Vayakhel — Exodus 35:1-38:20, The Parashat Hashavua for Saturday, March 2, 2019

What’s in a name? This week’s Torah portion teaches us that a name can tell us a great deal about a person.

We are once again deep into the details of the construction of the Tabernacle, the Mishkan. God calls on, Bezalel, son of Uri son of Hur, to carry out the construction of the MIshkan and all the sacred instruments that will be part of it.

Normally a Hebrew name is constructed from the persons name and the names of his or her parents, like Shoshana daughter of Abraham and Sarah. So, our rabbis asked, why is Bezalel’s grandfather Hur mentioned as part of Bezalel’s name.

They answer this question with a midrash. When the Israelites wanted to build the Golden Calf, Hur (Bezalel’s grandfather) tried to stop them and in their frenzy the Israelites murdered Hur. (Midrash Tanchuma Buber, Vayakhel 4:1)

The Mishkan was a tikkun, a healing of the relationship between Israel and God. It would have been understandable if Bezalel had refused to build the Tabernacle. After all, through this action he would be helping the people who killed his grandfather.

But Bezalel chose a different path. He did not give in to resentment–he stepped forward to do the right thing.

This teaches us to set aside our own resentments and anger toward others and to always seek the path of service and healing. What’s in a name? An example of the right way to live: a life without resentment and filled with kindness.