Honorable Mensch-ion

Wisdom, Insight, and Knowledge

I must admit, I fear holding a paintbrush or pen in my hand. Send me a song, and I can play it on the keyboard by ear, but ask me to draw, and it is difficult for me to go beyond drawing a stick figure.

We each are gifted distinct talents from God–music, art, poetry, science, and more. The question must not be what gifts we possess, but how we use those God-given talents to create the world’s tapestry in which we wish to live within.

Our Torah presents us with Betzalel, gifted with wisdom, insight, and knowledge. The Talmud tells us he knew “how to combine the letters with which the heavens and the earth were created.” These traits are the same in which God created the world: Wisdom, insight, and knowledge. Rav Kook differentiates between these three concepts. Wisdom is needed to design the fundamental structure. Insight refers to the future vision, the ultimate goal. Knowledge refers to a thorough attention to detail.

To celebrate the 100th day of school, our kindergarten students thought of unique ways to mark the day. One student brought in 100 pennies, another student wrote the names of the class 100 times, and another student brought in 100 paperclips in the shape of a Jewish star. My son came home in amazement–“Abba, you should have seen the projects; each one was a masterpiece!”

One simple assignment, but with wisdom, insight, and knowledge, the results are quite different. Shabbat is a moment to place a blank canvas before us. What did we create this week in our family, in our community, and in our world? What do we wish to create in the week ahead? May we use our wisdom, insight, and knowledge to enhance the tapestry before us.

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