In Parashat Vayakhel, the Israelites finally begin to build the tabernacle after the disastrous detour of the golden calf. The Lord provides detailed instructions for the tabernacle, telling Moses, “Exactly as I show you—the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings—so shall you make it” (Ex. 25:9). The Lord also provides the ability to make this elaborate structure, through giving his Spirit to Betzalel, who oversees all the work (Ex. 35:30ff).
Responsibility, in society has negative connotations. When something goes wrong, everyone looks for who is Responsible. Responsibility has become a synonym for “guilt.” Whoever is responsible, is the one who is guilty. Yet this is not really what the term was designed for.
R. Simon said: When the Holy One, blessed be He, came to create Adam, the ministering angels formed themselves into groups and parties, some of them saying, Let him be created, whilst others urged, let him not be created. Thus it is written, Love and Truth fought together, Righteousness and Peace combated each other (Ps.85, 11). Love said, 'Let him be created, because he will dispense acts of love'; Truth said, 'Let him not be created, because he is compounded of falsehood'; Righteousness said, 'Let him be created, because he will perform righteous deeds'; Peace said, 'Let him not be created, because he is full of strife'. What did the Lord do? He took Truth and cast it to the ground! -- Midrash Rabbah, Genesis 8:5
And the Lord God called to man, and He said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I am naked; so I hid." And He said, "Who told you that you are naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" And the man said, "The woman whom You gave [to be] with me she gave me of the tree; so I ate." And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent enticed me, and I ate." – Bereishit 3:9-13
"It's a question of discipline," the little prince told me later on. "When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet." – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French by Richard Howard
On another occasion, Rabbi Israel [Salanter] encountered an orphan boy wandering about and not going to school. When he asked the charity wardens why they did not see to defraying the costs of that orphan’s studies, they evaded the question with various excuses. Rabbi Israel responded to them with the cry: “One may sell Torah scrolls in order to pay the cost of study!” --Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement: Seeking the Torah of Truth, Immanuel Etkes, p. 168
When we realize that “love your neighbor as yourself” is part of the great commandment of the Shema (Mt. 22:37–40; Lk. 10:25–28), it increases our responsibility level substantially. A Torah expert talking with Messiah Yeshua realizes this increased responsibility and seeks to limit it with a question: “And who exactly is my neighbor?”
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” -- Luke 10:30—36, NKJV