The Haftorah portion for this week is skipped because it is the beginning of the month of Adar, so we read the Rosh Hodesh Haftorah instead, which I've already blogged about. So technically I can flake out on this one.... but I'll make an effort anyway.
This commentary emphasizes the need to focus on the internal devotion more than the external trappings of religious observance. I was drawn to this verse (1 Kings 6:7):
|וְהַבַּיִת, בְּהִבָּנֹתוֹ--אֶבֶן-שְׁלֵמָה מַסָּע, נִבְנָה; וּמַקָּבוֹת וְהַגַּרְזֶן כָּל-כְּלִי בַרְזֶל, לֹא-נִשְׁמַע בַּבַּיִת בְּהִבָּנֹתוֹ.||7 For the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready at the quarry; and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.--|
The stones were prepared at the quarry, so that no sounds of violence and destruction would be heard at the actual construction site. This seems to me a metaphor for the preparation we make for doing sacred work. The axes and hammers are necessary. Conflict and strife, pain and struggle, are often necessary in order to build the sanctuary of our souls, and to construct a perfected world (Tikkun Olam). However, we should take care to work our way through it "in the quarry", so that it does not detract from the sacred work itself.
With respect to this blog, it seems to connect to the preparation that we must do to welcome an orphaned and/or disabled child into our home. There is often doubt and ambivalence, fear and resentment, when anticipating the needs of such a child. We owe it to the child and to ourselves to work through all these issues ahead of time -- in the quarry -- so that the child is welcomed into an edifice built of whole stones "אֶבֶן-שְׁלֵמָה".