I'm grateful to announce the publication of a new book:
The Wisdom of King Solomon—An in-depth look into the historic Biblical event that revealed Shlomo Hamelech's insight & understanding.
*Linguistic note: Shlomo (shloh-moh) is the original Hebrew of the Anglicized "Solomon." And Hamelech (hah-meh-lech) means "the king" in Hebrew. Shlomo Hamelech is how religious Jews across the world refer to "King Solomon."
The ebook is up now at Amazon & available for free download from Monday, December 14 – Friday, December 18, 2020.
It's a Chanukah present from me to you.
Also, the Torah portion read this upcoming Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) in synagogues across the world deals with the famous future-telling dream of Pharaoh and its interpretation by Yosef (Josef of the-coat-of-many-colors fame).
This prophetic interpretation led to a stunning rise for Yosef, who then used his wisdom to save Egypt from starvation—which ended up saving much of the world of that time and earning a generous stream of income for Egypt, who became the world's provider for those 7 years.
Along with a weekly reading of the Torah (called a parsha in Hebrew), a reading from Prophets or Writings (called a haftarah) follows the reading of the parsha.
So after the reading in the synagogue of this week's parsha (with Pharaoh's dream & Yosef's wisdom), the accompanying haftarah consists of Kings I:3:15-28—the court case brought before King Shlomo by 2 women, each one claiming to be the birth mother of one surviving baby. (The other died when his mother rolled over on him in her sleep.)
King Shlomo showcased his legendary wisdom by pretending to decide to slice the baby in two, and thus allowing each mother to take a half.
With the birth mother unable to bear this ghoulish end for her child, she speaks up and relinquishes custody of her child to the other woman.
At that point, King Shlomo declares her as the rightful mother and the entire Nation of Israel rejoices.
But I always wondered...how on earth does that show wisdom?
It always seemed to me that it showed which one was a psychopath—and a particularly stupid psychopath. (After all, the lying woman calls out, "Neither to you nor to me be shall he be—cut!")
No normal person does that. Even a perfect stranger would object to such a brutal "solution."
You don't need to be the child's biological mother to protest against such an atrocity or to relinquish your custodianship of the threatened baby—whether it's your baby or not.
So I followed my curiosity and researched as many commentaries as I could find, and not only discovered the answer to this issue, but much more.
For example, the women are never named in the text—only described by occupation.
Who are they really? What are they really doing?
Traditional rabbinical sources offer 4 descriptions of the two women (including the first one mentioned outright in the text)—and the 4th one is pretty bizarre.
Also, did you ever wonder which woman was the child's birth mother—the accuser or the accused?
I never did! I never wondered which was which until research led me to a discussion about it in the classic rabbinical sources.
Furthermore, the way King Shlomo handled this historic event provides us with many lessons—one of which was instituted way back then and continues until today as part of the official procedure in any rabbinical Jewish court.
Even with all the sources, it's a pretty short book because the entire episode only consists of 13 verses.
But I put mostly everything I could possibly find into this little book.
I hope you'll find the information, background, details, interpretations, and revelations as fascinating as I found them.
And I hope it answers any questions or issues that pricked at you too.
Because most of the sources exist only in Hebrew or Aramaic, this book features information you probably won't find in English anywhere else.
If you wish to read the original text online in English translation by expert rabbinical scholars, you can see it here:
The Complete Jewish Bible: Melachim/Kings I, Chapter 3
So again, the link to the free download is here:
Remember, it's only free temporarily. After that, it's going up to a still affordable (but no longer free) $2.99.
The paperback is newly available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QFG2ZH1, sold at the introductory low price of $6.99.