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Two Minutes of Torah: Tetzaveh – Our God given gifts

Each one of us has certain abilities in some areas and certain challenges in other areas.  For me as a child I was always musically challenged; I was that child who was told to mime while the rest of the class sang in the choir.  But when it came to mathematics somehow I had a knack for numbers and the numbers always came that much more easily than anything else. 

When we think about those things that we're good at, and those things that we find more challenging, many of us talk about our God given gifts.  When working with Bnei Mitzvah students and talking about their Mitzvah Project, one of the things that I always talk to them about is the need to find ways to share our God given gifts with others to help make this world a better place. 

In this week's Torah portion we see explicitly how these gifts come from God.  Continuing from last week where we had all of the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle, this week we move on to the High Priest and the clothes that they should wear.  Moses is told by God to bring forth his brother Aaron, with his sons, from among the Levites to serve God as Priests.  And then he is instructed to make sacred vestments for his brother Aaron for dignity and adornment. 

The instruction then comes: ‘you shall instruct all who are skillful, whom I [God] have endowed with the gift of skill to make Aaron’s vestments’ (Ex. 28:3).  In the Hebrew it is clear the people are: kol chachmei-lev – all the wise hearted, asher miletiv ruach chochma – whom I have filled up with the spirit of wisdom.

It's very clear in this passage that the wisdom that these people possess comes from God.  And as such it is their God given gift to have the ability to help in the creation of the clothing that the Priests would wear.  And while we might not be endowed with gifts for the making of clothes for the High Priest; we, each one us, has that ruach chochma, that spirit of wisdom in certain areas, that was given to us by God.

The Hebrew is beautiful, miletiv, has this sense of being filled up; we get filled with the gifts.  The challenge for all of us is to take our God given gift, to identify it, and then to find a way to use it in this world to help not just ourselves, but to help, as God's partners, in making this world a better place.  

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