> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation

Clouds of Glory

Pekudei (Exodus 38:21-40:38 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Clouds of Glory," 2014, acrylic on canvas, 110 x 70 cm.

The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and God's glory filled the Tabernacle. (Exodus 40:34)

The book of Exodus ends with God coming down to grace the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, with His presence, after it has been set up according to His detailed instructions.

The painting consists of two panels. In the lower panel, vertical and horizontal strokes suggest the Mishkan's physical structure of beams and pillars. Between the vertical strokes, abstract human figures appear, perhaps referring to the anointing of the priests at the entrance of the Mishkan. The eye is led back to jewel-like inner chambers from which a golden glow emanates.

The upper panel lets us look into a complex and dynamic world of transcendence. The shapes suggest mountains, clouds split with light, and above, a sea-surface with foaming waves, perhaps the "upper waters" of the firmament. From a point just below the firmament, rays of golden light stream downward and penetrate into the lower panel. These rays can also be seen as a pathway from the blue mountains in the background. The wandering Clouds of Glory, which had guided the people from outside the camp, now descend and find a permanent home.

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