Shabbat Terumah 5784

The Thursday lunch-and-learn group started a new course this week–a look at the weekly haftarah. For the next year, I’ll use this space to share something that didn’t make it into our class discussion.

In Haftarat Terumah, we read of King Solomon’s project to build the Temple. There was something out-of-the-ordinary about the stones that were used to build it. “Only finished stones cut at the quarry were used; no hammer or axe or any iron tool was heard in the House when it was being built” (I Kings 6:7). This is in keeping with instructions that are found in Exodus 20. But how exactly can stones be cut and made perfectly smooth without iron tools?

The Talmud (Gittin 58a) has a wonderful legend that involves the talents of the shamir, a mythical, wormlike creature that is in the famous Pirkei Avot list of items that God created in the waning moments of the sixth day, right before the first Shabbat. But it wasn’t so easy for the king to get his hands on the shamir. On Shabbat morning, before the haftarah, I’ll tell the story, which also happens to have an eternal lesson in conflict resolution.

Shabbat Shalom and Shalom al Yisrael,

Rabbi David Wise

Candle lighting: 5:12 PM
Torah Reading: Exodus 25:1-27:19
Haftarah: I Kings 5:26-6:13