such righteous figure is David HaMelech, someone who has left a direct, profound impact on all of us.

One reason King David is a figure with whom we closely identify is his famous work – the Book of Tehillim. We all shed tears reciting the beautiful words of Tehillim, praying for ourselves and others and connecting to Hashem through the prayers of King David, in his merit.

The Book of Tehillim is so holy that, as our sages teach, when one reads the entire book he is considered as having read the entire Torah.

Throughout the generations, people have always turned to Tehillim to find the words with which to come before Hashem. And Hashem loves to hear these prayers. Our rabbis teach us that Hashem regarded one day of David HaMelech’s prayers as greater than all the sacrifices brought in the Bet HaMikdash.

King David excelled in many areas, surpassing even other righteous people. He suffered for much of his life, being forced to flee for several years from King Shaul, and even enduring a revolt against him by his own son Avshalom. But throughout all these ordeals, rather than question God’s justice, King David remained firm in his faith and devotion to God – and, as we see in Tehillim, constantly expressed his gratitude to Hashem for his blessings in life.

Through his constant praise of Hashem, David HaMelech reached lofty spiritual levels that no other righteous person achieved (Baba Batra 17a). When we read the beautiful praises of Tehillim, we can gain inspiration from David’s ability to feel grateful even during times of hardship. This should help us put our own problems in perspective and be appreciative of what we have even during the more difficult periods of our lives.

This message is reinforced by the Gemara’s famous account (Pesachim 119b) of the great “Feast of the Leviathan” that will take place in the messianic era. Our righteous forefathers will sit to enjoy the special meat of the Leviathan, and when the time comes to recite the blessing on the cup of wine they will initially hand it to Avraham to grant him the honor of reciting the berachah. Avraham will refuse, noting that he had fathered a sinful son (Yishmael) and thus does not deserve the honor. The cup will then be passed to Yitzchak, but he, too, will refuse, because he had a wicked son (Eisav). Next will be Yaakov, who will also decline, due to his marriage to two sisters, which the Torah forbade.

Moshe Rabbeinu will then be approached, and he will say, “I do not have the merit, since I was not worthy to enter into the Holy Land.” Finally, David HaMelech will take the cup and make the blessing.

The rabbis ask, what special merit does David possess that the others do not? After all, like Avraham and Yitzchak, he also had sinful children. So why will he be given the privilege of reciting the berachah?

The Midrash answers that, as mentioned, David HaMelech was always praising Hashem, even when confronting difficult situations. As expressed through the praises of Tehillim, David believed with complete faith and conviction that everything Hashem does is for the best, and he therefore responded to all events – good and “bad” – with songs of praise to Hashem. This special quality rendered him singularly worthy from among all the great tzaddikim to recite the blessing.

David HaMelech spent his days immersed in Torah study and prayer. The Gemara states that David would never sleep more than sixty “horse breaths,” preferring to devote all his time to the service of Hashem. And this passionate engagement in Torah continued even until his final day.

The Gemara relates that King David knew he would die on Shabbat, though he did not know on which Shabbat. He therefore made sure to spend every moment of Shabbat engrossed in learning, since the angel of death cannot seize a person’s soul as he studies Torah.

The angel of death was indeed frustrated by his inability to take the king’s soul due to his constant engagement in learning throughout the entirety of every Shabbat. Finally, the angel found a way to force David to ascend a ladder, at which point he pulled one of the rungs, causing David to slip and stop speaking Torah for a moment. At that split second, the angel of death snatched David’s soul and returned it to its Maker.

David’s devotion to Torah was so complete that the angel of death had to devise a clever scheme to take his soul.

A number of sources indicate the King David achieved a level equal to that of our three Avot. The Gemara (Berachot 26b) teaches that the three daily prayers were instituted by our Avot. Avraham established the morning Shacharit prayer; Yitzchak founded the afternoon Minchah prayer; and Yaakov introduced the evening Ma’ariv prayer. David HaMelech, too, established a prayer service, creating the tikkun chatzot, the prayer service that many recite at midnight to mourn the Bet HaMikdash.

Similarly, King David forms one of the legs of Hashem’s Holy Throne, along with Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov – a stature that even Moshe, the greatest of all the prophets, never attained. David HaMelech earned this status because he was the strongest advocate of personal prayer with the Almighty, and he was thus deemed worthy of establishing a daily prayer service and earning a place on the Heavenly Throne.

And just as Hashem chose to establish a covenant and special relationship with the descendants of the Avot, similarly, the progeny of King David was selected for special distinction.

God loved King David so much that He determined that Mashiach will descend from his lineage. King David’s son Shlomo HaMelech was the wisest man who ever lived, and he also had another son, Kilav, who is one of the four people who never committed a sin. Not coincidentally, David’s father, Yishai, is one of the other three.

David HaMelech sets for us an inspiring example of diligence in Torah study, fervent prayer and ironclad faith and optimism in the face of adversity. In a day and age when people look to athletes, actors and politicians as their heroes, it behooves us to study about our own heroes – the spiritual giants who form the foundation of our Torah tradition. And we have no greater hero than David HaMelech, the progenitor of Mashiach, the exemplar of faith, prayer and Torah, and the eternal symbol of humility and piety in leadership.

Morris Mizrahi is a retired businessman and a passionate student of Torah.

About the Author: Morris Mizrahi is a retired businessman and a passionate student of Torah.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “My Hero, King David”

  1. Flower Star says:

    thank you so much for posting this article. I have a better understanding, insight and respect [more like awe] for David HaMelech… truly OUR Hero and our Hero King. Now, after 50 yrs, I understand my mother's continuous love for David. Yashar Ko'ach. May this article be an iluiy nishmat for David HaMelech and may he be a meilitz yosher for Am Yisrael in bringing the Geulah b'Rachamim u'bimheirah! AMEN!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Miniature Torah at the women's section of the Western Wall Friday morning.
Women of the Wall Smuggle Tiny Torah Scroll to Western Wall
Latest Indepth Stories
Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

Grave site of terror victim Leon Klinghoffer.

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

More Articles from Morris M. Mizrahi
Mizrahi-061512

The Bible introduces us to many fascinating and inspiring personalities, righteous men and women whose example of piety continue to guide and uplift us to this very day. There are some, however, to whom we can relate in an especially powerful way and whom we can truly strive to emulate.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/my-hero-king-david/2012/06/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: