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Orthodox Judaism/the rights and duties of a Jewish King


Good day. I am a Christian.

I was reading the Book of Leviticus the other day and I remember reading about the rights and duties of the King and how it said he should not have many wives, many houses and should not gather up wealth. I was wondering what the specifics about those rules would be like exactly how rich was he allowed to be, how many houses was he allowed to have etc etc etc any and all information would be helpful. All I was able to find was that the maximum amount of wives he was allowed at one time was eighteen.



ps I would be interested in know what the sources of the answer would be as I have been researching this topic and would like to know why things were done as much as possible

Hi Patrick

Thank you for your question. Isn't it odd, yet so common, that people would simply accept "too many", without questioning how much is "too much"?

As you have noted, the Talmud concludes that the king's ceiling level for wives is eighteen.

When it comes to horses, the Talmud says that he may have only as many as needed for his entourage and for his cavalry. One extra horse without an assigned role in either the army or the royal entourage would classify as "too many" horses.

Likewise, the Torah does not determine a maximum budget for a king, but the Talmud defines that he may not store personal wealth, but must keep his finances to what is needed for the necessities of running a country and for his staff.

Kind regards,

Rabbi Shishler

Orthodox Judaism

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Rabbi Ari Shishler


I am a rabbi who loves teaching, through writing and speaking. In 1999, my wife and I started our own Chabad House and it's grown exponentially. I'm also the learning director at Chabad House of Johannesburg, a high school teacher and the father of young children. As you can imagine, I get to answer lots of questions every day. I'd be glad to answer your questions on Judaism, Jewish spirituality and practice.


I have been a practicing Orthodox rabbi since 1997 and have headed my own community since 1999. I teach Talmud at a religious high school in Johannesburg and give daily lectures to adults on Jewish practice, spiritualty, Chassidic philosophy and Kabbalah. I'm the campus rabbi at our two major universities in Johannesburg.

Chabad-Lubavitch South African Rabbinical Association.

Monthly column in Jewish Life magazine, South Africa. Jewish Tradition, South Africa. Jewish Report, South Africa. South African Union of Jewish Students annual Holiday guide. Jewish Observer, South Africa. Nshei Chabad Newsletter, NY. Jewish Online Magazine.

After completing high scool, I spent six years studying in Rabbinical seminaries in South Africa, Israel and New York.

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