The Chafetz Project -
Melekhet Machashevet Citations

    The following are online citations from Moshe Chafetz's 1710 work Melekhet Machashevet, found on the internet.

    Not all links are still active, but relevant text is excerpted here in full.

    Parshat Pekudei
    (From Exodus)

    Economic Analysis in Talmudic Literature: Rabbinic Thought in the Light of Modern Economics

    from Part IV - Human Capital Issues: Productive Work (p. 117) uncertain if this is from Pekudei commentary, possibly Vayakhel)

    The question addressed by Rashi is taken up at a later date by the outstanding 17th century exegete-philosopher, R. Moshe Gentili-Hefez (1663-1711). In his view, learning requires assiduous human effort, whereas the acquisition of knowledge is a product of intellectual growth. Gentili writes:

    "True, every human endeavour requires Divine assistance. Still, it is incumbent upon man to cleave to scholars to learn. Indeed, without diligence knowledge will not drop from heaven. For how can one become wise without assiduous effort. Moreover, there are two kinds of skills: one is imitative, the other educative. In the event of the former, one just uses ingenuity to execute his work. The former's work is necessarily imperfect, whereas the latter's is artistic. Bezalel, on account of his educational background, possessed the qualities of the latter. He was steeped in theory and practice, which along with Divine assistance, he implemented creatively and productively.

    Gentili entitled his homiletical-philosophical work "Melekhet Mahashevet", i.e. "work resulting from thought". This phrase is taken from the Book of Exodus (35:33), and it is related directly to a variety of passages in cognate literature.

    See R. Moshe Gentili-Hefez, Melekhet Mahashevet (Venice, 1710) p. 105. These extracts were freely translated from Hebrew into English.


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