A Lament for Bezalel

A Lament for Bezalel, Chosen of Yahweh
Parshat Vayakhel, especially Exodus 35:30-35

Bezalel, O Bezalel, you by Yahweh commended
To craft the work of His own designation−
Chosen alone from all the Hebrew nation
Upon whom the Spirit of God descended.

That you were a young man, it is surmised,
Yet with the engraver’s eye and jeweler’s skill
You wrought wonders−the tabernacle to fill.
Everyone except Yahweh was surprised.

Bezalel, anointed by Yahweh in Sinai land,
Tell us, now, what is your great reward?
You surely fell as though slain by sword;
Your bones remain in the desert’s sand.

Was it the spies’ report with which you agreed−
Or your lust for a Midianite maiden fair?
What fatal sin will your eternal records bare?
Was there not a lesson Yahweh’s children need?

A lament, O Bezalel, I now humbly offer:
Though my giftings flow from God’s own hand,
I too may find my bones in desert sand.
“Run the race to win”−that my reward not suffer.

Kennedy Brown
Gerizim
Erev Shabbat, March 4, 2016

While reading the Torah portion, Vayakhel, I was impressed with all the favor of Yahweh that resulted in Bezalel being called and equipped for construction of the tabernacle. Aleph Beta makes it even more impressive in that the past tense is used in describing Bezalel’s preparation as being from the “days of Creation.”

But then the reality hit me that Bezalel did not go into the promised land. He died with his generation in the desert wilderness. That is what can tritely be called a “sobering experience!” One which could call for some sober introspection.

I trust the “lament” somewhat captures this reality.

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