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Midot Hayom 5770 Day 45 Tiferet in Malchut

“Master of the universe,” said David, “what benefit do you have from [two of] your creations: the spider, who spins all year long but whose product is unwearable, and the madman who, lacking sense, harms people?” The Holy One, Blessed is He, replied,

“There will come a time when you will need them.” When [David] was hiding from Saul in a cave, the Holy One, Blessed is He, sent a spider to spin a web across the entrance. Saul came, saw [the web], and thought, “Surely no man has entered here” (Aleph Bet d’Ben Sira, Otzar HaMidrashim 47).

“An error of David” (Psalm 7:1): a declaration of confession for having sung a song of praise over the death of Saul son of Kish (Targum Tehillim 7:1).

When he (King David) sat and studied Torah he would make himself pliant like a worm (Moed Katan 16b).

David, the king, or grand incorporator, was driven to understand all of creation. He understood that God’s universe was perfect. He needed to know that everything served a purpose. God answered David by allowing him to benefit from a spider and from madness, and David understood that each creation can be used by God to serve a purpose.David appreciated the perfect balance of creation, its Tiferet, and use it to develop his sense of Malchut.

He slipped. He sang a song of praise over Saul’s death as an appreciation of how the tragedy benefitted him. He no longer had to run for his life. He could publicly assume his  rightful place on the throne. David praised the Tiferet of God’s guidance manifested in how everything had worked out. However, he sang as an individual, not as a king. He saw the Tiferet, but not as part of Malchut. He should not have sung with joy over the death of a king. David restored his Tiferet in Malchut when he confessed his error.

David learned from his experiences with the spider, madness, and the death of Saul, that in order for him to maintain his sense of Tiferet in Malchut, he would have to be as a spider, a creation ready at any moment to be used by God. He approached his service of God and his Torah study as a “pliant worm,” ready at every moment to serve as an expression of the Tiferet of the King of Kings.

Our sense of the Tiferet of the creation is disturbed by people, events, illnesses, and dangers that seem to serve no purpose other than pain and suffering. We forget that all of creation is an expression of Tiferet; everything exists so that it can be used for a purpose when necessary. Even we must live “pliant as a worm,” ready to be used as an agent to serve God’s purpose. We, therefore, cannot see the world only through our eyes and experiences, but through the lens of Malchut, which unifies the entire creation.


  1. Spend extra time singing Pesukei D’zimrah, the expression of the entire creation singing  God’s praises.
  2. Focus before reciting a blessing over food on how each creation serves a purpose.
  3. If you find yourself in a frustrating situation, try to focus on the whole picture, not just your experience.
  4. Reflect on an unresolved argument you have with someone else and see if you can view the issue from the other’s position.


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