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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

The Gifts of Betzalel

With Parshat Pekudei we complete the book of Shemot/Exodus. It feels that time has been passing so swiftly lately. It seems like yesterday that the Hebrews entered the land of Egypt and here they are now, creating a place for God to meet them as they travel through the desert.

Betzalel was introduced in Parshat Ki Tisa and we hear more about him in this parsha. In Parshat Ki Tisa it is written about Betzalel, ׃

וָאֲמַלֵּ֥א אֹת֖וֹ ר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֑ים בְּחכְמָ֛ה וּבִתְבוּנָ֥ה וּבְדַ֖עַת


I have endowed him with a divine spirit of skill, ability, and knowledge ;in every kind of craft

Exodus 31:3

Rabbi RABBI STAN LEVY writes*, "God gives Bezalel wisdom, understanding and knowledge. But these seem to just be synonyms. Why does the Torah use these three specific words?

In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe refers to these same three words as levels of connection in learning Torah. They are referred to as CHaBaD (cHochmah, Binah and Daat). Chochmah is a spark, an interest that pulls us to want to know more. Binah is the process of understanding the spark, going deeper to comprehend. And Daat is the point at which an idea becomes a part of us — integral to who we are. This learning process is a gift because it enables us to connect with God at our core.

With this in mind, we see that the words in our verse are not three random synonyms. God provided Bezalel with three life-altering tools and through them, he merited to be known as Bezalel, “in the shadow of God.” He entered God’s embrace through Chochmah, Binah and Daat — through exploring and mastering God’s Torah."

Let us take a few moments to celebrate Betzalel, a visionary, an artist who excelled in so many disciplines and while we are at it, let's do an experiment before you read this post.

Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to take you out of your usual routine. Using your finger as your pen/paintbrush, create a point. Keeping your eyes closed, find another point wherever you choose on your imaginary canvas. With your finger, connect those two points. Now add a third point and a fourth. Connect all of these points and begin to imagine what your creation is; what it can be. What is it that you created?

Last, my father's name was Betzalel and he was an artist. As I write this post, I remember him as a creator.

Now, go and create.



The Gifts of Betzalel

There are no endings,

only beginnings.

No constraints,

only openings


you close your eyes

and begin to see

the colors in between.


A pause

a moment of potential

An image appears

deep within

you see it

You are a Creator

There are no limits



A point in space


Then another



. .


It is connected

And there is a line .______________.

And it is simple

Very good,

but it is just the beginning


Eyes closed, ideas


two points swell to three

and three swells

Swift strokes

There it is

a vision

Let it grow.

Look inward

Imagine the colors.

Dream of form and shape

There are no limits



Onward and upward

Starts and flows

Spirals, circles,

Endings and beginnings

And back again.


Lift up your hands

Let the river flow


There is a little of


in each of us.

Sometimes hiding away,

hoping to come out

to grow,

to glow.

There is never perfection,

only a journey of points and lines

that brings us to creation.

בְּחכְמָ֛ה וּבִתְבוּנָ֥ה וּבְדַ֖עַת

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Mar 22

Thank you for enforcing the creative talent of our father Betzalel Ben Yehoshua Baruch- Z”L

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