Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vayakhel - Where There's a Will, There's a Way

Having learned in the past few parshiyot about what the clothing of the Kohanim (High Priests) had to look like, and how the different vessels and altars of the Tabernacle/Holy Temple had to be made, this week in Parshat Vayakhel, the process actually begins.
Guiding their fellow Jews are the dynamic duo of Betzalel ben Uri ben Hur of the tribe of Yehudah and Ohaliav ben Achisamach of the tribe of Dan. Today young people who are artistically inclined can attend the Betzalel School (named after the Betzalel, above), but there were no art schools for the Jewish slaves in Egypt. There were no crafts' shops in the desert. So, how did Betzalel, Ohaliav and all those who worked on the weaving and the carpentry and the gold/silver/copper know what to do? Where did Betzalel find so many artisans in a desert full of former slaves?
The Artscroll Torah Treasury asked the same question. The answer can be found in Shemot 35:21, "Every man whose heart inspired him came."
The Torah Treasury states, "The Jews had never been trained as artisans in the fine arts necessary to manufacture the various items for the Tabernacle. Nevertheless, their hearts lifted them, i.e., they had the courage to step forward and volunteer, confident that G-d would help them use their natural, raw talent to successfully produce the vessels He desired."
The men and women who volunteered to create the items needed for the Mishkan (Tabernacle) wanted so whole-heartedly to participate and succeed that they forged ahead, and Hashem helped them.
There are so many things in life that each of us wishes we could achieve. Sometimes a task or goal seems too daunting. We don't even know where to begin. Well, there's a secret to success. If your purpose is true, if your heart is in the right place, if your goal is a positive one, go forward. Hashem will help you. He'll either help "expand your natural abilities" or he'll send you friends/advisors who can help you on your path.
Nothing should ever stand in the way of your doing a good deed or working toward a sincere goal. Where there's a will, there's a way.

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