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  • Writer's pictureNortheast Kollel

Vayakhel-Pekudei: We All Need to Feel Responsible

By Rabbi Yonah Burr

וכל חכם לב בכם יבאו ויעשו את כל אשר צוה ד' (שמות לה:י)

And all the wise-hearted among you should come and do all that Hashem commands.

ויאמר משה אל בני ישראל ראו קרא ד' בשם בצלאל בן אורי בן חור למטה יהודה (שמות לה:ל)

And Moshe said to the Bnei Yisroel; see, Hashem called, by name, Betzalel the son of Chur from the tribe of Yehuda.

Why does Moshe Rabbeinu call upon every capable Jewish person to assist in the construction of the Mishkan, before even appointing Betzalel as the ‘foreman’?

Rav Moshe Feinstein z”l offers an interesting insight:

Although Betzalel was the most capable, and ultimately responsible for the construction of the Mishkan, that did not absolve everyone else from feeling a responsibility.

We need a leader to motivate us and mobilize us. Without one, nothing would be done properly. But we still need to feel that it is a collective responsibility.

The construction of the Mishkan was a monumental effort to create a dwelling place for the Shechina, and Betzalel was well-equipped for the task. In fact, the Gemara tells us that Betzalel was expert in the Sefer Hayetzira, the esoteric combinations of the letters of the Aleph Beis, with with one can create worlds, and which was needed for this tremendous endeavor. Still, he couldn’t do it alone. He needed the support and help of all the collective talent of the Nation.

This, says Rav Moshe, is the fine line and balance that we must all navigate. We must show the proper respect and deference to our Rabbonim and leaders, allow them the space and respect to lead and guide, but at the same time not to absolve ourselves and feel that our help is not needed.

In addition, says Rav Moshe, we each have our own ‘sphere of influence’- people whom we can influence and motivate. It may be our families, our friends, or simply the person sitting next to us. We always need to be on the lookout for where and when we can make a difference.

We are living in such turbulent times! Boruch Hashem, we have Gedolim who show us the way, and such talented people who are prepared to help. Let’s keep in mind that we all make a difference, and a smile or a good word to strengthen one another can make all the difference in the world!

May we merit refuos, yeshuos, parnasa, aliya b’ruchnios, and everything good!

Have a good Shabbos!

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