Parshat VaYakhel

In Perek 35 of Parshat Vayakhel, the Torah tells us of the assignment of Betzalel ben Uri, from shevet Yehuda, and Ohaliav ben Achisamach, from shevet Dan, to the building of the Mishkan. They were given equal wisdom from Hashem of master weaving, metal works, gem crafting etc. But, although their knowledge of these things was equal, we know their lineage was not. Betzalel was from Yehuda, the tribe of kingship, and was a direct descendant of Miriam, Moshe’s sister. On the other hand, Ohaliav was from Dan, the lowest tribe, descending from one of Yakov’s concubines. Chasidus teaches us that the appointment of Ohaliav with Betzalel reassured the poorer members of Klal Yisrael. When they were bringing donations for the building of the Mishkan, the poor were not able to bring as much as the rich. By appointing Ohaliav, Hashem was telling them that their donation was just as precious to him as that of the rich.

We see the same idea in the previous section of the Parsha that talks about the donations to the Mishkan. The Torah tells us that the princes of Israel donated last after the whole nation. Rashi explains that they waited and said anything that is left over we will give, but then the nation gave everything needed! This shows that even though the Princes were the greatest of the nation, the people rose to the occasion and did the best they could.

We can all learn a great lesson from this. No matter what one’s background is, he can always reach great heights in Avodas Hashem. You may not be the smartest or wealthiest, but everyone has a talent or trait that they can use to be great. We all have a hidden potential that we should strive to reach, and maybe one day we can reach the level of Ohaliav, who went from the lowest tribe to the builder of the Mishkan.

Student studying in Reishit