In the opening of perek 31, HaShem tells Moshe that He has called (up) Betzalel from the tribe of Yehudah and has filled Betzalel with a Divine spirit to be able to construct the Mishkan. Why do we need to know, before Betzalel got down to work, that HaShem had given Betzalel such wisdom? The Netziv answers that we are being taught an important lesson about the Mishkan here. The Mishkan was not like any other building project where one hires workers and the job is then done (late). For a normal building project all you need is a good (timely) builder or team of builders (who keeps his trousers at his waist) and a bit of patience. But the Mishkan was altogether different. The Mishkan was a project to build ‘HaShem’s home in this world,’ and as such HaShem was not looking for the best craftsmen around. Instead, HaShem was looking for worthy people of spiritual note to build the Mishkan - and HaShem would take care of making them able to do the work. This is why we were told from the outset that HaShem ‘filled Betzalel with Divine wisdom’ for the job. Indeed, the Netziv continues that this is why Moshe is told to ‘see, I have called Betzalel…’ What does it mean to ‘see’ in this context - how could Moshe ‘see’ that Betzalel had been called? Moshe was being told to recognise and take note of the holiness of the job of building the Mishkan and thus understand why it was not the best physical craftsmen who were given the job. Additionally, it’s important to note that the two people who were ‘awarded the Mishkan contract’ were Betzalel and Achisamach - from the tribes of Yehudah and Dan respectively. Yehudah was the first of the tribes in the desert formation - and represented malchus (kingship), whilst Dan was the last tribe to travel and it was often the tribe of Dan who sunk to idolatrous practices in Jewish history. The combination of members of these two tribes represented the participation of the full spectrum of all the tribes in the construction of the Mishkan.

Add comment

Have something to say?
Please make your comment below!
All comments are reviewed prior to publication. Absolutely NO loshon hara or anything derogatory or hurtful to anyone will be permitted on the website.


Security code
Refresh