In a sefer Haycha Timtzah, which received Haskamos from the likes of HaRav Moshe Feinstein, he asks the following riddle.

Riddle: Where do we find one of the 613 Mitzvos that was fulfilled only 6 times since creation?

Answer: The commandment of עָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ - to build a sanctuary for HaShem. (Chinuch Mitzvah 95). This Mitzvah includes the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that Moses made in the desert. It also includes the Bais Hamikdash (Temple) in Jerusalem. Before (the Temple in) Jerusalem was built, there were others i.e., the Tabernacle in Shiloh and the Tabernacles in Nob and Gibeon. (Minchas Chinuch ibid) (Note: The Minchas Chinuch does not mention here the Second Bais Hamikdash which, is certainly included in this Mitzvah.)

The Rambam elaborates: "As soon as they (the Children of Israel) entered the land (of Israel) they erected the Mishkan in Gilgal which stood for 14 years while they conquered and divided (Israel). From there they came to Shiloh, and there they built a Tabernacle of stones, and they spread the curtains of Mishkan upon it, for it had no roof. For 368 years Mishkan Shiloh stood; when Eli died, it was destroyed. They came to Nob, and there they built a (Mikdash) Tabernacle; when Samuel died it was destroyed. And they came to Gibeon and there they built a Tabernacle. And from Gibeon they came to 'Bais Olamim' (building the First Bais Hamikdash, transferring the 'Kailim' from the Tabernacle at Gibeon). The duration (of the Tabernacles) at Nob and Gibeon was 57 years (13 years at Nob, 44 years at Gibeon)." (Mishneh Torah Avodah 1:2 Hilchos Bais HaBechirah)

Thus, this Mitzvah was fulfilled only 6 times since creation: 1. The Mishkan in the Midbar; 2. Shiloh; 3. Nob; 4. Gibeon; 5. First Bais Hamikdash; 6. Second Bais Hamikdash.

My question is why is Gilgal not included in this calculation? If so, that would make this 7 times and not six. A follow-up question would be, "In practice, how is this mitzvah actually fulfilled?" Does it require the Aron? The Altar etc...New stones or walls?



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