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D’var Torah: Vayakhel Pikudei

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Should chefs share recipes?

You know, it’s very interesting. There are many chefs and cooks who are delighted to give you a recipe that impresses you. But – if for example you had the very best cheesecake that you’ve ever had or a marvellous honey cake – sometimes the people who bake them refuse to divulge the secret of their success.

In Parshat Vayakel we are told how Hashem gave Betzalel natural talent, he was the most amazing artist and in addition, the Torah tells us, ‘u’Lehorot natan b’libo’ Hashem made it natural to him to want to teach others. Together with Aholiav, his assistant, he was called upon to be the architect of the Mishkan, the sanctuary in the wilderness – and he readily shared everything he knew with others.

The Mishnah tells us that in temple times the Garmu family was responsible for baking the show bread, however they never revealed the secret of the recipe. And the Aftinas family was responsible for preparing the incense and similarly didn’t let anyone know how they did it. Hashem however, created within Betzalel natural desire to share what he knew with others. I believe there is a powerful message here for each and every one of us, if Hashem has given us some natural talent, some ability or some knowledge, we shouldn’t keep it to ourselves. We should ensure that our environment is enriched through what we have to give. Of course we must maintain our sense of humility with regards to our talents and achievements but if Hashem has enabled us to do something well, let us share it with others so that as a result of what we have the world will be blessed.

Shabbat Shalom