Lessons of the Avodah Part 3 – Using Inspiration Properly – Parshat Shemini

This week we read about the “eighth day”, yom ha’shemini, which was the inaugural day of the Mishkan.  The commentators explain that this day is the first day of Nissan, one year after the Exodus.  We read about all of the specific services that Aaron and his sons were commanded to do in order to kick-off the future of all services in the Mishkan.

This entire episode is actually quite strange.  This is because this “eighth day” that is being celebrated was already recorded in a previous part of the Torah.  In the last section of Parshat Pekudei (Exodus 40) we already read about the inauguration of the Mishkan!  The entire latter half of the Book of Exodus all culminated towards the final goal of God’s Presence filling the Mishkan, which is recorded in the last verses of Pekudei (40:34-38).  And all of that happened on the first of Nissan, the exact same day as our “eighth day.” Why do we repeat it here?
Furthermore, this event is actually described a third time in the Torah, in the Book of Numbers.  In the Parsha of Be-Ha’alotcha (9:15-23) the Torah once again speaks of this same inaugural “eighth day.”