How far does the apple fall from the tree? This Shabbat we’re taking a look at our grandparents.
In this week’s parsha, VaYakhel, we are introduced for the second time to the mishkan’s master artist, Betzalel from the tribe of Judah (see Exodus 35:30). The first time we met him was in last week’s parsha, chapter 31, verse 2.
Read the two verses. Each time he is introduced the same way: the son of Uri who was the son of Chur.
Why trace his lineage back to his grandfather? Do you recognize the name Chur? There is a famous midrash about him…(hint: related to last week’s drama about the Golden Calf)
Chur, according to Rabbinic tradition, was the one whom Bnei Yisrael killed for trying to stop them from making a Golden Calf. This is his grandson who is in charge of constructing the Tabernacle which, according to many commentaries, is the atonement for that sin of idol worship.
We are not given any information on Betzalel’s resume. We aren’t told what makes him worthy of being chosen. But we are told his name – which means “in God’s shade,” and we are told his grandfather who was famous for standing up for God’s honor.
It seems that Betzalel had his grandfather’s dedication and passion, and that the Torah wants to highlight and emphasize that beautiful connection and tradition. He lived “in God’s shade,” fully committed and involved in bringing honor to God’s name.
Discuss your children’s grandparents and who seems to be carrying traits or genes from these wonderful people? Are any of your children named for grandparents? Review why you named him/her that name and what you see in your daughter or son that resembles that grandparent.
The Torah is stressing this connection between grandchild and grandparent. Let’s do the same this week around the Shabbat table.