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 King David[Star Of David]

David’s life is unusually stressful and difficult.

His sudden and dramatic elevation to anointed King of Israel was a close-held family secret during the overlapping reign of King Shaul (Saul).

Shaul fails in action as a king because of his humility. Shaul will die in battle as a hero.

G-d brings Shaul to suspect that David is his replacement and this haunts him. Shaul's chief justice Doeg becomes jealous of David. To get rid of David, Doeg moves Shaul to take defensive measures against David.

David becomes a hunted fugitive shortly after his elevation. David prays to G-d that he does not fall into Shaul’s hands and that Shaul does not fall into his hands.

David eventually assumes his office. Yet, he is not socially accepted by a small number of key people.

David is a very righteous person and he leads the nation towards spirituality.

He sets an example by studying Torah into the night, interrupting his studies to sleep no more than a half-hour at a time. He arises at midnight for prayer and praise until the morning.

On Shabbos (Sabbath), David leads study groups and teaches the sublime aspects of the Torah. He seeks to draw the people to appreciate and commit to the Torah and its study.

David publicly demonstrates his esteem of the Torah. A scholar named Achitophel teaches him only two things but David refers to him as his teacher, his exalted, and his oracle.

David perceives spiritual success. He tries to reach even greater heights and he makes the mistake of asking G-d to test him with a very difficult task. G-d agrees. Subsequently, David fails with Bath Sheba.

Through the Oral Torah (Shabbos 56a), we know that the popular understanding of David’s involvement with Bath Sheba is erroneous.

Bath Sheba was a divorcee and David did not commit adultery with her. Uria, the former husband, had committed an act of rebellion against the king and this was a capital offense.

According to the Oral Torah, David’s failure was in the way that he had Uria executed, not the actual execution.

For a perfect person such as David, a mistake such as this is recorded in the Book of Shmuel in a manner that makes it appear as though it was adultery, even though in reality it wasn’t.

The prophet tells David that he will be severely punished. G-d will make an uprising against him from within his own household and this torments him for almost the rest of his life. The prophecy becomes fulfilled when his son Avshalom (Absolom) seizes the crown.

In his old age, David again becomes a fugitive. He flees Jerusalem with a small group of supporters while Avshalom quickly consolidates power. A person named Shimy Ben Gera meets them. He throws dirt at David. He curses him and screams, "Get out of here, you bloody and corrupt person."

Avishai is David’s General. He asks permission from the King to remove the head of that ‘dog.' We see the greatness of David's character by the way he responds to Avishai in this most difficult moment. In effect he says, "G-d must want this person to curse him. Why interfere?"

The Talmud tells us that David repents and G-d pardons him David prays for a public gesture from G-d so that everyone will know that he was forgiven. G-d grants the request but stipulates that it would not happen during his lifetime. Rather, it will occur during the lifetime of his son. In the meantime, David’s enemies continue to scorn him.

King Shlomo (Solomon) later constructs the First Temple. He assembles the entire nation and they celebrate the dedication, which is to climax with the installation of the Ark of the Covenant. All eyes are fixed at the priests as they come near the entrance of the holy chamber. Suddenly the doors fuse shut. The priests can’t get in to install the Ark and everyone is aghast. They wonder what is G-d trying to tell them.

King Shlomo prays intensely, but to no avail. He finally says, "Oh G-d, please remember, the kind acts of your servant David. The doors suddenly spring open.

The faces of David’s enemies change color and turn "as dark as the bottom of pot."

Through his deep and intense relationship with G-d, David rises above the difficulties in his life. The T’hilim (Psalms) which he compiles and composes are a part of the Bible. The T’hilim reflect David’s life, which consists of many personal entanglements, the great highs and the tragic lows. They reflect the manner in which David dealt with them, always turning to G-d. This work is a great source of strength, insight, and comfort for all Mankind.

The Oral Torah teaches us that David was pre-destined to die shortly after his birth. Adam, the first person, foresaw this in a prophetic vision and he requested from G-d that seventy years of his life be transferred to David.

Among the spiritual giants, David is recognized as a spiritual giant.

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