Parashat Va-yak·hel-Pekudei continues the building of the Tabernacle—detailing the materials, craftsmanship, appurtenances, and its completion. Far from being the domain of the elite, the building of this dwelling place for God represents an endeavor undertaken by the entire people. We read that
Moses then gathered the whole Israelite community and said to them: These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do.
Last week we took a brief look at the balance between the majestic theological description of God with which Adon Olam opens, and the more intimate, even tender recounting of the poet’s relationship with God in the final stanzas. These final verses begin with two short words that articulate a quite extraordinary claim: “Vehu Eli” (For He is my God).
The three opening stanzas are theologically majestic and poetically lyrical, but they...