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Tehillim: The Chanukah Psalm: Mesirat Nefesh

“A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.” This is the eighth of the Ten Songs. Did David build the Temple? Was it not King Solomon? Because King David was willing to give his life to build the Temple; it is called by his name. So it says, “God, remember David
and all his self-denial.


He swore an oath to God,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
‘I will not enter my house
or go to my bed,
I will allow no sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
till I find a place for God,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.’

We heard it in Ephrathah,
we came upon it in the fields of Yaar:
‘Let us go to his dwelling place,
let us worship at his footstool,’ saying,
‘Arise, God, and come to your resting place,
You and the ark of Your might.  (Psalms 132:1-6).”

Since David was willing to give up his life for the Temple, it is called by his name, “Look after your own house, David (I Kings 12:16).” (Mechiltah Beshalach: Shirah I)

We find a similar idea in the Mechilta (Ki Tisa; Shabbata I): Each Mitzvah for which Israel was willing to give up their lives, such as Shabbat, Milah, and Torah, lasts forever. Those Mitzvot for which they were not willing to give up their lives, such as the Beit Hamikdash, Shemmitah and Yovel, did not last.”

The Dedication of the Beit Hamikdash is named for those who, as King David and the Chashmonaim, were willing to give up their lives for it!

Chanukah-Psalms-Kavanot-BibleKavanah: I commit myself to give up my life for the Beit Hamikdash.

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