Written By: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman
This week’s parsha, Vayekhel, discusses the building of the Mishkan (tabernacle) and Betzalel who was given the task of building it by himself. The parsha also includes the pasuk, “V’chol chacham lev bachem yavou vyaasu es kol asher zivah Hashem,” meaning any wise-hearted person can come and fulfill the command that Hashem gave them to build the Mishkan. If this was Betzalel’s assignment why is the directive being given to anyone who wants to do it?
Horav Moshe Feinstein, z”l, asks this question and suggests the following thought. Yes, it is true that Betzalel was given the assignment to build the Mishkan. However, Hashem wants to impress upon his people that any undertaking’s success should not be dependent on one individual for several reasons. First, we never know what tomorrow brings. If something had happened to Betzalel, how would the Mishkan been completed if he was the only one who knew how to build it? Second, as a society, it is our responsibility to help build and maintain our community to ensure its growth and survival. We cannot assume or expect one person to do everything no matter that person’s skill and commitment or the size of the job.
This pasuk teaches us a very important lesson to transmit to our children. As adults, we must step up to the plate to become active participants of our community. We must realize that a successful community cannot rely on one or a few people to sustain it. Although, there are individuals who are natural leaders, Klal Yisroel must understand that it is everyone’s obligation to become involved and offer assistance wherever and whenever needed and that these actions will also train the next generation to be productive members of our society.