God spoke to Moses, saying: I have selected Bezalel of Judah. I have filled him with a wisdom, understanding and knowledge, and with all types of craftsmanship… I have also given him Oholiab of the tribe of Dan.
Why the need for Bezalel’s apprentice? Bezalel’s from the big tribe of Judah, his apprentice is from the small tribe of Dan. The two of them together represent a unity between the tribes to achieve a common purpose. The construction of the Tabernacle is no longer a project by a single dominant tribe but one in which all of Israel participate.
Some of humanity’s greatest achievements have happened through collaboration and unity: our greatest failures have occurred when one tribe has claimed supremacy over others.
In the last 100 years alone: the Somme, Auschwitz, Cambodia, Srbrenica, Rwanda stand testimony to this failure… At the same time some of our greatest scientific discoveries have been achieved when there has been collaboration and the political will to make progress. The last 70 years of peace in Western Europe is a miracle: unity between countries that came together to rebuild prosperity out of war ravaged continent: and in doing so created peace and security: from the fires of war to a relative Tabernacle of peace. We risk ignoring that achievement at our peril.