The Temple Institute: In-Depth Temple Study: The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant (continued)

The Talmud relates that Bezalel and Moses discussed the question of whether to build the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) first, or the Ark first, indicating the great importance of the Ark. The Ark was the only vessel about which the Torah specifically commands that its carrying poles are never to be removed. This signified that the Torah would accompany the Children of Israel wherever they went. (Our Sages have explained that the word Aron (the Ark) is related to the word Or, meaning light, for the Torah which is stored in the Ark is the source of light for the world. 

Contents:   Part I,    Part II,    Part III,    Part IV,    Part V,    Part VI,    Part VII