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What does the song “David melech yisrael...” mean?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus


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Rabbi Marcus: Literally it means “David king of Israel lives and endures!”

What it means is that the kingdom of David is forever, even if it takes a break from time to time. For G-d promised that kingship would always belong to David. His kingship is compared to the moon, which waxes and wanes. So too David’s kingdom disappears for a time, but G-d promises that it will once again be reborn like the moon is reborn each month. (That’s why we say this phrase each month when we sanctify the new moon.)

His kingship is compared to the moon, which waxes and wanes. So too David’s kingdom disappears for a time...
The phrase has come to express the idea that the Jewish people are alive and enduring despite our historic ups and downs and that we will ultimately triumph. It has become synonymous with the motto of “am Yisrael chai (the nation of Israel lives!)”

TAGS: king david


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King of Israel who succeeded Saul, becoming king of Israel in 876 BCE. Originally a shepherd, he became popular after he killed the Philistine strongman, Goliath. He is the progenitor of the Davidic royal dynasty -- which will return to the throne with the arrival of King Messiah.
1. Additional name given by G-d to Patriarch Jacob. 2. A Jew who is not a Kohain or Levi (descendant of the Tribe of Levi).
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.