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Pekudei Midrash Top
Pekudei Midrash Bottom
Many miracles occurred during the construction of the Mishkan. Here are two.

The boards of the Mishkan were not covered with gold the way it is done today; rather, plates of gold and beams of wood were made separately. The beams were then covered with the plates of gold. Since they were made this way, it would normally be necessary to use pins and nails to attach the gold. This could not be done since no nail or any iron could be used in the Mishkan.

However, when the plate of gold was brought close to the wooden beam the plate would surround it and cover it. The Torah therefore says, "All the gold that was made for the work." The gold itself did what was necessary for the work to be completed.


The first thing that one must realize is that the courtyard in front of the Mishkan was 50 amot (75 feet) long and 50 amot wide. In this space there was the outer Mizbayach (altar) which was 5 amot by 5 amot. The kevesh (access ramp), which was used to ascend to the top of the Mizbayach was 32 amot (48 feet) long to the south. The Kiyor (washstand) was also between the Mishkan and the Mizbayach.

The entire area in front of the Mishkan was 50 by 50 amot, that is 2,500 square amot. All these articles were able to fit in that space.

Only a small area remained. Even if the entire area were empty, no more than 2,500 people could have fit in there, one person in each square amah. However, the entire Bnei Yisroel was able to fit into that courtyard on the day that the Mishkan was erected, although there were millions of people.

The Torah tells us that there were 600,000 men over 20 years old. This was in addition to those under 20, who were not numbered. If we calculated the necessary space, an area four miles square would be needed to hold all these people. Therefore, it was a very great miracle that this small area could hold so many people.

There was also a miracle within a miracle. Since so many people were in this rather small area, one would imagine that they were pressed tightly together. However, the opposite was true. Each person had plenty of room. It seemed to each person as if he had 4 amot (6 feet) of empty space around him. Each person was able to bow down without disturbing the person next to him.

All the Bnei Yisroel stood in the courtyard and saw the fire come down from heaven, standing like a pillar. It entered the Mishkan and went upon the Mizbayach, burning the fats of all the sacrifices; then it remained standing above the Mizbayach. All Bnei Yisroel saw this miracle and bowed.

At that time Divine inspiration rested upon them and they sang a song to Hashem. As it says, "All the people saw and they sang out and they fell on their faces." (Vayikra 9:24).

The Mishkan was completed in Kislev, but Hashem wanted it to be erected on Rosh Chodesh Nisan. One reason given is that Hashem waited until Nisan because that was the month when our forefather Yitzchak was born. Another reason is that Nisan is a month of joy, when the Bnei Yisroel were freed from Mitzrayim and Nisan is the month in which we will be redeemed in the future.

In order to pacify Kislev, which had been denied the honor of celebrating the Mishkan's inauguration, Hashem pledged that another Sanctuary would be inaugurated in Kislev. That time came when the miracle of Chanukah took place, and the second Beit HaMikdash was rededicated on 25 Kislev which became the 1st day of Chanukah.

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