Heart & Mind

Most people associate "Heart" with compassion, feeling and intuition. On the other hand, "Mind" is associated with logic, reasoning and knowledge. A person with a "good heart" is warm, sensitive and caring. Somebody with a "good mind" is calculated, efficient and practical.

There is no wonder then that for the technical skills which were needed to construct the Tent of Assembly and its contents, Moses chose two superb craftsmen to lead the project: Betzalel the son of Uri the son of Hur from the tribe of Judah and Oholiav the son of Ahisamakh from the tribe of Dan (see Exodus 35:30 - 36:2).

In fact there were many other skilled craftsmen, men and women, who could be chosen. Indeed, the Torah states that the construction work as well as crafting the Temple utensils shall be carried out by all the highly skilled craftsmen, not only those two. So what was so unique to Betzalel and Oholiav to qualify them to be chosen as the project managers and leaders?

The answer is that they had more than the "mind" and the technical skills. "And to teach He gave in his heart, he and Oholiav..." (Exodus 35:34).

God gave them not only the ability to create objects, but also the human skill, the "heart", to work with other people, teach them and be patient with them. These wonderful craftsmen were chosen to lead because they had the humility to understand that their knowledge and skills were trusted to them by God. They were given a gift, not to possess but to share with others to the benefit of the entire people. According to our Torah, this is what true leaders are made of.

Judah Ari-Gur


For more columns: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~arigurj