The Children of Israel began building the
(also called the "Tabernacle"--a portable sanctuary to house the
Divine presence in their midst as they journeyed through the desert) on the 11th
of Tishrei of the year 2449 from creation (1312 BCE) -- six months after their
from Egypt, four months after the
revelation at Sinai, and 80 days after their worship of the Golden Calf. The construction
of the Mishkan, which followed a detailed set of instructions issued to Moses on
Mount Sinai, lasted 74 days, and was completed on the
25th of Kislev; but the
Divine command to erect the edifice came only three months later, on the 23rd
of Adar, when Moses was instructed to begin a 7-day
During the week of Adar 23-29, the Mishkan was erected each morning and dismantled each evening; Moses served as the High Priest and initiated Aaron
and his four sons into the priesthood. Then, on the
"eighth day" --
the 1st of Nissan --
the Mishkan was "permanently"
assembled (that is, put up to stand until the Divine command would come to journey on),
Aaron and his sons assumed the priesthood, and the divine presence
came to dwell in the Mishkan.
Chassidic Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Altar (1799-1866), author of Chiddushei Harim (a commentary on the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch), was a disciple of the Maggid of Koshnitz and Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, and the founder of the "Ger" (Gerer) Chassidic dynasty. All his 13 sons had died in his lifetime, and he was succeeded (in 1870) by his young grandson, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Alter (the "Sefat Emmet").