“an understanding heart” (literally, “a listening heart”, Lev shomeah). It is said that a prayer within a dream is the truest of prayers. Lev – a pure heart; shomeah – listening, from the same root as Sh’mah. Sh’mah, listen, such a core concept in Judaism. To listen, for the still, soft voice of the Holy One speaking to you, directly to you. An empathetic approach to life, with heart wide open. Shlomo asks to bypass all the noise that the brain/mind can place on the message – give it straight to my heart. He is asking for an empathetic heart from which to rule. He asks to be able to judge the nation with this gift, to understand between goodness and evil. The Hebrew grammar here is slightly different than in Genesis, where Adam and Eve are told by the Nahash that if they eat the fruit they will “know good and bad”, whereas here Solomon asks to “understand (the difference) between good to evil (the whole gamut).
We closed with a remembrance of the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.Tekiah Gedolah.