Grand OpeningBy Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
David had stockpiled so much wealth for the Temple that, even after Solomon made all the utensils, there was still much gold and silver left over. Solomon had this deposited in the Temple treasuries. Then, Solomon gathered all the leaders of the people, to convey the Ark from its resting place to the Temple. The leaders gathered before Solomon before the holiday of Succos and they escorted the Ark, plus all the other vessels of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to the Temple. Solomon and the people offered uncountable sacrifices to commemorate the occasion.
The kohanim (priests) placed the Ark in the Holy of Holies, beneath the figures of cherubim there. The wings of the cherubim formed a canopy over the ark. The ends of the poles used to carry the Ark protruded through the curtain of the Holy of Holies. All the kohanim who were present purified themselves so that they could perform the Temple service; there were so many sacrifices during the inauguration of the Temple that they could not be handled by that week’s rotation alone. The Levites, clad in linen, played their instruments in unison to praise G-d. As the music and praises grew in intensity, the cloud of G-d’s glory filled the Temple. The kohanim were not able to perform because they were overwhelmed by G-d’s “Presence.”