Note the contradiction in the following verses
discussing the construction of the desert temple:
- Ex36-01:02 states
Then, Bezalel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all kinds of work for the service of the sanctuary, did according to all that the Lord had commanded.
And Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, every one whose heart stirred him up to come to the work to do it;
- Ex37-01 states
And Bezalel made the ark of shittim wood; two cubits and a half was its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height;
We see the contradiction. Which is it? Did Besalel make
the Temple utensils or did the wise hearted menmake them?
Although technically one of these verses speaks about the Ark
and one speaks about the general Temple construction
nevertheless we could bring in numerous similar verses showing that the
construction of all Temple vessels was a group effort with however sporadic
verses giving credit to individuals.
We resolve this contradiction using the method of
2 aspects. There were 2 aspects to constructing the Temple
Hence the pithy Rashi comment: Managers obtain credit
for the entire project since they enabled others to do its work.
- Besalel was the manager of Temple construction
- The crafstmen were the staff of Temple construction.
Sermonic points: In this particular example
Rashi's sermonic point is embe07ed in the Rashi comment itself.
There is a conceptual way to clarify the Rashi comment: Credit is
not necessarily based on work but instead may be based on
accomplishment. Here, the manager typically does not do all
the work of Temple construction; but through his direction the
manager accomplishes the entire Temple construction. Hence
he can take credit for it.
Generally, throughout Jewish literature we see an emphasis
not only on personal deeds but also on the consequences of those
deeds. For example, Kayin's murder of Hebel is not perceived as a
murder of an individual but rather as the murder of all potential
descendants of that individual. The Talmud states: He who
takes a life it is as though he had destroyed a planet; and he
who saves a life it is as though he had saved a planet.