Thursday, July 18, 2019 -
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King David’s feast

Dear Tzviling,

I was recently invited to a friend’s house for a Saturday night meal, known as melava malka (literally accompany the queen). During the meal, my friend referred to it as the feast of King David. What is the connection between this meal and King David?

Burt, Toronto

Dear Burt,

The Talmud tells us there are certain things not revealed to us. One of them is the date one passes on from this world.

King David asked G-d to reveal this information to him. However, G-d did not disclose it to him.

King David then asked to know the day of the week it would transpire; not the date, not the year, but the day of the week.

And G-d granted him this request.

King David would depart from the physical world on the day of Shabbos. He then devoted every Shabbos to the study of Torah, and upon the successful conclusion of Shabbos, he would host a great feast thanking G-d for another week of life. He continued this practice until the day of his passing — indeed on a Shabbos.

The Saturday night melava malka became known as the feast of King David.

It is interesting to note that Haman in the story of Purim also wished to know the day he would die. And so he approached the Jews for clarification. The Jews could not tell him the exact day he would die, but were able to certify that he would die on a major Jewish holiday.

Dear Tzviling,

I recently heard about a young bochur (yeshiva student) who was putting on tefilin while in-flight, resulting in an emergency landing. As a new bride, I’m concerned. What precautions should I be taking in my planned trip to NY before Yom Kippur?

Amanda, Boca Raton

Dear Amanda,

Mazel Tov on your engagement. I would avoid doing kapporas with a chicken on the flight. Taking a chuppah should be OK for now.

More letters in this week’s IJN. Order your copy from Carol at (303) 861-2334 or

Send your questions to, to be answered with wit, wisdom and humor by identical twins Rabbis Yisroel Engel (Denver) and Shloime Engel (Montreal) who share their combined 100 years of experience.

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