The monotheistic ideal, which was given to Israel at the dawn of its history, took a long time to be completely absorbed. Among the long series of deviations from this concept, the incident of the Golden Calf in this sedra stands out as the most serious.
King Solomon realised that the concept of one god could not be forced on the people. Although permitting pagan religions to function in Jerusalem and other towns, he believed that the building of the Temple, dedicated to monotheism, would help the people understand. It is believed by many commentators that confrontation with the Zoroastrian gods of light and darkness in Babylon enabled Ezra and Nehemia to crystallise the one and only god idea.
Also in this sedra, the first census takes place. The half shekel donation from each person, employed instead of counting heads, teaches us that every Jew is incomplete without every other Jew.