Season 1: Episode 8

Special Agent: David King

David King is a nine year-old special agent in the midst of a quest for... something. Who is he running from? Why? And what happened to cousin Jen, the previous game champion? And why are big brothers so sneaky?

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Much like Al, the podcast engineer, David is not so sure about certain animals at the start of the story. In Jewish tradition, treating all people with dignity is regarded as a way to pay respect to God. And Jewish writings often extend this respect to the rest of creation. This is called kavod habriyot or respect for all living things. In fact, this idea of respect is so important, that it’s also a commandment, or mitzvah, known as tz'ar ba'alei chayim, preventing cruelity to animals.

David says “thank you,” to the spider who helps him during the story. Here are some other ways that you can be kind to animals:

Visit a wildlife shelter or hospital to meet the native animals of your region. You might ask the staff if they need items such as old towels, baby gates, or bowls for food. If so, you could donate your own or encourage your friends and relatives to have a donation drive.

Create a backyard habitat for birds, butterflies, and small animals by providing food plants, water, cover, and places to raise young. You can even get your garden certified by the National Wildlife Federation!

If you liked this story, you’ll love one of these books:

Did you know that showing kindness towards animals isn’t just a menschy thing to do—it’s a mitzvah! In addition to reading the books below, here are six easy ways to show kindness to animals with your family.



Jewish children’s books about kindness to animals


Episode Notes

A midrash is a like an ancient commentary – midrash help fill the gaps and answer questions posed by certain portions of the Bible. The story of our David is based on a midrash from Ben Sirah about the great King David. In the original tale, an angry and vengeful king, named Saul, wants to harm David, who hides from him in a cave. A savvy spider quickly spins a web, concealing King David, and keeping him safe – much like the spiders and bugs in this episode keep young David king safe from his scheming big brother. Grown-ups who are interested in learning more should read the MyJewishLearning post, Our Relationship to Other Creatures.


Episode Credits

Have I Got a Story For You is a production of PJ Library

Executive producers: Meredith Lewis, Alli Thresher
Director: Alli Thresher
Assistant Director: Henry Wentworth
Additional production: Craig Rossein
Website design: Christina Rizer
Audio editing, mixing and mastering: Peter Moore
Theme music: Penelope Alizarin Conley
Score: Peter Moore
Recorded at Palace of Purpose Studios in Malden, MA.
Cover art: Barb Bastian

This episode was written by Jason Allen

Narrator, Rita Toomey: Madelaine Ripley
Al, the engineer: Peter Moore
David King: Nate Dziura
Florencia: Audrey Wentworth
Logan: Bear Hartley
Adam: Payton James
Darcie: Gwen D’Angelo
Aunt Nancy: Alli Thresher
Uncle Ira: Rich Wentworth
Cousin Shelly: Karen Fine
Extra cousins: Karen Fine, Henry Wentworth, Peter Moore