Sedra VaYakHel, 120 Words. Engaging the Afterburners

And Betzalel made the Holy Ark [37:1] … and the Table [37:10] … and the Menorah [37:17] … and the Incense Altar [37:25] and Sacrificial Altar [38:1] … and the Laver [38:8] … and the walls of the courtyard [38:9] … and this continues until the conclusion of the Sedra.

It must be noted that the preceding 38 verses [36:1 to 36:38] do not single out Betzalel as the sole craftsman of the construction. From 36:1 until 36:8, the verses refer to Betzalel and his associates, AhaLiAv, by name and others by the generic, All Those Inspired by Gdly Wisdom. From 36:10 to 36:38, although Betzalel is not mentioned by name, all verbs are in the singular; and he made, and he joined, and he gilded, and he moulded; which we presume to refer to Betzalel.

So what changes in Chapter 38 that we mention Betzalel by name and identify him as the sole craftsman?

Rashi explains: he gave his all, more than any other craftsmen and craftswomen.

Even when we are fully engaged in what is clearly Gd’s Work, and we are inspired by Gdly Wisdom, it may take some time before we realise the power, value and opportunity of our engagement, of our contribution.

For this too we must pray. As we say in the Rabbis’ Modim, “We are grateful to You … for being able to [recognise and understand that we ought to] be grateful to You” MoDim AnachNu Lach … Al ShaAnuchNu MoDim Lach.

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