This week’s Tehillim is for a refuah shelema for Zelda Symbol bat Shoshana
King David was one of the most righteous Jews who ever lived. The midrash tells us that when Adam was created, Hashem told him he was destined to live on this earth for 1000 years and he showed him the souls of all the Jews that would come from him, including many great tzadikim.
He saw a soul that was shining very brightly and he asked G-D who this soul was meant to be. G-D told him that this soul would die as a stillbirth, despite it’s great potential. Adam was so distressed at such a waste of a great person, that he volunteered to donate 70 years of his own life to this soul. Hashem signed a contract with him and when Adam was 930 years old, the Angel of Death came to take him. Adam refused to go, stating that G-D had told him he had 1000 years to live. Only when the Angel of Death showed him his signature and reminded him of his donation did Adam willingly allow himself to be taken. Henceforth, the soul of King David was gifted 70 years of life.
You only need a casual glance through Scripture to see just exactly what he achieved with these 70 years! However, in this week’s Psalm, we get a glimpse of how even the very greatest men in our proud history can still fail, and occasionally sin. King David asks Hashem ’Shofteni,..ki ani btumi halachti…lo echmod – Judge me, ..for in perfect innocence have I walked… I shall not waver.’
He then proceeds to take this even further. ‘Bchoneini Hashem, vnaseini, tzorfa chilyotai vlibi – Examine me Hashem and test me, scrutinise my intellect and my heart.’ So David declares to Hashem that he is perfectly innocent from sin and asks to be tested, confident in his ability to stand up to any test.
The Gemara (Sanhedrin 107a) explains that he wanted to show G-D that he was similar in purity to our three Patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchack and Yaacov. Hashem then tested King David with the incident of Batsheva, and he failed.
In Tehillim 17 (Tehillim are not always set in chronological order) he regretted his rash decision to ask for a test when he says ’zamati bal yavor bi – my thoughts do not transgress the words of my mouth.’ So the lesson we learn this week is not to think we are practically perfect in every way like Mary Poppins, and certainly not to ask G-D to test us! Wishing you all a ShabbtUK shalom.
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