Love of the Land

For the week ending 15 June 2019 / 12 Sivan 5779

King Davids Clothing

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

“King David grew old and the garments which covered him failed to give him warmth.” (Melachim I 1:1)

This is how Sefer Melachim, the first Book of Kings, begins.

An interesting explanation is provided by our Talmudic Sages as to why Heavenly intervention denied David the material warmth which clothes supply. Anyone who shows a lack of respect for clothes, they state, will in the end not benefit from them.

This is a reference to an incident preceding David’s reign as king. Fleeing from King Saul, who saw him as a rival, David found refuge in a cave in the wilderness area of Ein Gedi. When Saul entered that very cave alone for relaxation, David had an opportunity to slay his royal adversary. He contented himself instead with secretly snipping off the edge of the king’s coat in order to later prove that such an opportunity had been waived out of loyalty.

It was this lack of respect for the dignity of clothes which boomeranged against him at the end of his days.

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