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Parshat Ki Tisa Dvar Torah

Parshat Ki Tisa, which opens with a census and details the construction of the Mishkan, offers deep understanding of the abilities we all have and how Hashem arranges chances for us to use them.

The narrative begins with meticulous instructions on the construction of the Mishkan, including the importance of rituals like Netilat Yadaim (the washing of hands) and the preparation of the ketoret spices. These instructions emphasize the importance of holiness and careful attention to detail in every step of building the Mishkan.

Central to the narrative is the appointment of Betzalel, a remarkable figure singled out by Hashem for his extraordinary talents. Betzalel, a member of the tribe of Yehudah, is described as having special talent and understanding from Hashem in all sorts of crafts and skills. Despite him being just 13 years old and having an ordinary background, Betzalel is chosen to oversee the entire construction of the Mishkan. This appointment highlights the idea that each person has special abilities and talents given to them by Hashem.

The Ramban focuses attention on this point, emphasizing that Betzalel’s selection was not random, but rooted in his natural talents and the divine guidance shaping his journey. He says “See, I have singled out by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have endowed him with a divine spirit of skill, ability, and knowledge in every kind of craft;”  (Exodus 31: pasukim 2-3). This notion challenges us to recognize the potential within ourselves and others, reminding us that even seemingly ordinary individuals can rise to extraordinary heights when presented with the opportunity to utilize their talents properly.

Moreover, the context of Bezalel's appointment is even more meaningful when considered within the broader story of the Jewish people's journey from slavery in Egypt to freedom. Just as Bnei Yisrael--once enslaved in Mitzrayim--was tasked with constructing the Mishkan, Betzalel--once a mere laborer--is entrusted with the monumental responsibility of overseeing its creation. This parallels the broader theme of redemption and transformation, suggesting that even in the darkest of times, there exists the potential for greatness and renewal.

For the students of Hebrew Academy High School, the message is particularly relevant. Just as Betzalel was called upon to utilize his talents for a greater purpose, so too are the Warriors constantly reminded of their own inherent abilities and the potential to effect positive change in the world. Whether it be in the realm of leadership, or community service, each individual possesses unique gifts waiting to be utilized.

In conclusion, Parshat Ki Tisa teaches us that no matter our background or circumstances, we all possess within us talents and abilities waiting to be needed for noble purposes. The story of Betzalel serves as a powerful reminder of how opportunities are guided by a higher power and the significant impact of realizing and using our natural abilities. 

By: Simona Folk (10th)

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