14 votes

Why can't Israel rebuild the Mishkan today in the original site at Tel Shilo?

The Bavli, M'gila 10, clarifies that once the temple in Jerusalem was built there is no longer anywhere else we can offer sacrificial offerings. Its holiness is forever and precludes other sites. ...
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13 votes
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Was the Mishkan Built on Shabbat?

This question is addressed by several Acharonim. R. Pinchas Horowitz says that during the 7 days of inauguration Moshe did not erect the Mishkan by himself. Since multiple people did the act together ...
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  • 48k
11 votes

Were the Showbreads really made months before they were eaten?

The Ha'amek Davar offers two explanations: His first answer is that a there was a constant miracle that the bread always stayed fresh for the week between its baking and its consumption. Similarly, ...
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10 votes
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Was it lawful for David to partake of the showbread?

The Talmud (M'nachos 96a) explains that David and his coterie were in mortal danger of starving at the time, which legally supersedes the prohibition against them eating showbread. Another approach, ...
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  • 16.3k
10 votes

Jewish Minecraft instructions?

Here is a YouTube video of someone's actual Minecraft model of the (first) Beit Hamikdash. If building based on that isn't enough, they provide some links in the video description. Disclaimer: I don'...
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8 votes

Did people who were not priests ever enter the Tabernacle?

How about Yoav (Melachim I, 2:29)? He goes into "Ohel Hashem" (literally translated as Tabernacle in some places), and holds onto the "horns of the altar". Yoav was not a cohen (...
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  • 3,636
7 votes

Was the Mishkan Built on Shabbat?

Six additional answers: The Chasam Sofer (Toras Moshe, Vayakhel) explains that Moshe did not really construct the Mishkan by himself; it just looked like he was building it but in reality it was ...
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7 votes
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How did the Cohanim manage to walk on the Copper Mizbeach?

With thanks to Danny Schoemann who pointed me at a reference to what I’d remembered without a source. Here is how the Torah describes the tabernacle altar (Shemot 27:8): נְבוּב לֻחֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה ...
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7 votes

Did people who were not priests ever enter the Tabernacle?

Dafdigest for Eruvin 105. I have extracted parts of the article which speaks about workers working in the Temple on the plating which was fastened on the walls of the Kodesh Kodoshim. The inside ...
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7 votes

How did the Kerashim / Beams of the Mishkan remain upright?

The beams were made of a type of wood, which has a specific gravity of less than 1 relative to water (therefore wood floats.) see Wikipedia Table of specific gravity in article on Relative Gravity.) ...
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6 votes

Why use the fire pans to cover the copper altar and not the gold one?

The Torah is explicit about a rationale for [at least some part of] this command: וְיִֽהְי֥וּ לְא֖וֹת לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל let them serve as a symbol to the people of Israel and זִכָּר֞וֹן לִבְנֵ֣י ...
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6 votes
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In building the mishkan, why does the torah sometimes call for זָהָב טָהוֹר and other times just זָהָב?

Rabbi Chaim Kanievski (in Taamah Dkrah) deduces from the Gemarah in Menachot 89a [top of the page] that pure gold is not required when only the term 'זָהָב' is used (without 'טָהוֹר') and points out ...
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  • 6,374
6 votes

Why was Shaatnez used in making the Mishkan?

This really is not unexpected that something that is the choicest material and is used in the service of God is not allowed to be used by normal people for everyday use. For example the blood and fats ...
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  • 3,334
6 votes
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Is it known how large (in miles) was the encampment of the Jews in the desert?

Yoma 75b: As it is written: “And they camped by the Jordan from Beth-Jeshimoth to Abel-shittim” (Numbers 33:49), and Rabba bar bar Ḥana said: I saw that site and it was three parasangs in length. ...
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6 votes
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Who carried the kiyor

There are multiple opinions Ramban שמות לח/כא and Sefer Chassidim offer an opinion that בני קהת carried it אבן עזרא(שמות לה/טז) & חזקוני (שמות ל/יח) say that it might have been either בני גרשון ...
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  • 1,329
5 votes

Did people who were not priests ever enter the Tabernacle?

Ⅱ Chronicles 35:11 describes non-priest levites' slaughtering[1] and skinning sacrificial animals. [1] according to the commentary of M'tzudas David inter alia
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5 votes

Did people who were not priests or Levites enter the Tabernacle for ritual purposes?

The Smag (Rav Moshe miCoucy 12th century) Mitzva Lo taaseh 309 (Also Sefer Hachinuch Mitzva 390) based on the Gemora in Yoma 24b says that there were 3 "rituals" that a Zor - non Cohen was allowed to ...
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  • 11.2k
5 votes

How could there be so little gold in the Mishkan, when it’s clear there’s much more?

By way of prefatory remarks I will include this Ibn Ezra on the verse mentioned as a precursor to any information below, and by doing so we can then remain level-headed. ומי יוכל לשער כמה זהב צפוי ...
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5 votes

“Gold was created only so that it should be used for the Mishkan.” – Source?

It's a Shemos Rabba 35:1 Text: .וְהֵיכָן גְּנָזוֹ בַּגַּן עֵדֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים צז, יא): אוֹר זָרֻעַ לַצַּדִּיק, וְהַרְבֵּה בְּרִיּוֹת בָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בָּעוֹלָם, וְלֹא הָיָה ...
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5 votes
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How was the tabernacle kept cool?

From Chabad.org The clouds that surrounded the camp fulfilled a four-fold purpose: to protect the people from the searing desert sun; (Shulchan Aruch Harav, Orach Chaim, ch. 625, Isaiah 4:6. See ...
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  • 6,302
4 votes

Why use the fire pans to cover the copper altar and not the gold one?

Inside it will only be seen by Cohanim, and not many of them either. On the outside alter it was seen by Leviim and Yisroelim. Edit: It is supposed to be constant reminder for the generations to see, ...
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4 votes
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What happened to Moshe's Mateh (stick)

I think it's a combination of Midrashim - one that says that Moshe's stick was previously Yaakov's, and the other that saying that this bolt was Yaakov's: The Yalkut Shimoni (168) writes that Moshe's ...
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4 votes
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Was there a lack of communication or supply management when collecting the mishkan items?

Darash Moshe in parshas Terumah. 25 8 reads into the psukim there that at the time of collection, Bnei Yisroel were not aware of what the purpose of their donations were for. In this way, their ...
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  • 32.3k
4 votes

How did the Levites erect the mishkan at each stop if they couldn't the first time?

Rashi says that Hashem set this up in order to honor Moshe. Once he set it up then it became possible for the Leviim to continue setting it up and taking it down. My son said at his son's bris (Yom ...
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  • 41.9k
4 votes

Were there Bigdei Leviim (and if not why not?), what did the Leviim wear in the Mishkan?

Here are some sources that come from two Otzar Hachochma forum pages (here and here). Yagid Davar points out 3 quick finds: Divrei Hayamim 2 5:12 says that they wore Butz (linen): וְהַלְוִיִּ֣ם ...
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4 votes

How were the patterned curtains for the mishkan woven?

Not everybody agrees with Rashi. Abarbanel (as cited in the JPS Miqra'ot Gedolot English translation) says that the linen threads formed the warp and the colored yarns were used in the weft to make ...
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4 votes
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How did Shlomo Hamelech figure out which way to build the Beit Hamikdash?

Yalkut Shimoni, Nach 1081, says: מגלת בית המקדש מסרה הקב"ה בעמידה.... משה מסרה ליהושע בעמידה... עמד יהושע ומסרה לזקנים בעמידה... עמדו זקנים ומסרוה לנביאים בעמידה, עמדו נביאים ומסרוה לדוד בעמידה... ...
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4 votes

Did the כלי המקדש (menorah, shulchan, etc) need to be made לשמה?

Yes all keilim need to be made lishma. Rambam (courtsey of Chabad) Bais Habechira 1:20: אֵין עוֹשִׂין כָּל הַכֵּלִים מִתְּחִלָּתָן אֶלָּא לְשֵׁם הַקֹּדֶשׁ. וְאִם נַעֲשׂוּ מִתְּחִלָּתָן לְהֶדְיוֹט אֵין ...
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4 votes
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Only one high priest

A number of points: First of all, the Torah does not explicitly say that Nadav and Avihu entered the Holy of Holies. See what it does it say (Vayikra 10:1-2): "Now Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu ...
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  • 20.8k
4 votes
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Where was the Well of Miriam positioned within the camp of Israel, in the wilderness?

Midrash Tanhuma, Bamidbar 2: והבאר בזכות מרים, שנאמר: "ותמות שם מרים, ולא היה מים לעדה" (במדבר כ א ב). והיאך היתה הבאר עשויה? כמין סלע היתה מתגלגלת ובאה עמהן במסעות. כיון שהיו הדגלים חונים ...
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