April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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“And you shall speak to all the wise-hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, and they shall make Aharon’s garments to sanctify him, (so) that he serve Me (as a kohen),” (Shemot 18:3).

In this week’s parsha, Moshe is instructed to speak with certain individuals who are to fabricate Aharon’s garments. These individuals are referred to as wise-hearted people. Typically, wisdom is connected to one’s brain, not their heart. The heart is associated with one’s emotions. What is the Torah seeking to teach us by connecting wisdom to the heart?

Rabbi Norman Lamm, z”l, in his sefer “Drashot LeDorot” offers a compelling idea—which he relayed in the 1950s, but that holds true today. Man has a great quest for knowledge. He cites a New York Times article that states that we have so much knowledge, that even if all research would abruptly stop, we would have enough work ordering and utilizing the knowledge we have for the next century. This statement was made even before the internet was established which supplies us with unprecedented amounts of data, on any topic desired.

Another fact cited by Rabbi Lamm is that more people have been killed by automobile accidents than in all the American wars combined. That does not lead to the conclusion that we are better off without automobiles. Rather it demands that along with modern technological advances, man ought to engineer his conscience as well, to take better care when driving and valuing human life. Wisdom without conscience yields to misuse of knowledge. The atom bomb was an ingenious invention, but it led to horrific destruction. Man was able to decipher the “nature of the atom but neglected the nature of the sons of Adam.”

Today, there is a debate as to whether certain limitations be placed on artificial intelligence due to the potential dangers that may ensue from misuse.

Perhaps what the Torah is teaching us is that to properly apply the wisdom we acquire, we are to ensure it does not remain the wisdom of the mind—but rather, that it is transformed into the wisdom of the heart and soul, of feeling and faith and of reverence and ethical behavior.

It is no coincidence that each morning when we wrap ourselves in tefillin, we place one on our head and the other on our arm—adjacent to our heart—symbolizing the connection between the mind and the heart. As we live in a society overwhelmed with information, we ought to make sure that we apply the knowledge we obtain with our conscience—as a wise-hearted individual. Always taking into consideration how we utilize the information we acquire, so that it can enhance our lives and the lives of those around us.

Rabbi Shalom Rosner is a rebbe at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh and rabbi of the Nofei HaShemesh community. He is a member of the Mizrachi Speakers Bureau (www.mizrachi.org/speakers).


The RZA-Mizrachi is a broad Religious Zionist organization without a particular political affiliation

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