The History of Plaster in Architecture: The Ancient and Classical Periods
The art of plastering is as old as civilization.
...Calcium plasters such as gypsum and lime were likely discovered through the process of pottery making. By chance, rocks of gypsum or lime were selected to form the crude kiln for firing pottery. The heat of the fire drove off water (gypsum) or carbon dioxide (lime) leaving friable rocks quickly falling to powder. With water thrown on the embers to quench the fire it was soon discovered this powder formed a paste that quickly hardened...
We might be done with PLASTER but there are a few more key sources!
Where else in the Torah do we find a column of smoke that plays a prominent role?
(1) Why did the Torah spend a lot of time pointing out that the War of the Kings was in Emek HaSidim (in detail!)?
(2) Why did the Torah in Devarim mention plastering the rocks twice?
(3) What is the connection between Emek HaSidim and plastering the rocks?
(4) What is the connection between Bris Bein HaBesarim and all this?
(5) What is the connection between Har Sinai and all this?
Stringing them all together:
Smoke and Fire is the physical sign of the (spiritual) Bris and it will be our destruction if we do not listen to HaShem.
Let's look at it chronologically:
- עמק השדים -
The War of the Kings. The foreshadow to Sodom's destruction. Setting up a model for destruction.
- תנור עשן -
Avraham's vision in the Bris Bein HaBesarim. The original personal covenant/bris with HaShem to kickstart the Jewish People.
- קיטר הכבשן -
Sodom's actual destruction. The destruction model is set.
- עשן הכבשן -
Har Sinai. The national covenant/bris with HaShem to kickstart the Jewish People as a nation in Eretz Yisrael.
- שיד -
The re-enactment of Har Sinai to the next generation (that was not at Har Sinai).
Story about a city in Israel:
- Two people visit the city to check it out.
- These two people are granted hospitality by a person who has sexual morays we're not too happy with.
- The person who took these people in - and this person's family - were the only people spared when this city is destroyed.
- The city is destroyed miraculously by things falling down.
- The visitors are the ones who actually save their host as the city is being destroyed.
- After the city is finally destroyed it can't be rebuilt.
WHAT CITY IS THIS?
Almost every time we encounter a covenant/bris in the Torah, there is smoke and fire nearby. Can we think of more examples?