What is the origin of the miraculous phenomenon of human creativity? How is it that we are the only creatures on the planet capable of performing such enormous creative (the destructive) acts, of the kind that were once attributed to God alone? This is one of the subjects that this week’s Torah portion, vayakhel (Exodus 35:1 – 38:20), touches upon, in the context of the construction of the mishkan, the tabernacle that has been the subject of the last few weekly portions.
As mentioned earlier, ancient lore considered the tabernacle to be a mirror of the structure of the human psyche as well as the structure of the universe. The art of creating the tabernacle, then, is a mirror of, or a commentary on, the primordial act of creation spoken of in Genesis, on one hand, and the nature of human creativity on the other.