And it was on the day Moses (completed building the Tabernacle): Rebbi says, every place that it says “And it was” this is something new. Rashbi (Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai) says any place where it says “And it was” it is something that was, and then it was interrupted (stopped) for many days, and then it returned to be as it was before. This is what it says “I have come into my garden etc.” (Song of Songs 5:1).
At the time that the Holy One Blessed be He created the world, He desired that there would be a dwelling place for Him in the lower worlds, just as there is in the upper worlds.
The Holy One Blessed be He said “This is what I desired, just as there is to Me a dwelling place in the upper worlds, so should there be for Me in the lower worlds. And I commanded you one thing, and you did not guard it.
Cain arose and killed Abel. Immediately His Divine Presence removed herself from the first firmament to the second firmament. The generation of Enosh arose and they served idolatry, as it says “Then men began to call in the name of G-d (Genesis 4:26.) and the Divine Presence removed herself from the second to the third. The generation of the flood arose, and it is written of them “And they said to G-d ‘Go away from us’ (Job 21:14). Immediately the Divine Presence removed herself from the third firmament to the fourth. The generation of the dispersal arose and said “Not anything of it, to choose for Himself the upper, and to give to us the lower”. What did they say? “Come, let us build for ourselves a city” (Genesis 11:4). And what did the Holy One Blessed be He do to them? “And G-d dispersed them from there” (Genesis 11:8). He stood and removed His divine presence from the fourth firmament to the fifth.
The people of S’dom arose. What is written about them? “And the men of S’dom were evil and sinners [to G-d exceedingly]” (Genesis 13:13). They were bad to each other and sinners through sexual immorality, to G-d through idolatry, very much with murder. Immediately He removed His Divine Presence from the fifth firmament to the sixth.
The Philistines arose and made G-d angry. Immediately He removed His Divine Presence from the sixth firmament to the seventh.
The Holy One Blessed be He said “I have created seven firmaments, and until now there have been wicked people standing.” What did G-d do? He folded all the wicked generations and established Abraham our father. Since Abraham our father was established and he did good deeds, immediately the Holy One Blessed be He descended from the seventh firmament to the sixth. Isaac stood and stretched his neck on the altar and He descended from the sixth firmament to the fifth. Jacob stood, and He descended from the fifth to the fourth. Levi stood, and his deeds were beautiful and He descended from the fourth to the third. Kehat stood, and He descended from the third to the second. Amram stood, and brought Him from the second to the first firmament.
Moshe stood and brought down the Divine Presence. When was this? When the Tabernacle was erected. Said the Holy One Blessed be He “I have come into My garden to the thing that I desired.” And this is what it means “And it was, on the day that Moses finished…” From here, Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai said, “And it was” means a thing that was, and then it was interrupted for many days, and then it returned to how it was before.