Friday, May 30, 2014

Exodus: Chapter 26

A unity in multiplicity 
or pieces into one 

Connections,  linkages,  
Close together
 but apart

[For full chapter, click here
This chapter is both the direct continuation of the previous one, and its counterpoint. 
We move from the furniture of the Dwelling to the construction of the Dwelling itself. The move from object to context creates a change--
from male to female (the keruvim in the previous chapter face “each man to his brother” while the curtains and planks are connected “each woman to her sister); 
from a “single solid” (miksha)  to separate pieces that must be linked
Connection--hovered/ mahveret/ ve-haverta—is the leitword of the chapter.  
While the separated sections are attached so that  the Dwelling “becomes one” (vehaya ehad), this is a unity haunted by separation, very unlike the eternal; “single solid” unifying the seemingly multifarious keruvim and Menora of the previous chapter. The plank holders are “twinned,” and full of duality. The chapter closes with the creation of dividers—the  parokhet and masakh , and with a series of opposites: within/without, north/south . 
Yet this is a space that is also full of keruvim, interwoven into the very walls of the Dwelling, and into the dividing curtain. It provides the placement for the previous chapters isolated elements,the parameters for interaction.]

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