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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Yonah Burr

Vayakhel: Purest Foundations

Just like a building relies on a solid foundation, a project's initial stage sets the tone for its entire lifespan. A clear and well-defined beginning is crucial for long-term achievement.


ויאמר משה אל בני ישראל ראו קרא ד' בשם בצלאל בן אורי בן חור למטה יהודה וימלא אותו רוח אלקים בחכמה בתבונה ובדעת ובכל מלאכה ולחשוב מחשבות לעשות בזהב ובכסף וגו' לעשות בכל מלאכת מחשבת
Moshe said to the Children of Israel, “See, Hashem has proclaimed by name, Bezalel, son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He filled him with G-dly spirit, with wisdom, insight, and knowledge, and with every craft- to weave designs, to work with gold, silver, and copper...


Strong Foundation, Enduring Success

What does Moshe Rabbeinu mean when he declares, “See, Hashem has proclaimed by name” What should the Jewish People ‘see’?


Furthermore, asks Rav Elya Lopian zt”l, why is Chur, the grandfather, mentioned?


Expains Rav Elya: Part of the reason that Bezalel was chosen to be the architect of the Mishkan, was because of his holy grandfather. As we know, Chur was the only one who stood up to the people when they began creating the idol of the golden calf. And as our Sages teach us, he was actually killed by the rabble as a result. This was the reason that even Aharon felt powerless to act, lest the same fate befall him.


As a reward to Chur, measure for measure, that he sacrificed his life to protest the sin of the calf, his descendant Bezalel would be the one to construct the Mishkan, which is the atonement for the sin of the golden calf. 


See, the merit and purity that is being invested into the construction of the Mishkan!


Rav Elya points out an interesting thing; The Gemara tells us that the various parts of the Mishkan were never destroyed- עצי שטים עומדים – שעומדים לעולם ולעולמים the panels of the Mishkan will last forever, to be returned to us one day in the future. But this promise is not given to us regarding the first and second Beis Hamikdash, which were destroyed and will need to be rebuilt.


The difference is that the Mishkan was built by Bezalel, in the merit of Chur, upon the purest of foundations. By contrast, the two Batei Mikdash had input from the gentile kings Chirum of Tyre, and Koresh of Persia.


A project's beginning is the foundation upon which the rest is built, and therefore its purity and holiness determines the longevity and endurance of the entire project!


The Gemara tells us that Rav Chiya would ensure that Torah would never be forgotten from the Jewish People; he would plant flax, use the flax to spin traps, trap deer, distribute the meat to the poor, process the hides, and inscribe the Torah; he would then teach the children the Torah, and have them learn it together among themselves. The Maharsha asks the obvious question: Why plant flax and spin traps? Why start from scratch? The answer is again, the purer the foundation, the longer lasting is the edifice. 


Learning Torah, and performing the mitzvos is not only about getting it done; but about the ‘way’ it is done, and the preparation that goes into it!


May we merit once again to see the building of the Beis HaMikdash, built on the holy foundation of eternity! Have a wonderful Shabbos.

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