A bibliophile was guiding me through a collection of antique Haggadot, when he paused to lament the primitiveness of the artwork. “Jews are people of the word, not the image,” I reminded him.

It was not always so. The Pentateuch lavishes long passages among its spare and precious prose on the making of the Tabernacle, detailing precise dimensions, materials, processing of the materials, colors and how to source the dyes for those colors. The project was implemented not by scholars but by craftsmen Bezalel and Oholiab.

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