parasha Vayakhel-Pekudei 5783
“The Lord, by wisdom, founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths were broken up and the skies drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:19-20, JPSN). These three qualities, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge were imbued in the heart of Bezalel, “And I have filled him with the spirit of G-d, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3; Exodus 35:31, Berachos 55).
The sages say of Betzalel that he was capable of using the letters of the alphabet of the Holy Tongue in a manner similar to the way G’d had used them when creating the universe (Sforno). How remarkable to note this comparison. The building of the Mishkan was like unto the creation of the world. And, how remarkable that the chosen craftsman for overseeing the construction of the Mishkan was given qualities inspired by the Ruach Elokim (G-d’s Spirit).
We should marvel at the construction of the Mishkan, and even moreso at the Creation of the World. G-d’s Creation is a masterpiece beyond compare; yet, reflected in the Mishkan. Our appreciation of the Mishkan, although we only have the written account, should compel us all the more to appreciate G-d’s Creation. For, “the heavens declare the glory of G-d, the sky proclaims His handiwork” (Psalms 19:2, JPS 2006 Tanach). King David compares the orderliness of the heavens, and the sun in particular to the perfectness of Torah (Psalms 19:3-10).
The builders of the Mishkan were also imbued with wisdom. “And in the hearts of all the wise-hearted, I have placed wisdom” (Exodus 31:6; see also 36:1). According to Akeidat Yitzchak, “divinely inspired wisdom would be paired with natural intelligence” in order for the newly acquired skills of the impromptu artisans to contribute these talents to the building of the Mishkan. In other words, their intelligence was augmented by divine wisdom, for the sake of building the sacred Mishkan.
If only such a combination of the natural in man, accompanied by a divine bestowal of wisdom could guide us in our efforts to create heaven on earth, the world would look very different today. Yet, through Torah, we learn of the right ways to interact, harmonize, and build the world, bringing G-d’s perfection of creation into every part and parcel of our lives. May we continue this endeavor, in the face of adversity, chaos, and the imbalances currently found within societies around the world. May we look forward to the assurance of tomorrow’s promises, when G-d’s Kingdom will be established through Moshiach.
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