I'm pretty sure I heard this at Shul: Someone asked R' Zilberstein if he's allowed to publicly praise his living mother, if she doesn't want to be honored. So I think R' Zilvberstein answered that David Hamelech's mother didn't want to be mentioned in Tehillim. So David Hamelech followed her request, and only wrote a remez (hint) to her name.

I think but I don't remember for sure, that he said her name was נצבת Nitzevet. But I may be wrong.

(I don't have contact information for the Shul I davened for that minyan.) Does anyone know where the remez in Tehillim is, and what her name is?

Thank you very much


This is famously mentioned along with some other people’s mothers in the Talmud (Bava Basra 91a), including Avraham and Haman:

אמיה דדוד נצבת בת עדאל שמה אמיה דשמשון צללפונית ואחתיה נשיין למאי נפקא מינה לתשובת המינים

Rav Ḥanan bar Rava continues: The mother of David was named Natzvat bat Ada’el. The mother of Samson was named Tzelelponit, and his sister was called Nashyan. The Gemara asks: What is the practical difference as to what their names were? The Gemara answers: It is important with regard to an answer for heretics who inquire into the names of these women, which are not stated in the Bible. One can reply that there is a tradition handed down concerning their names (Sefaria Translation).

  • 1
    FWIW a quick search on Sefaria yields no results for any mention of נצבת in Tehillim, so whatever the remez is, it’s not just changing the vowels. However, I did notice that Chanah refers to herself as the אשה הנצבת (Shmuel 1:1:26), so perhaps there’s a connection there, between Shmuel’s mother and David’s.
    – DonielF
    Sep 18 '19 at 3:26
  • 2
    @DonielF נצבת בת עדאל = נצב בעדת אל (Double AA posted this link)
    – b a
    Sep 18 '19 at 14:18
  • thank you to Double AA and Dr Shmuel
    – Ari
    Sep 22 '19 at 19:35

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