Shining G-d’s Countenance in Real Time

Unknown photographer

Exodus spends a great deal of time discussing the construction of the Mishkan[1]. We’re introduced to Moshe’s chief artisan when the text states, “I have called, in name, Betzalel son of Uri son of Hur of Mattah Judah; I have filled him with a G-dly spirit, with wisdom, insight, and knowledge…[2]” During the time of Solomon, Hiram[3] was appointed Solomon’s chief architect during the construction of the Mikdash[4]. This text, too, states Hiram “was full of wisdom, insight, and knowledge[5].” Hiram lived in Tyre with his Naphtali mother and Tyrian father. Both Betzalel and Hiram were once far off from Hashem. One was in “exile” in Tyre while the other was exiled in Egypt; both came forth, met their task head on, and produced the greatest objects in Judaism.

Never let your current station limit your involvement in the tasks at hand. One does not need to have been observant from birth [or even Jewish by heritage] to play a part in repairing the world or making our synagogue a better place. Palaces for Hashem were built by baal teshuvot[6], how much more he will use you to be His smile on your neighborhood!

[1] Heb. Tabernacle

[2] Exodus 31:2-3

[3] cf. Targum 2 Chronicles 2:12-13, 1 Kings 7:13-14

[4] Heb. Temple

[5] 1 Kings 7:14

[6] heb. A Jew who returns to G-d [fem. Baalat teshuva]

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