We read in our Parasha: (35:31-): Moshe said to Bnei Israel:‘See, Hashem has proclaimed by name, Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Yehuda. He filled him with Godly spirit, with wisdom, insight, and knowledge, and with every craft’, to be in charge of the construction of the Mishkan.
Hashem had earlier- in last week’s Parasha (30:1-2)- informed Moshe Rabbeinu of this choice, in the very same words.
The parshanim ask: Why did the Torah choose the word ‘see’- would it not have sufficed to say, simply:’Hashem has proclaimed..’? What does ‘seeing’ have to do, with the choice of Bezalel? Further, what did the Torah allude to by the words ‘by name’, after relating his name, Bezalel, and his antecedents.
The Alshich Hakadosh expounds:’Hashem wanted to preclude Bnei Israel thinking that Moshe himself chose Bezalel to this honor, because he was the son of Moshe’s sister, He therefore first said:’See!’, as if they should with their sense of sight, see that Hashem, and not I, chose him.
‘And what are you to see? By his name, because like his name, so too is he: בצל:in the shadow א-ל: of Hashem; this name was given to him at birth, in Egypt, before there was any thought of this task.
‘No-one is more suited to this task, and he assuredly was created for it by Hashem, because he is ‘the son of Uri, the son of Hur, Hur who was killed sanctifying Hashem’s Name; further, that he was ‘from the tribe of Yehuda’, and were I to have chosen a person, surely it would have been from my own tribe- Levi, not from another tribe, so clearly the choice was made by Hashem”.
The Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh adds:”Perhaps the extra word ‘by name’ is intended to draw our attention not only to Bezalel’s name, but also to the names of his father and of his grandfather, as those names reflect Bezalel’s impact on his contemporaries.
“The name ‘Bezalel’ suggests that he was the one through whom a shelter was provided for G-d on earth; ‘Ben Uri’ suggests that his father looked upon G-d as the source of his inspiration and enlightenment: אור; ‘Ben Hur’ is a reference to freedom: חירות, that Bezalel helped free Bnei Israel from the remaining stigma of the golden calf, by helping Bnei Israel regain its good graces, as the building of the Mishkan was testimony that G-d had forgiven them the sin of the golden calf.
“This very thought was also anchored in Bezalel’s name, and the names of his forebears”.
The Ramban proffers another exposition for the word ‘See’, saying:”Hashem said to Moshe, and Moshe said to Bnei Israel:’See I have called Bezalel by name’; the reason for this, is because Israel in Egypt toiled in the physical work of making bricks and mortar, and certainly did not learn the crafts of working with silver, or gold, or precious stones; indeed, they did not even see these items.
“And behold, it was a great wonder that there should be one man who would have all these skills, for even amongst those who studied from great master craftsmen, there would not be found one who mastered all these skills- how much more so, amongst those whose activity had only been in the making bricks and mortar!
“Further: ‘see’ the wonder that he should also be a great sage ‘in wisdom, insight and knowledge’, so as to understand the secrets of the Mishkan and all its utensils, and why they were commanded and to what they alluded.
“This is what Hashem said to Moshe Rabbeinu: See this wonder, that he” and Israel, “should know that Hashem filled Bezalel with the spirit of Hashem so that he should erect the Mishkan, as it was His will that a sanctuary be built in the desert, and that for this purpose He created Bezalel, as all is revealed to Him, from the time He created this world”.
The Chatam Sofer brings the Midrash, that Hashem commanded Moshe to ask Bnei Israel, if the choice of Bezalel was acceptable to them. The need Hashem saw for this, was that He had chosen Bezalel to erect the Mishkan, though he was only thirteen years old at the time, and Hashem only filled him with ‘wisdom, insight and knowledge’ that had never prevuoisly existed, because his forebear, Hur, was killed by the people for resisting the sin of the golden calf.
“This was the reason that Bezalel, his grandson, merited that Hashem gave him the wondrous skills to erect the Mishkan, solely because he was the grandson of Hur, despite being a lad of only thirteen years at the time, Bnei Israel had to be ‘consulted’ as to his choice, as perhaps they would see it as an embarrasment and shame to them, and a constant reminder of their transgression, that the grandson of Hur should be the one chosen to erect the Mishkan which was an atonement for their transgression.
“They replied that it was acceptable to them,אדרבה: more so, that this constant reminder would be כפרה: an atonement for them, for that transgression”.
The Netzi’v brings the following insight, into Hashem’s words:’See I have chosen Bezalel’:”The meaning of ‘See! is:’Reflect on the chesed that I have done by this choice, that you will not need to search for many craftsmen to do the various works required, as now ‘I have called by name’ one in whom can be found all the necessary skills”.
A parting insight, from the Meshech Chochma:”The Torah at the outset mentioned the names of the forebears of Bezalel, back to Yehuda, because Hashem chose that the Mishkan be built by men of pure and wholehearted Emunah, without any התחכמות: second thoughts.
“There was no-one more suited to this than Bezalel, the grandson of Hur, who offered up his life for the sanctification of Hahem’s name, to prevent the making of the golden calf. Further, he was from the tribe of Yehuda, who, at the Red Sea, also exhibited mesirot nefesh, by jumping first into the sea, out of pure Emunah.
“Hashem therefore said: because they שלא חקרו ולא נתחכמו יותר מדי: they did not inquire nor calculate more than necessary, Bezalel was rewarded to be filled by Hashem ‘with wisdom, insight and knowledge’”.
Rav Yehuda Kuperman explains that this was a measure-for- measure recompense:’Because they did not use their ‘wisdom, insight and knowledge’ with all that these entail, before acting, Hashem gave these very qualities- ‘wisdom, insight and knowledge’- to their drscendant Bezalel, to enable him to erect the Mishkan, which came to atone for the sin of the golden calf, and the killing of Hur”.
לרפואת נועם עליזה בת זהבה רבקה ונחום אלימלך רפאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עמנו.