After the Jews left Egypt, as the newly-formed Jewish People wandered through the desert, it was the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) that stood at the center of their encampment. But despite its centrality to Jewish life and the many verses of Chumash describing it, the Mishkan and its keilim (sacred vessels) always remained difficult for us to visualize.
That is, until now, with the release of one of ArtScroll’s most ambitious projects ever, an interactive computer program unlike anything ever undertaken before: The Kleinman Edition of THE MISHKAN.
For this groundbreaking project, ArtScroll brought in the talents of top experts worldwide. Consultants worked on the project in New Orleans, Baltimore, and the U.S.Armed Forces Aberdeen Multimedia Test Center. Animations, models, and technical work were done as far away as Ottawa and Eastern Europe. At the hub of all this activity was ArtScroll’s New York office, home to the team whose research formed the basis of this unprecedented project. Scholars created hundreds of pages outlining every detail of the Mishkan, the bigdei kehunah, and the keilim. The research was then combined with the full power of today’s cutting edge animation technology. The end result of all this dedicated activity is The Kleinman Edition of THE MISHKAN, an unprecedented achievement in the audiovisual presentation of Torah knowledge.
So boot up your computer (THE MISHKAN is compatible with PC computers) and join us to see just what this “virtual Mishkan” looks like.
.Let’s start with a “fly-in.” From the encampment surrounding the Mishkan, we soar over the tents of the tribes, into the Mishkan itself. The Mishkan comes to life with spectacular, high impact animations and videos, simulating the construction and assembly of the Mishkan and its vessels, right before our eyes. The beauty, grandeur and accuracy of these images are unimaginable, and would have been impossible just a few years ago.
In the verse by verse exploration, we see on our screens each pasuk that talks about the Mishkan and the keilim, in Hebrew and English, together with its corresponding image. We can access the Rashi on the verse, in Hebrew and English. We can take closer looks at the stunning 3D models, rotate some of the vessels to better understand what they looked like, check the measurements, learn of alternate opinions, and gain more insight through audio comments by Rabbi Nosson Scherman. An easy-to-work sliding bar lets us look at single verses, read through the entire Torah portion, or find references to specific keilim. This is an invaluable educational tool for students, parents, teachers, or anyone who wants to understand the Chumash’s descriptions.
We harness cutting-edge animation technology for the most moving part of the program: Seeing the Mishkan through the eyes of a Kohen walking through it. Imagine walking through the Courtyard into the Mishkan itself. Before us is the shulchan with the lechem hapanim lying upon it. We can view the keruvim from up close, see the Menorah with its flames burning. The walk-through, with its stunning visuals and background music, is so realistic we can almost smell the ketores rising from the Inner Incense Altar.
All of Klal Yisrael contributed to the construction of the Mishkan. How appropriate, then, that all of Klal Yisrael can now finally understand the glory and beauty that once was, through this unbelievable, magnificent project.
Filed under: Inside ArtScroll Weekly