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    On the clouds of heaven – Vayakhel

    sky belief clouds horizonWhen the sanctuary was constructed, it needed appurtenances for worship.

    Sh’mot 35 enumerates not just building materials and furniture but colours and adornments – “gold, silver, copper, dyes, linen, skins, acacia wood, oil, spices, precious stones…”

    Verse 22 records that generous men and women made donations (the women had occupied themselves after the Exodus with spinning goats’ hair).

    One can imagine some of the people possessing precious items which they brought with when leaving Egypt, but in the quantities required for the sanctuary?

    Targum Yonatan suggests that the gifts for the project were brought by the clouds of heaven. Where did the gifts emanate? The spices, for example, came from the Garden of Eden.

    The Zohar sees an ethical lesson, that nothing stolen or obtained by violence was acceptable.

    It is also possible that the “wings of heaven” denotes donations from God Himself. When He saw how devoted the people were to the construction of the sanctuary, He stepped in and made sure that enough material was there.

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