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Shir ha-Shirim X Part Six: Three Adversaries

Three adversaries fought against him, as it is said, “And God raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite (I Kings 11:14),” and it is also written, “And the Lord raised up another adversary against him, Rezon the son of Eliada (Verse 23),” and it is also written, “and he (some unspecified adversary) was an adversary against Israel all the days of Solomon (Verse 25).” He acquired an excessive number of horses, as it says, “And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty (10:29).” (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 1.1:10, part six)


Three adversaries corresponding to three sins. It’s interesting that the midrash hints that the reason Solomon sinned by acquiring too many horses was to fight his adversaries. That seems to be the reason that this, third sin, is explained only after the three adversaries are listed.

What we have is a situation of a sin that led to a response, and the response leading to another sin. One thing leads to another. Which is the whole idea of the Pesach story; one thing leads to another. Joseph is sold by his brothers, goes down to Egypt, rises to greatness, is able to feed his family, they come down to Egypt, they become slaves, leading to the Exodus, which then leads to Sinai and the opportunity to enter the Land of Israel. One thing leads to another.

This is the way we have to study the Haggadah. This is why the night is referred to as the Seder, meaning, order; there is a system, and our choices will inevitably lead to results, and those results will lead to more decisions which will in turn lead to more results. This is the story of the Jewish people.

It is only when we can understand the Pesach story in this light, that we can derive the necessary lessons to understand how we must make our decisions if we desire different results.

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