And it is written with regard to Creation: "The LORD by wisdom (chochma) founded the earth; by understanding (tvunah) He established the heavens. By His knowledge (daat) the depths were broken up, and the skies drop down the dew... (Proverbs 3:19-20).
The Talmudic exegesis goes on to demonstrate Bezalel’s prowess by showing that he possessed a degree of wisdom similar to that with which God created the Universe.
There is a powerful lesson here. On one level we are shown that the construction of the Mishkan as an abode for God’s presence and a setting for His service was tantamount to Creation itself.
Since the purpose of the human existence is to make earthly life worthy of God’s presence and to lead all mankind to acknowledge Him, it stands to reason that the wisdom exercised by God in creating the Universe should – to the extent humanly possible be had by those who build His Tabernacle on earth (Rabbi Nosson Scherman, Protoplasm of Creation in; The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk).
The Jewish people are meant to serve as HaShem's priests, whose task will be to bring the nations back to the path that they deviated from, teach them about the unity of God and His Torah (Isaiah 61:6-11, Exodus 19:5-6), and to know and fear God. (Job 28:28, Prov. 1:24-33, 5:7-14). Peace will come to the world when the nations embrace God's Torah and the Seven Laws of Noah. Noahide Nations
"When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth; While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the beginning of the dust of the world. When He established the heavens, I was there; when He set a circle upon the face of the deep,.." (Proverbs 8:24-27). The Torah preceded everything she was the blueprint of the universe (Bereishis Rabbah 1:2).
"Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of My mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, My speech shall distil as the dew; as the small rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb" (Deuteronomy 32:1-2, Isaiah 40:6-8).
Isaiah 26:19 "-awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust--for Thy dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall bring to life the shades (REPAH-IM)." The dew of Your Torah and Your commandments shall be to them dew of light (Rashi).
Isaiah 26:14 "The dead live not, the shades rise not; to that end hast Thou punished and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish." Rashi takes this as a prayer that the wicked should not live the life of the world to come and that the "shades" (REPHA-IM) – i.e. those who weakened (REEPOO) their hands from the Torah and refused to keep it should not arise. See 'Amalek'
Daniel 12:2 "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,.." This refers to the resurrection of the dead as well, to the tremendous spiritual awakening and the widespread return to the Torah that we witness in our time among Israelite souls that in some cases have been buried in exile and cultural alienation for centuries. This itself is the revival of the dead! (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
"And let us know, let us strive to know (daat) the Lord: like the dawn (of the redemption) whose going forth is sure, and He will come to us like rain, like the latter rain which satisfies the earth" (Hosea 6:3). He will come to us like rain which comes to be life for the world, for then He will come to teach life that will come to us (Rashi).
Zechariah 10:1 "Request rain from the Lord at the time of the latter rain; the Lord makes rain-clouds, and He shall give them rain; for each person, grass in the field..."
"You graciously endow man with knowledge, and teach insight to a frail mortal. Endow us graciously from Yourself with wisdom, insight and knowledge. Blessed are You, HaShem, gracious Giver of knowledge" (From the Shemoneh Esrei). See Proverbs Ch. 2, Psalms 51:8, Ecclesiastes 2:26.
Man's intelligence is his primary characteristic, the one that sets him apart from animals. G-d's purpose in separating us from the animals was so that we would raise ourselves to a much higher level (Daniel Ch. 4), but not to become inferior to them. See 'Is There A hell? I, II
God gave to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, David and Solomon, knowledge, wisdom and understanding (Daniel 1:15-20, 2:20-23, 1 Kings 5:26). "But (in truth) it is a spirit (ruach) in man, and it is the soul (neshama) from the Almighty that gives them understanding,.." (Job 32:8, Isaiah 11:1-5). Wisdom is a Divine gift from above,.. (Rashi).
Psalm 119:99-100 ”
From all my teachers I gained understanding, for Your testimonies are my conversation
From the wise elders I gain understanding, for I kept Your precepts.”
Job 33:4 "The spirit (ruach) of God has made me, and a soul (neshama, breath) from the Almighty gives me life." Genesis 2:7, 3:19. "Then He said to me: "Son of Man, can these bones (the House of Israel) come to life?"I prophesied as I had been commanded and the spirit (ruach, breath) entered them and they came to life... (
). Rabbi Yonasan said they were dry because they were the bones of people who "did not have in them the moisture of a mitzvah", i.e. they did not observe any of the commandments of the Torah.
Psalm 23:3-4 "He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me."
The morbid "valley" is a characterization of all exiles. Alternatively, it is a place so dangerous that it is as dark and forbidding as the grave...
Proverbs 16:24 "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart is a good medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
Psalms 19:8-9 "The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is faithful, making the simple one wise."
"I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit (ruach) within you; I will remove the heart of stone (Evil Inclination) from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you, and I will make it so that you will follow My decrees and guard My ordinances and will fulfill them"
(Ezekiel 36:26-27, 37:15-28). "So shall they (the Torah and the commandments) be life unto thy soul,.. (Proverbs 3:22). "But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they walked not in My statutes, and they rejected Mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live by them, and My sabbaths they greatly profaned;.." (Ezekiel 20:13, Deut. 4:40, 29:28, 32:46-47, Joshua Ch. 24).
God has the power to take even dry bones and clothe them with sinews, flesh and skin to breathe into them the spirit of life (Ezekiel 37:5-19). "So shall they (the Torah and the commandments) be life unto thy soul,.." (Proverbs 3:22, 4:13,20-22).
"In the way of righteousness is life, and in the pathway thereof there is no death" (Proverbs 12:28). Psalm 85:13 "
Righteousness will go before him, and He will place it (the righteousness with which He leads His sons) on the way of his steps." Psalm 89:15 "Righteousness (TZEDEK) and justice (MISHPAT) are the foundation of Thy throne; mercy (CHESED, KINDNESS) and truth (EMET) go before Thee."
Proverbs 4:10-14 "Hear, O my son (Solomon), and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in paths of uprightness. When thou goest, thy step shall not be straitened; and if thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. (See Psalms 119:165). Take fast hold of instruction (MUSSAR, Jewish spiritual wisdom), let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and walk not in the way of evil men."
Proverbs 8:20-21,35-36 "I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice; That I (the Torah) may cause those that love me to inherit substance, and that I may fill their treasuries. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. But he that misseth me wrongeth his own soul; all
they that hate me love death.'
Osama bin Laden once said, “We love death. The US loves life. That is the difference between us two.” Hezbollah's Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah revealed in an interview after the recent prisoner swap between Israel and his group: "We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death." (
Dealing in Death
by Steven Stalinsky).
Psalm 22:30 "All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto the LORD; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the LORD'S; and He is the ruler over the nations. All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship; all they that go down to the dust shall kneel before Him, even he that cannot keep his soul alive."
These are the ones whose hands are stained with Jewish blood (Radak).
It's one of the Big Ten.
And a focus of
this week's Torah portion.
Keep the Sabbath. Six days we work and the seventh day we rest. Shouldn't be that hard . . . right? Yet stopping is tougher than it seems. We need to work. Ideally, we also want to work. Hopefully we feel our work is fulfilling and impacts others. Yet often, the more satisfaction we get from our jobs, and the more creative they are, the harder resting from them just might be. It may be hard to believe that the world will go on if we stop.
But that is what Shabbat is all about. We are supposed to be productive. We are supposed to be creative. We are supposed to impact the world around us. For six days. But for that seventh, we are supposed to remember and recognize and acknowledge that ultimately we are not the Creator. For 25 hours, we stop actively creating and focus on what we were created for. It is Shabbat, our day of rest, which reminds us why we work in the first place (Sara Esther Crispe, ChaBaD).
"...be careful to perform all the words of this Torah, for it is not an empty thing for you, for it is your life, and through this matter shall you prolong your days on the Land to which you cross the Jordan, to possess it" (Deuteronomy 32:46-47, Joshua Ch. 24).
The Sages teach that every letter of the Torah has in it the power of reviving the dead, if only we know how to expound upon it properly... (Daniel 7:10, 12:2,13, Ezekiel 37, Song of Songs 8:5, Zechariah 14:4-5, Isaiah 66:8). "May Your dead live, 'My corpses shall rise (God's righteous people, Martyrs); awaken and sing, you who dwell in the dust, for a dew of lights is your dew (The dew of Your Torah and Your commandments shall be to them (the prophet's people) dew of light), and [to the] earth You shall cast the slackers" (Isaiah 26:19). And to the earth and to the dust You shall cast the land of (sic) the slackers who slackened their hands from Your Torah (Rashi).
The Prayer for dew is usually recited on the first day of Pesach: "...You are eternally mighty, my Lord, the Resuscitator of the dead are You; abundantly able to save. The depths of the footstool (the earth, Isaiah 66:1) yearn for His droplet, and every lush meadow yearns for it. Dew - its mention enhances His powers, it is inscribed in the Mussaf prayer, Dew - to resuscitate with it those buried in the cleft of rocks."
The dead will be resuscitated with a spiritual force referred to as dew (Isaiah 26:19). In ancient Eretz Yisrael it was common to bury the dead in openings carved out of solid rock, thus the reference to clefts of rocks. And God will seek out the Jews wherever they may be (Jeremiah 16:14-17, Psalm 68:20-24, Isaiah 2:12-22). " The desert and its cities shall raise [their voice]; Kedar shall be inhabited with villages; the rock dwellers shall exult, from the mountain peaks they shall shout" (Isaiah 42:11). These are the dead, who will come back to life (Rashi). Even the habitations of Kedar – the children of Ishmael – will see that the God of Israel rules. See also Isaiah 60:6-7.
"Our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers Dew - give it to favor Your land; establish us for blessing in Your pleasure; with abundant grain and wine may You strengthen us; establish the City containing Your delight (the Temple) - with dew. Dew - decree it for a year that is good and crowned; may the fruit of the earth be proud and splendrous; the City deserted like a booth - let Your hand make it a crown Dew - let it drop sweetly on the blessed land, with the delicacies of heaven sate us with blessing, to enlighten from amid the darkness the fundamental nation that is drawn after You Dew - let it sweeten the honey of the mountains..,"
"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy" (Isaiah 65:17-18, 66:22-24).
"Behold I am making a new thing, now it will sprout, now you shall know it; yea I will make a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19).
Isaiah 41:17 "The poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst; I the LORD will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them." Rashi explains: "Here the prophet prophesies about the end of days, when there will be 'not a hunger for bread nor a thirst for water but to hear the word of HaShem" (Amos 8:11).
Isaiah 41:18 "I will open rivers on the high places, and springs in the midst of valleys; I will make a desert into a pool of water and a wasteland into sources of water."
These "rivers" are the rivers of understanding of Torah and prophecy that will flow in men's hearts, while the "wilderness" that will turn into a pool of water refers to a place where hitherto no Torah wisdom existed (Rashi).
Isaiah 41:19-20 "I will give in the desert cedars, acacia trees, myrtles, and pines; I will place in the wilderness boxtrees (All kinds of civilization. Even in them will I give all kinds of wisdom, goodness, and peace (Rashi), firs, and cypresses (trees used for building) together. In order that they see and know, and pay attention and understand together that the hand of the Lord did this and the Holy One of Israel created it" (Isaiah 41:18-20, Chs. 35, 55). Man is like a tree of the field: (Psalm 1, Jeremiah 17:5-10, Isaiah 53:2, Ezekiel 17:22-24).
Psalm 119:89-90 "For ever, O LORD, Thy word standeth fast in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations; Thou hast established the earth, and it standeth."
Psalm 105:8-11 "He remembered His covenant forever, the word (this is the Torah) He had commanded to the thousandth generation, Which He had made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, And He set it up to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, "To you I shall give the land of Canaan, the portion of your heritage." See also Deut. 7:9, Isaiah 40:8.
"As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the Lord. "My spirit (ruach), which is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth, shall not move from your mouth or from the mouth of your seed and from the mouth of your seed's seed," said the Lord, "from now and to eternity" (Isaiah 59:21). For even in their exile (physical, spiritual, mental), My Torah shall not be totally forgotten from them. See also Deuteronomy 4:27-31, Ch. 30, Hosea 3:4-5.
LISTEN FOR FREE: Paul and the Christian Corruption of the Jewish Scriptures by Rabbi Tovia Singer
While both Matthew and Paul quoted extensively from Tanach in order to support their teachings, only Paul would successfully persuade his audience. The Book of Matthew was written for a Jewish audience. As a result, Matthew's mission largely failed among the people he sought to convert because the Jews were repelled by his wild exploitation of Tanach.
Paul's venture, on the other hand, was enormously successful. The minister to the gentiles was preaching to audiences that were completely illiterate, and lacked the ability to discern between genuine Judaism and Bible-tampering. Rabbi Singer demonstrates how Paul corrupted the Jewish scriptures in order to both undermine the Torah, and advance his new, sweeping doctrines that would lay the foundation for Christian theology.
Romans 10:5-9 NKJ "For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them. "But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (that is, to bring Christ down from above)."Who will descend into the abyss?" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach (the Gospel): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
But what does the Law of Moses really say? Leviticus 18:4-5 "You shall fulfill My ordinances and observe My statutes, to follow them. I am the Lord, your God. You shall observe My statutes and My ordinances, which a man shall do and live by them. I am the Lord". See also Ezekiel 20:11.
Laws are practices that would be dictated by reason, even if they were not commanded by the Torah. Decrees are beyond
human intelligence, such as the prohibitions against the consumption of certain foods. (Leviticus 11:44-45). Verse 18:4 ends with "I am the Lord, your God." I.e., it is not for you to decide whether God's decrees are worthy of your approval
(Rashi – Sifra).
Deuteronomy 30:11-14 "For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say,
"Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us,
so that we can fulfill it?
" Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us,
so that we can fulfill it?" Rather, [this] thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.
The Torah was given to you in writing and [accompanied by an] oral [explanation]. It was sown in your heart.
Far from requiring superhuman efforts or supernatural reelations to be equal to God's expectations, that goal is very much within reach - if people but make a sincere effort to grasp it.
"You alone are the Lord; You made the heavens, the heavens of the heavens and all their host, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them,
and You give life to them all
, and the heavenly host bow down before You" (Nechemiah 9:6).
Given the fact that the Aleph-Beis pre-dated Creation and is the ”protoplasm” of the Universe, the letters and their orders are important – the Aleph – Beis was not manufactured by man, so it may not be manipulated by man. But this was obviously not a problem for the authors of the Christian Bible and the Church. St. Gregory, 4th century Bishop of Nazianzus, wrote: "A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire."
"The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. Then I was by Him, as a nursling (AMON); and I was daily all delight, playing always before Him, Playing in His habitable earth, and my delights are with the sons of men" (Proverbs 8:22-23,30-31). AMON has exactly the same Hebrew letters as OOMAN, a "craftsman". Thus the Midrash teaches: "The Torah here says, I was the craftsman's tool of the Holy One blessed be He..." The surface meaning is that even before creation, the Torah was, as it were, God's favorite child. God made the Torah before the universe, it is manfest in Creation, preserves the world, and is a guide to all mankind (Maimonides).
John 17:5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." John 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."
The Christian bible has a different approach, the real Christian replacement theology we'll find in the Book of John 1:1-4 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He (Jesus) was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
Jeremiah 10:11-15 "Thus shall ye say unto them: 'The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens.'
He that hath made the earth by His power, that hath established the world by His wisdom (The Torah), and hath stretched out the heavens by His understanding;
At the sound of His giving a multitude of waters in the heavens, when He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; when He maketh lightnings with the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasuries; -- Every man is proved to be brutish, without knowledge, every goldsmith is put to shame by the graven image, his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
They are vanity, a work of delusion; in the time of their visitation they shall perish."
The ultimate deception we find in John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." See 'The Ingathering'
Will whoever who believes in Jesus not perish, but have everlasting life? (John 3:16). Jesus says: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6) "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ (the Word) whom You have sent (John 17:3).
However, the Torah says: "Now therefore, ye children, hearken unto me; for happy are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction (mussar), and be wise, and refuse it not. Happy is the man that hearkeneth to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. But he that misseth me wrongeth his own soul; all they that hate me love death' (Proverbs 8:32-36, Ch. 9).
“Take fast hold of discipline (mussar, instruction), do not let it loose; guard it, for it is your life. My son, hearken to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; guard them within your heart, for they are life for those who find them, and for all his flesh a healing” (Proverbs 4:13,20-22).
“Praiseworthy are those whose way is perfect, who walk with the law of the Lord. Praiseworthy are those who keep His testimonies; who seek Him wholeheartedly. Not only have they committed no injustice, they walked in His ways (Psalm 119:1-3, 128:1, Psalm Ch. 1, Jeremiah 17:5-10). Without vision the people become unrestrained, but he who keeps the Torah is fortunate (Proverbs 29:18). Read more on 'mussar:'
Path Of The Soul
by Dr. Alan Morinis, Aish.com.
AUDIO: A Homeopathic Approach to Idolatry:
A7 Radio's "Temple Talk" with Temple Talk: The father and son reunion: Today's Modern Day Temple Artisans:
Following in the footsteps of Betzalel.
"Be favorable, HaShem, our God, toward Your people Israel, turn to their prayer and restore the service to the Holy of Holies of Your Temple... May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in compassion. Blessed are You, Who restores His Presence to Zion" (From the Shemoneh Esrei).
The reference is to Isaiah 52:2 where the prophet likens Jerusalem to a woman wallowing in the dust. "Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion." He urges her to rise up, dress in her finery and resume her noble ways (Avodas Yisrael).