Artwork by Daniel Kabakoff
Descending from the high mount once again,
Moshe had brought the tablets of the Law
Upon the day, since held in highest awe,
That brings atonement. And now not in vain
He summoned them to gather and to draw
Upon their stores of various stuff and skill
To make a meeting-tent that would fulfill
G-d’s plan, and show Creation without flaw,
Healed of its severance from the primal Will:
A form of many forms, yet merged in one,
All at Divine command, yet freely done,
And naught omitted, save those husks of ill
That throng the World of Separation,
Where prideful souls proclaim themselves alone.
We reckon now the silver and the gold,
The copper and the gemstones raised and spent
To rear and furnish forth the holy tent
Of meeting and of witness, framed to hold
The tokens of G-d innermost intent.
This counting is remembrance of our zeal
That helped the heavenly vision become real
In this dense world. And for this we were lent
A visible presence, shining to reveal
G-d’s self, and our next step along G-d’s way.
And though we see the Tent no more today,
Yet as in line with His commands we deal,
We give Him shape; and as we scan the array
Of Law, we sense His inmost will’s pure ray.