May 22, 2019

The Sacred Craftsmanship of Bezalel

“Prior to the building of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle), God tells Moses, regarding Betzalel, that “He has imbued him with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with insight, and with knowledge, and with [talent for] all manner of craftsmanship,” to facilitate building all that is needed in the Mishkan. Why would G-d specifically choose Betzalel, the grandson of Hur of all people?

Hur, we are told by the Midrash, was murdered by the nation for refusing to allow the worship of the golden calf. It would seem natural for Hur’s grandson to hold a grudge against the nation and not want to spearhead a project which would require him to deal with them on a daily basis. If God was going beyond, to specifically endow someone with special wisdom, insight, and knowledge at this juncture for the purpose of the Mishkan, why not go with someone that has no emotional interest in the game?

The Torah tells us little about Hur, but in order to understand why Betzalel was chosen, we can gain insight by analyzing that which is known about his grandfather.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."

"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."

"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."

"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."

"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."

"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."

"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."

"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."

"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."

"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."

"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."

"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."