I've heard it said that King David was denied the opportunity to build the Holy Temple because he had "blood on his hands" from the many wars he waged. If this is the case, why do we hold David in such high esteem? Why was he chosen to be the progenitor of the Moshiach?


You are correct. King David told his son Solomon:

"But the word of G‑d was upon me, saying: 'You have shed much blood, and you have waged great wars; you shall not build a house in My Name because you have shed much blood to the ground before Me. Behold a son will be born to you. He will be a man of peace, and I shall give him peace from all his enemies around about . . . He shall build a House in My Name."1

We always need to concern ourselves with one question only: "What does G‑d want from me right here, right now?" For David, the answer was to go to war to protect his nation against the various military threats that they faced. The fact that later on he was not allowed to build the Temple is no indication that his warfare was a black mark on his record. It was simply incompatible with the peaceful nature of the Temple.

A simple analogy: You are walking to a black tie dinner, and you pass by a muddy swamp. You notice someone sinking in the mucky water, screaming for help, so you jump in and save him. The guy you rescued thanks you profusely and goes on his way—but you won't really feel comfortable continuing on to the black tie dinner in your muddy, dripping suit. Chances are that security will escort you out if you do decide to make an appearance.

So does that mean that you now regret saving the drowning man?

Hope this helps.

Rabbi Moshe Goldman for