Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Individuality vs Community

Moshe invited all the men and women who were G-d fearing to participate in the building of the Mishkan. Hashem embedded special wisdom to whoever assisted in the construction. The women and men partook in the weaving and spinning of the tapestries for the walls of the Mishkan.  The women specialized in spinning the goats’ hair for the tapestries, which was a difficult task seeing that the goats’ hair was fine and stiff. Even the animals were embedded with Divine wisdom in assisting with the construction of the Mishkan. The domestic animals were given special senses and knew which route to take when they would haul the beams to the Mishkan.  Even the wild beasts willingly came to Bnai Israel to give up their skin, which were needed for the tapestries. From all of this we can deduce that in order for our society to function accordingly, every member must contribute himself accordingly. Each member in Bnai Israel has a specific role to contribute to the Jewish community at large.
In order for a society to function, there needs to be ‘order for the sake of unity’ (Tatz, 71). Because each individual is unique and has a certain potential to fulfill in this world, that person’s individuality is essential for the community to become whole. From the unity Bnai Israel displayed in building the Mishkan, each individual providing a different skill, we can see how every person needs to work on fulfilling his destiny in order to create unity within the larger community.   
 Furthermore, while people seek to be different, they also desire being part of a unified whole. These are completely contradictory ideas; however, from this week’s parsha, we can see that each member of Bnai Israel had a different and unique talent that was essential for the community to prosper as a whole. We can all relate to this by contributing out individual talents and skills for the greater good of our societies.

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