Rashbam: A Teacher for the Ages (Vayakhel)

The most common way for the rabbis to refer to Moses is as Moshe Rabbeinu, “Moses our Teacher.” Moses is adopted as an honorary rabbi, as the greatest among the great teachers.

But in Exodus 35, the one whose talent for teaching is help up is Betzalel. Among Betzalel’s many qualifications are “skill, ability, knowledge in every kind of craft…and to instruct (l’horot).” Rashbam for some reason feels a need to fill in the missing object of “to instruct”. He simply adds “…others.”

This post will be my hundredth on the website. I started this website with a few gimmicks to guide me, including the delightful Jay’s Jams section, which I haven’t done in quite a while, and From the Bookshelf. It also served as a place to post sermons, divrei torah, and other random writing assignments. This year, I’ve been posting regularly on the Rashbam, which has really helped me feel like I am sitting at his feet and learning his Torah more than I would if I were just reading and moving on.

In some ways, having a blog is self-focused. I sit alone and I write, not sure who will read. But I always intended the blog to be a fountain of learning for whoever wants to take a sip.

Jay’s Jams, where I share some of my favorite songs and muse on their lessons for us, is rooted in the belief that music is a form of wisdom. Here are a few of my favorites:

From the Bookshelf is fairly straightforward, but I find that even still I do not share enough from what I’m reading. In Talmud Sanhedrin 68a, the brilliant Rabbi Eliezer is on his deathbed, and laments how little of the potential wisdom of his teachers he took in, and how little of his wisdom he was able to pass on. From the Bookshelf was meant to increase the flow from taking in knowledge from a book to passing some piece of it along for others.

The Rashbam’s addition of “others” is necessary for instruction or teaching (the same root as Torah) to matter. Whether you read my posts regularly or are joining now for the first time, thank you.