Vertluch: Parshas Vayakhel

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Betzalel made the Aron of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. (37; 1)

Rashi quotes a Medrash which says the following, ‘Since he devoted himself to the work more than the other wise men, the work was attributed to him alone.’ (37; 1)

The aforementioned Rashi seems a bit difficult to comprehend. The reason being that Betzalel gave his all not just by the Aron but with everyone aspect that was built and created for the Mishkan. Yet the Torah specifically attributes only this keli to him. Based upon Rashi’s reasoning what was the significance of singling out that Betzalel was the only one trusted to build the Aron as opposed to all the other keilim?

Meshech Chochma raises an interesting idea.

Gemara in Yoma (54) says that when the goyim entered into Heichel to destroy the Bais HaMikdash they were very cautious about walking into the Kodesh HaKodoshim. Once they overcame that fright and indeed did enter, they saw the Cruvim facing each other. Upon viewing its position they chuckled in jest. They carried the Cruvim out, raised it over their heads and mocked it while they walked around streets of Yerushalayim parading it around and saying that bnei Yisroel served idols. Furthermore, Chazal tell us that if bnei Yisroel couldn’t afford to make certain keilim out of gold they had to use either silver or copper. However, there was one exception – the Cruvim. They could not be made from anything except gold. So much so that if anyone would have made them out of anything else they would be over a lo saseh and it would be considered as if they actually served aodah zara!

We find another case where there is similar apprehension for confusing the Cruvim with avodah zara. After klal Yisroel sinned with the Egel, Hashem was concerned with the volunteers who were assigned the task of creating and sculpting the Cruvim. Perhaps a thought would have entered their minds that these do really look similar to avodah zara; this would have ruined the Cruvim and made them unfit for service in the Mishkan. Therefore, Hashem had to say that at this point I don’t trust anybody with this task with the exception of Betzalel. The reason being that his grandfather was killed while protesting the chait haEgel. Young Betzalel was raised with a real abhorrence towards avodah zara and he despised it! He knew that avodah zara was responsible for his grandfather’s death and there was no way in the world he would think of getting near it! Based on this there was no more question as to why only Betzalel was entrusted here. He and his family saw firsthand what happened and lived with these feelings of what caused the untimely death to their grandfather.

What a child is brought up with in his home and what he hears, is what will remain important to him when he leaves. What’s important to a parent will ultimately be important to the child. If he hears his parents talking in disgust, with avodah zara, then he will too act and speak the same way. It was this nekudah that made Hashem confident that Betzalel won’t have any of these thoughts.

May we all be zoche.