“…but the materials were more than enough [vehoter] for all the work that had to be done.” — Exodus/Shemot 36:7

Construction of the Tabernacle in the desert was an act that paralleled the creation of heaven and earth and corresponded to all known aspects of the order in which G’d created the universe, (B’rachot 55). Seeing that this was so, Betzalel, the chief architect of the project was granted the wisdom to understand how the letters of the aleph bet were to be used in carrying out all the details of the task entrusted to him.

Nowadays, this ability of Betzalel at the time of his building of the Tabernacle, has been granted to the righteous Torah scholars of varying degrees, who are able to reveal insights into the Torah that have not previously been revealed. By doing so, they become partners of G’d in His creation of the universe. Betzalel also imposed restrictions on himself in his use of the gift G’d gave him, so as not to preempt the Torah scholars throughout the ages an to thereby prevent them from revealing new insights. This is what is meant by the word [vehoter], “there was an overabundance,” i.e. there was enough holy spirit that had been provided to enable Betzalel and his assistants to build the Tabernacle, but instead of exhausting it at the time, Betzalel, in his modesty, was content to leave a surfeit of it to be used by Torah scholars, who in a way are also Torah “architects,” to delight their audiences with their insights in their respective generations.
— Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, Kedushat Levi,* p.525-6

* Please see Source Materials for full citation and additional information.

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Click on the “WeeklyTorah” tag for more resources on the weekly portion throughout the year, or on a portion name for parashah-specific notes. (The series began with Numbers; posts for Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus are being drafted, week-by-week.) You can also zero-in on particular types of “Opening the Book” posts by clicking Language and Translation, Something to Notice, a Path to Follow, or Great Source in the tag cloud.

The “Opening the Book” series is presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group pursuing spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.
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Posted by vspatz

Virginia blogs on Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day" and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

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