Parshat Vayakhel: Assembly Required

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Red Puzzle Piece White Puzzle
27 Feb 2008
Arts & Media

It is the morning after and

Pieces are spread all over the place

Like crystal colliding with a

Porcelain floor; or perhaps one of

Those ten-thousand-morsel puzzles

At the mercy of a kindergarten filled

With mischievous grins.


It is the morning after and

It is time to begin

Perfecting a world

Building a home for G-d

A sanctuary of truth and peace

A dwelling for unity and eternity –


But how can we when we aren’t?

We are fragments. I don’t know you

You don’t know me. How can I come

With my brass and mold it with your

Silver? How can you twine your blue

Around my scarlet?


We are made of different materials,

Different hopes and dreams, different

Minds and hearts, different bodies and faces.

How can even the most talented architect

Engineer such a miracle?


Have you tried building a temple when

You are broken?

It is impossible to complete anything

When we are incomplete. One cannot

Build a sanctuary when one is not sanctified.

It takes unity to build, not only a unified structure,

But a structure of unity –


But your congregation is different than mine,

Your crowd is different than mine, even

Your prayer book is different than mine.


When we look up we may see the same heaven

But when we look down we see different shoes.


To assemble a home for unity you have to be one.

To assemble a temple you must assemble a people.

To assemble the body you need to assemble the soul.


And Moses assembled the entire…


Moses didn’t gather; he assembled:

One gathers fragments; one assembles a whole.


At times (it’s called Exile) it may seem like it, but

We are never truly fragmented; we are just parts of

One whole waiting to be assembled.


A residence for the Divine:

G-d resides wherever you let Him in.

Sometimes, one has to stop being in order to become.

Self only allows for self; and the Ego Hotel has no vacancies.

But if we allow ourselves to become humbled, to acknowledge

That we are part of something great, holy, divine –


Than all that’s really required is some assembly.

Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.