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    Art in the wilderness – Vayakhel

    Though many people think that this week’s long double sidra is exceedingly boring, Pinhas Peli finds its description of the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness a fascinating chapter in the history of art and artistry.

    The skills of Betzalel and Oholiav – both of whom come from impressive lineage – are exceptional. The way they translate the Divine command into an edifice equipped with furnishings is nothing less than genius.

    Despite the leadership status of Moses, the building and furnishing of the sanctuary show Betzalel and Oholiav in their element. Though the task they undertook came from Above, they brought their own creative abilities into areas in which Moses had no expertise, so, for example, they constructed the Ark before the building itself.

    Their spiritual soul knew that the Torah was a higher priority than the walls and drapes, and they knew what had to come first.

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