God told Moshe to instruct Aharon, the Kohen Gadol, to light the Menorah every day in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). God told Moshe to appoint the Levi’im to their service in the Mishkan. This involved bringing two animal offerings, the people placing their hands upon the heads of the Levi’im and each Levi being physically lifted in the air and waved by Moshe and Aharon.
The tribe of Levi was to take over the role that had been designated for the firstborn, who were sanctified on the night of the Exodus from Egypt, when the Egyptian firstborn were slain and the Israelite firstborn survived.
In the second year after the Exodus, on 14 Nissan, God commanded the people to bring their Pesach offerings. There were people who are ritually impure, having recently come into contact with a dead person. Unable to bring an offering, they came to Moshe and Aharon and expressed their desire not to miss out. God told Moshe that they can have a second chance, a month later, on what becomes known as Pesach Sheni (‘the second Pesach’).
A cloud covered the Mishkan by day, with a fiery appearance at night. The Israelites remained encamped until the cloud lifted, which is the signal to journey on. The duration of time during which the cloud covers the Mishkan varied. God told Moshe to make two silver trumpets to summon the people before travelling in the desert. The trumpets were also to be blown when the nation is at war, in order to evoke Divine mercy, as well as to accompany communal offerings on Shabbat and festival days.
In the second year after the Exodus, on 20 Iyar, the cloud lifted and the nation journeyed from the Sinai desert to the Paran desert. The Torah describes the order of the tribes’ journeying and the different stages of dismantling and erecting the Mishkan. Moshe asked his father-in-law Yitro, referred to here as Chovav, to join the nation on their journey.
When the Aron (Ark) would start its miraculous journey in front of the nation, Moshe would appeal to God to scatter His enemies. The people complained. God sent a fatal fire against them, until Moshe pleaded for mercy on their behalf. The ‘rabble’ then complained about the manna, which did not taste as good as the food in Egypt. God was angered. Moshe told Him he is helpless to deal with the nation’s complaints. God told him to appoint 70 elders to assist in leading the nation. God told Moshe that, in response to their complaints, the nation would be given meat for a whole month, until they were sick of it. The 70 elders were appointed and given prophetic powers.
A wind blows quails into the camp. The people gathered the quails and started eating them, but God sent ‘a mighty blow’ against the people for their original complaints.
Miriam and Aharon spoke negatively about Moshe. God rebuked them and Miriam developed a tzara’at skin affliction. Moshe prayed for her recovery. Miriam was quarantined outside the camp for seven days, during which the people did not journey.