Exodus 35:34-35:

וּלְהוֹרֹ֖ת נָתַ֣ן בְּלִבּ֑וֹ ה֕וּא וְאָֽהֳלִיאָ֥ב בֶּן־אֲחִיסָמָ֖ךְ לְמַטֵּה־דָֽן׃ מִלֵּ֨א אֹתָ֜ם חָכְמַת־לֵ֗ב לַעֲשׂוֹת֮ כָּל־מְלֶ֣אכֶת חָרָ֣שׁ ׀ וְחֹשֵׁב֒ וְרֹקֵ֞ם בַּתְּכֵ֣לֶת וּבָֽאַרְגָּמָ֗ן בְּתוֹלַ֧עַת הַשָּׁנִ֛י וּבַשֵּׁ֖שׁ וְאֹרֵ֑ג עֹשֵׂי֙ כָּל־מְלָאכָ֔ה וְחֹשְׁבֵ֖י מַחֲשָׁבֹֽת׃

And He hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them hath He filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of workmanship, of the craftsman, and of the skilful workman, and of the weaver in colours, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any workmanship, and of those that devise skilful works.

It seems that Oholi'av was an equal to Betzal'el. Yet we see that the Torah mentions a few items that Betzalel did on his own most notably, the Aron.

Exodus 37:1:

וַיַּ֧עַשׂ בְּצַלְאֵ֛ל אֶת־הָאָרֹ֖ן

And Bezalel made the ark

This is the only place where Betzalel's name is explicitly mentioned regarding making something. Was Ahili'av involved in the Aaron making as well? Do we know which items involved Ahali'av's cooperation?

  • Which is your main question? Why is Betzalel mentioned but Oholiav isn't? Or which items did Oholiav help build? As it stands, the question seems too broad.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 20:56
  • @DonielF Thanks for the comment. I was trying to mesh 2 ideas, apparently. I think the above makes things clearer.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 21:08
  • Much. Personally, I would edit back in the bit about "he" and "they." I think those are great points. I just think the fact that Oholiav isn't mentioned by name should be saved for another question, though the answer is probably that HaShem appointed him to assist Betzalel (Shemos 31:6), and so it's really Betzalel doing the heavy lifting, with Oholiav playing more of a supportive role.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 21:21
  • @DonielF "I would edit back in the bit about "he" and "they' - I deleted them for now, as I think these may be separate issues. It is unclear if the singular vs. plural is significant. As you know, frequently, the Torah uses a singular verb when the plural is implied. That could be what's occurring, here.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 22:24
  • What, that for certain items Betzalel and Oholiav worked k'ish echad b'lev echad and for others not? Interesting.
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


According to Binyamin Efrati in his book Sh'ma B'ni, A Treasury of Stories and Lessons from the Weekly Parshah. He says that Hashem chose Betzalel and Oholiav to work on the Mishkan, saying Betzalel made (Perek Lamed Zayin Pasuk Aleph/ Chapter 31 Verse 1). Rashi says that it was because he dedicated himself to the work more than anyone else. Oholiav was Betzalel's deputy, his number two man he assisted Betzalel.

This Shabbos I asked Rav Yissocher Frand this question and he responded by saying that Oholiav just helped with Betzalel with the Mishkan.

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya Josh!
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 4:37
  • 1
    "saying Betzalel made" made what? Consider editing to clarify. | "Oholiav was Betzalel's deputy, his number two man he assisted Betzalel." Is this also states by Efrati? Consider clarifying. Thanks you, and again, welcome!
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 4:38
  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya. Funny, I never knew the rebbe's first name was "Josh" ;-0
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 22:21
  • It isn't I just greatly admire the Lubavitcher Rebbe
    – Josh
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 20:28

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