Parshat פקודי Exodus 38:22 – Doing What Your Teacher Meant

Exodus 38:22 And Bezalel the son of Uri the son of Hur from the tribe of Yehudah made all that God had commanded Moshe.

Gemora Yerushalmi Peah, Perek 1, Halacha 1 – It does not say “According to all that Moshe commended him to do” but rather according to “all that God commanded Moshe”. From this we learn that [Bezalel] set his mind [in agreement] to do even things that he had not heard from the mouth of his teacher, as it says “To Moshe on Mount Sinai”

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #4:

This [gemora] hints to the fact that if a person does an action with the intention of fulfilling God’s will and for the sake of heaven, he’ll receive [divine] assistance, because he intended it in a true way.

This principle is also alluded to in the aggada in the Gemora Brachos 55a where it says as follows:

R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Johanan: Bezalel [the name literally means “in the shadow of God”] was so called on account of his wisdom. At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses; Go and tell Bezalel to make me a tabernacle, an ark and vessels, Moses went and reversed the order, saying, Make an ark and vessels and a tabernacle. Bezalel said to him: Moses, our Teacher, as a rule a man first builds a house and then brings vessels into it; but you say, Make me an ark and vessels and a tabernacle. Where shall I put the vessels that I am to make? Can it be that the Holy One, blessed be He, said to you, Make a tabernacle, an ark and vessels? Moses replied: Perhaps you were in the shadow of God and knew!

This is also alluded to in the posuk Exodus 31:2. This shows that Bezalel did everything for the sake of heaven and his intention was to fulfill God’s will. In this way, he set his thought to match God’s thoughts even in matters that he did not hear from Moshe.

Also, see what it says similar to this at the end of parshas Haazinu [Deuternomy 32:16] where the Gemora Yerushalmi [Peah Chapter 1, Halacha 1] says as follows:

R. Mana says “It is not something that is far from you”. If you find that it is far, it is from you [because of you.] Why would this be so? Because you did not toil hard enough to understand it. It is from here that we know that any issue that Beis Din [the Court] deliberates intensely over will, in the end, stand.

Editor’s Note: The freedom and encouragement to use one’s own ability to think and to even disagree with one’s teachers is built into the Gemora.


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