The Power and Peril of Genius (Part 1)
A list of the most celebrated kings of Ancient Israel would likely begin with David and then proceed immediately to his son Solomon. But Solomon was a very different man from his father, and his legacy is far more complicated. His reign begins in terror, bloats into staggering opulence, and descends finally into unbridled sin. Yet for all that, the trait King Solomon is most remembered for is his unparalleled wisdom. It may be, however, that this legendary Solomonic quality serves not as an irony, but an explanation. For sometimes a beautiful mind can become a dangerous one.
In this series we will study the story of King Solomon as recorded in Melakhim Aleph (Kings 1), reflected on by Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), and interpreted by the rabbis of Talmud, and see what lessons can be mined from the life of a great genius with great power.