Teruma – Peace of Mind

Just as our Torah portion of Teruma discusses the collection of material needed to build the Mishkan, our haftorah discusses the collection and building of the first Beis HaMikdash by King Shlomo. The haftorah begins: “Hashem gave wisdom to Shlomo, as He had told him, and there was peace between Hiram and Shlomo, and the two of them made a peace pact” (Melachim Alef 5:26).
The Haftorah goes on to relate that Shlomo sent 30,000 Jews to Lebanon, where Hiram was king, as part of an effort to cut down cedar trees and haul them to Yerushalayim for the building of the Beis HaMikdash. In addition, they hew stone from mountains to bring back for the foundation of the Beis HaMikdash.

What does Shlomo’s wisdom have to do with this collection? Why is it relevant at this point? The Ralbag answers: “[The pasuk is] telling us that the abundance of wisdom which Shlomo had was the reason why there was peace amongst Shlomo and Hiram, for because of his wisdom Hiram loved him.” (Click here for Hebrew text.)

Hiram, King of Lebonan, had every right to be suspicious of King Shlomo and at the best make a flimsy peace treaty based on bribes or power. This is because King Shlomo’s father, King Dovid, was a mighty warrior who even conquered Syria, which was neighbors with Lebanon. Therefore, Hiram would have a right to suspect that his country would be next, especially if King Shlomo were to send 30,000 men into his country to, apparently, tear it apart, knocking down forests of the strongest wood and carving out mountains. Why wouldn’t Hiram be afraid of a plot to conquer the country?

Yet the pasuk relates that Hiram wholeheartedly made a peace treaty with King Shlomo, which was altruistic, out of pure love and friendship. Why? Because he was very impressed with Shlomo’s wisdom. Not his knowledge of facts, but his ability to think, to express himself in a very logical and profound manner.

Shlomo’s wisdom was the charm that Hiram identified and fell in love with, to the extent that he was not suspicious at all of bad intent on King Shlomo’s part. For this he and his country merited to have a special part in the building of the Beis HaMikdash.

Wisdom is not unique to Shlomo. His level of wisdom, being one of the smartest people in the history of mankind, was G-D given; but anyone can work on their wisdom, exercise their brains and strengthen their thinking muscles. Not only in Torah, but in worldly matters, math, physics, Sudoku, anything that makes a person think. And the deeper one has to think and the more precise and clear ones thoughts get, the smarter one becomes. People enjoy and appreciate wisdom; it is a way to make friends, and it can bring peace to the world. Ignorance is not bliss – wisdom is bliss!

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