In the Pesikta Rabbati, we find a midrash that claims that the work on the mishkan was completed on the 25th of Kislev, even though it wasn't erected until Nisan.

אמר רבי חנינא בעשרים וחמשה בכסליו נגמרה מלאכת המשכן

Rabbi Hanina says: on the 25th of Kislev, the work on the mishkan was completed

While the midrash gives prooftexts for several other assertions it makes, it doesn't attempt to source the date for the completion of work on the mishkan. Is there another text that sources this assertion, or anyone later who suggests a reason for the Pesikta Rabbati's assertion?

1 Answer 1


Tthe very last Midrash Tanchuma on Sefer Shemot states:

ואימתי נאמר לו למשה לעשות את המשכן ביום הכפורים לפי שעלה משה להר ג' פעמים ועשה שם מאה ועשרים יום מששה בסיון שעלה לשם עד יום הכפורים שהוא עשרה בתשרי ואותו היום נאמר וינחם ה' על מעשה העגל אותו היום אמר לו סלחתי כדבריך ואותו היום נאמר לו ועשו לי מקדש ובו ביום אמר לו וסלחת לעונינו ולחטאתנו ונחלתנו היום הזה תנחילנו סליחה לדורות ובו ביום אמר לו הקב"ה כי ביום הזה יכפר עליכם ועשו את המשכן בחדוה ובשמחה ולכמה חדשים נגמרה מלאכת המשכן רבי שמואל בר נחמן אמר בשלשה חדשים נגמרה מלאכת המשכן תשרי מרחשון כסליו והיה מונח ומפורק טבת ושבט ואדר והעמידוהו באחד בניסן שנאמר ביום החדש הראשון בא' לחדש תקים את משכן אהל מועד ר' חנינא אומר בא' באדר היה נגמרה מלאכת המשכן למה שהמלאכה שנעשית בקיץ ביום אחד נעשית בחורף בשני ימים

And when was it told to Moses to build the Mishkan? On Yom Kippur. For Moses ascended to the mountain three times, and was there for 120 days from the 6th of Sivan when he ascended to there until Yom Kippur which is the 10th of Tishrei. And on that day it was said that God repented on the matter of the [golden] calf, that day He said to him "I have forgiven by your words, and that day it was said to him "and build me a sanctuary", and that day he said to Him "and You should forgive our iniquities and our sins and make us an inheritance" – this day make us an inheritance of forgiveness for generations. And on that day God said to him "for on this day he shall [bring] forgiveness on you". And they made the mishkan with joy and happiness. And in how many months was the work of the mishkan completed? R. Samuel Bar Nachman said in three months the work of the mishkan was completed: Tishrei, Merachshevan, [and] Kislev, and it was left and dismantled [during] Teves, Shevat, and Adar, and they put it up on the first of Nissan as it says "on the first day of the first month yo shall erect the mishkan the tent of meeting. R. Chanina says on the 1st of Adar the work of the mishkan was completed. Why? for work that is done in the summer in one day is done in the winter in two days.

From this midrash we see that the day of start and the day of being finally erected were known; the only unknown was how much of the interim time was spent on building it and how much was a delay until Nissan. The basis of the differing opinions seems to simply be an assessment of how long such a project would take, and once we know how long it would take then we can assume that the remaining time was a delay (for reasons explained in the midrash but not relevant to this answer).

  • Thanks. That's another source for Kislev, but not for the 25th specifically, nor with a prooftext for the claim. Well, I guess סברא is a proof of sorts, as you suggest.
    – magicker72
    Dec 14, 2020 at 0:13
  • @magicker72 25th might be derived from the Midashic idea that God had to make something up to the day that it should have been on. Since the 25th is a day that we know something good occurred on, we assume that that was the day.
    – Alex
    Dec 14, 2020 at 0:24
  • Possibly related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22720/759
    – Double AA
    Dec 14, 2020 at 0:45

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