The thousand-year-old building that houses the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion in Jerusalem is almost always thronging; some have come to pray and pay homage to Israel’s famous king and ancestor of the Messiah, while others pour over sacred texts all day long in the anteroom next to the tomb.
Jews have streamed here for centuries to recite the Psalms written by David, whose life teaches many lessons about human nature. The tomb is covered with a velvet cloth embroidered with the words David Melech Israel Hai Vekayam, the first song many Jewish children learn, which evokes the sense that David’s spirit is still with us.
Prayers at King David’s tomb also turn to Jerusalem, which David made the united capital of the tribes of Israel. The anniversary of David’s death coincides with the eve of Shavuot, when it is customary to pray and study all night at the tomb.