Summary of The Haftorah:
Shabbos Chanukah #2
I Kings 7:40 - 50
The Haftorah for the second Shabbos of Chanukah took place approximately 2833
years ago in the year 2928 after creation. In 2924 King Solomon ascended the
throne of his father David and began his most ambitious project, the building
of the first Bais Hamikdash.
The building of the first Temple in Jerusalem involved artisans from all over
the ancient world. Foremost among them were craftsmen from Tyre. Hiram, King
of Tyre and Solomon had forged a relationship that fulfilled the blessings of
Noach to his son Yefes. "And Yefes will dwell in the house of Shem." Hiram
was a descendent of Yefes, and his craftsmanship and artistry graced the home
that the descendents of Shem, the Jewish people, built.
The Haftorah describes the decorative construction that enhanced the beauty
of the first Temple as well as the various vessels designed by Hiram's
artists for use in the Bais Hamikdash.
The story of the construction of the first Bais Hamikdash details a ideal
time of world peace and partnership. Shlomo Hamelech had captured the
respect, admiration, and wonder of his contemporaries. Pilgrims from all over
the ancient world flocked to Jerusalem to see the young king and witness
first hand his wisdom and brilliance. Solomon forged alliances with numerous
governments increasing the trade and might of Israel. It was a time of great
scholarship and peacefulness, a foretaste of the messianic era.
At the time of Chanukah, 693 years later, the world scene was much different.
Jerusalem had been defiled with pagan worship and Israel was beneath foreign
rule. The forces of Judah were miraculously victorious recapturing Jerusalem
and rededicating the second Bais Hamikdash.
Chanukah celebrates Jewish survival. It is our fervent hope that the light of
the Menorah, reminiscent of the Menorah that once stood in the Temple, will
once again illuminate the darkness of world strife and hatred with
understanding and wisdom. Just as Hiram joined Shlomo in building the Bais
Hamikdash and glorifying G-d's name so too will this year herald the coming
of Mashiach, the building of the third Temple, and a return to world peace.