The Medrash tells us that Betzalel merited to have an unbelievable amount of profound knowledge to the point that he was able to understand the inner workings of the Creation of the World. This was given to him because of the mesiras nefesh of his ancestors Chur and Miriam. It seems to me that one must explain why mesiras nefesh is the quality necessary to be deserving of such a level of intimate understanding.

As Pesach approaches and we think about the women who were moser nefesh to perpetuate klal Yisrael by having children in Mitzrayim, we try to understand what were they thinking. It seems to me the answer is: They weren’t thinking! They were instead doing what they knew and felt was right—not because of a logical process, but because of a deep-seated emunah in Hashem, they understood that this was their mission and were moser nefesh for it.

Throughout all of the generations there are many great people who let their ‘greatness’ go to their head. Some felt they were invincible at war, and others felt that their intellectual capacity surpassed all. Greatness in knowledge is a tool that can be used for good or otherwise. Therefore, it must only be given to those who we can be assured will not abuse their power. The safeguard for the person to remain humble—though he has this great intellect—I think, is the fact that he is willing to forego what he thinks, even to the point of giving up his life, for a theological belief. Therefore, Betzalel, who was brought up in the tribe of Yehudah, who excelled in mesiras nefesh (Miriam and Chur), was worthy to be entrusted with this great knowledge.

While we might be intellectually prepared for the Pesach seder, in order to take the knowledge we have to a level of greatness, we must couple it with an element of mesiras nefesh. I marvel at the words in the Hagadah , which tell us about people who are able to keep their eyes opened the night of the seder until the morning hours while delighting in the thrills of the Exodus from Egypt. This to me seems to be an aspect of mesiras nefesh.

As we yearn to know the secrets of the Torah, if we liken ourselves to the tribe of Yehudah, going beyond our natural resources to extend ourselves in doing mitzvahs, we too can possibly be blessed with an aspect of profound knowledge.