The King David Private Museum and Research Center in Tel Aviv held a special two-day celebration this week in honor of the holiday of Shavuot, which is also celebrated as the 3,025th birthday of King David.
King David himself was a descendant of Ruth the Moabite, and his birthday is one of the reasons the story of Ruth is read in the synagogue on Shavuot.
The museum, located on 5 Brenner St. in central Tel Aviv, opened just four months ago. It contains archeological exhibits from First and Second Temple times and includes artifacts of special significance in the story of King David.
In another room, a video shows the life of King David, from his humble beginning as a lonely shepherd until his anointment as king. Another video explains the art of lyre-making, and based on writings that describe how King David built the lyres he played.
The museum prides itself on the Genealogy Center, a database that traces the descendants of King David to this very day. It is centered on Rashi, a famous descendant of David, and his progeny. It includes over 100 surnames of present-day families descended from the greatest king of all. The results of the research are presented in the museum and can be accessed through a special website.
Susan Roth, founder of the King David Private Museum and Research Center, is herself a direct descendant of King David.
According to museum curator Yisrael Cohen, the celebration was more than just about King David’s birthday or Shavuot, but was also meant to make the public aware that the very special museum has opened its doors.
“We were able to bring in a lot of people who normally would not have come, and they were introduced to the many different facets of King David’s life, and the continuity of our Jewish people – not just the 64 years that we’re here in Israel but the 3,000 years that we’ve been in Israel,” Cohen told Arutz Sheva.
“We also had a group of actors who came and went through the streets accompanied by musicians,” he added. “We had kings and queens and so forth, who got people into the spirit, both of King David and of King David’s birthday, and brought attention within Tel Aviv’s streets to a very focal point within the Jewish people.”
Cohen noted that the museum has attracted many visitors, old and young, adding that every person can find something that will interest him. He also noted that the museum is unique in Tel Aviv, because it provides an inside look into history and archaeology, things which are not normally available in museums in Tel Aviv.
“It gives an opportunity to people in Tel Aviv to be exposed to things right in their backyard,” said Cohen, adding that many tourists are also attracted to the museum.