Gold is mentioned nearly 50 times in this sedra, far more than any other material. Gold covers most of the Mishkan and its furniture and it is topped with two solid gold cherubs. The High Priest is draped in gold - chains, bells, rings and even woven into the fabric of his garments. A gold head-plate crowns the ensemble.
And we still regard gold as a symbol of success, status, and love.
But today sourcing gold generates mountains of toxic waste and consumes massive amounts of precious water.