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Shir ha-Shirim X: Part Two: Stages of Three

If you examine, you will find that everything that happened to Solomon was in threes. Solomon rose by three stages. Of the first stage is written, “For he had dominion over all the region on this side the River (I Kings 5:4).” Of the second stage it says, “And Solomon ruled.” Of the third stage it says, “then Solomon sat on the throne of God as King (I Chronicles 29:23).”


Rabbi Yitzchak said: Is it possible for a man to sit on the throne of God, of Image of Whom it is written, “For God, your Lord, is a devouring fire (Rhonda me 4:24),” and it is also written, “A fiery stream issued and it came forth (Daniel 7:10),” and it is also written, “His throne was fiery flames (Verse nine)?” And you say, “And Solomon sat on the throne of God!”

What it means, however, is that just as the throne of the Only One, Blessed is He, has sway from one end of the world to the other, so the throne of Solomon had sway from one end of the world to the other.

Just as the Lord on on His throne judges without witnesses and without warning, so Solomon on his throne judged without witnesses and without warning.

What is the example? The case of the two prostitutes. For so it is written, “Then two women came (I Kings 3:16).” Who were they? Rav said, they were spirits (called prostitutes because they seduced men. But if they had really been prostitutes they would not have been likely to care about their children). The Rabbis said, they were Yevamot (and were called prostitutes because they both wanted to escape the obligation of Yibum). Rabbi Simón said in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi that they were really prostitutes, and he passed sentence although there were no witnesses and no warning. (Shir haShirim Rabbah 1.1:10, part two)

This selection is a continuation of the previous midrash that taught about Solomon singing on three levels. This free levels of Solomon’s song reflected the fact that so much of his life happened in stages of three (we will see more examples in the next midrash). When we understand and appreciate the different stages of our own lives, we will be able to do what Solomon did and seemed the same song on multiple levels. It is important to understand that as we grow and experience the different stages of life our song of the Haggadah changes. This year’s song should never be the same as last year’s.

Solomon first assumed the role of King as he took over David’s reign. It took time until he could actually rule as a King, his next stage. Once he understood that even as King he had to evolve from one stage to the next, he was able to sit on the “Throne of God,” and judge by his own instincts.

Although we are not permitted to judge as did Solomon, once we learn how to sing the  Haggadah as a song that reflects our growth in different stages, we will develop our instincts and be able to discover more of the secrets of the Haggadah.

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