“Kos Yeshuos Esah U’Bshaim Hashem Ekra”
“I will raise the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Hashem”
The Talmud (Pesachim 119b) teaches that God will host a special banquet as a reward for the righteous. It will be called the Banquet of Loving-Kindness. After the meal, the cup of benediction will be handed to the Patriarch Abraham, in order that he may lead the grace. Abraham will demur, “I cannot lead the grace because I begot Ishmael.”
Isaac will refuse to lead the grace, saying, “… I begot Esau.”
Jacob will refuse, saying, “… I married two sisters at once, something which the Torah was destined to prohibit.”
Moses will turn down the offer to lead the grace, saying, “… I never had the privilege of entering the Land of Israel, not in my lifetime and not even [in burial] after my death.”
Joshua will refuse, saying, “… I was not granted the privilege of sons.”
Finally, David will be asked to lead the grace and he will respond enthusiastically, “Indeed, it is most fitting that I should bless [God]. I will raise the cup of salvations and I will invoke the Name of HASHEM.”
[David’s wholehearted acceptance is puzzling, because the defects that disqualified the other candidates also applied to David: David bore sons who shamed him – Absalom and Adoniyahu; he married Bath Sheba under questionable circumstances; and he was responsible for the death of Uriah the Hittite.
To understand the refusal of the Patriarchs and other Jewish leaders, we must realize that at this future Banquet of Loving-Kindness, mankind will offer its gratitude for all the kindness which God showed throughout history. Mankind will finally recognize that even when God visited suffering and tragedy upon them, it was for the best.
However, the person who leads the final grace must be one who fully appreciated God’s kindness in each and every event of his lifetime.
Thus, Abraham will disqualify himself with the confession, “There was one event in my life which I did not fully appreciate: I did not accept the birth of a wicked son like Ishmael, with a full heart.” Our other luminaries will make similar confessions.
Only David can claim with full confidence, “Although many tragedies befell me, I accepted every Divine decree with a full heart and appreciated the kindness concealed in every blow! I always lifted the cup of salvation and called upon the Name of HASHEM,” i.e., I recognized Him as Dispenser of loving-kindness.]
(From The Artscroll Tehillim)