12 At that time, Shlomo offered burnt offerings on the mizbayach that he had built in front of the porch.
AZ he-e-LAH sh’-lo-MOH o-LOT la-do-NAI AL miz-BAKH a-do-NAI a-SHER ba-NAH lif-NAY ha-u-LAM
יב אָז הֶעֱלָה שְׁלֹמֹה עֹלוֹת לַיהֹוָה עַל מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר בָּנָה לִפְנֵי הָאוּלָם׃
8:12 On the Mizbayach
Once the construction of the Beit Hamikdash was completed, it became forbidden to offer sacrifices to the Lord anywhere else. Though the entire Land of Israel is holy, God desires that His people unite to serve him in one single center of worship. It is in Yerushalayim that the daily offerings, as well as individual offerings and the communal offerings of the Shabbat and festivals, are to be brought. According to Rabbi Yitzchak Abrabanel, having one central place of worship is a constant reminder of the unity of God. In his words, “The oneness of the altar and the Temple point to the oneness of Hashem, Who governs and watches over them.” This was especially important in the ancient pagan world in which the Israelites lived. Indeed, when Yerovam established alternate places of worship to prevent his subjects in the northern Kingdom from worshipping in the Beit Hamikdash, this quickly led to idolatry (I Kings 12:28-30). Today, in the absence of the Temple, we may pray to Hashem wherever we find ourselves. But our prayers are always directed towards the Har HaBayit, the place where the Beit Hamikdash once stood and will again stand in the future.