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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Menachos 97

MENACHOS 96-99 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the fourth Yahrzeit of her father, Reb Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner), who passed away 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Talmud study during the week of his Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.



(a) Resh Lakish asked Rebbi Yochanan two She'eilos regarding the Mishnah in Keilim ('ha'Shulchan ve'ha'Dulbeki'): Whether the overlaying needs to be of a permanent nature or not - and whether the rim needs to be overlaid too, or not.

(b) To which Rebbi Yochanan replied - that the Mishnah speaks even if the nature of the overlaying is temporary, and even if the rim is not overlaid.

(c) So the Kashya remains why the Shulchan was not Tamei under all circumstances. We attempt to answer the Kashya - by focusing on the fact that it was made out of acacia wood, which is precious (and therefore does not become nullified by the gold with which it is overlaid, as other materials do).

(d) Resh Lakish does indeed draw such a distinction - when he restricts the Mishnah in Keilim to 'K'lei Achsalgus' (a cheaper kind of wood), but precludes 'K'lei Masmes' (one that is more expensive).

(a) In spite of Resh Lakish however, we cannot accept this answer - because Rebbi Yochanan disagrees, establishing the Mishnah even by 'K'lei Masmes'.

(b) Ultimately, we answer the Kashya, based on the Pasuk "ha'Mizbe'ach Eitz, Shalosh Amos Gavohah ... " - which, as we see from the conclusion ("Vayomer Eilai, Zeh ha'Shulchan Asher Lifnei Hashem") is referring (not to the Mizbe'ach, but) to the Shulchan. From there we see that the 'Torah' refers to the Mizbe'ach as being made of wood (in which case the gold does not nullify it).

(c) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar learn from the fact that the Pasuk begins with Mizbe'ach and ends with Shulchan - that nowadays, when there is no Mizbe'ach, one's table atones for one's sins in its place.

(d) This means that having guests at table atones for our sins (as Tosfos explains) just as the Shulchan did.

(a) The Pasuk in Terumah lists the accessories of the Shulchan. Rav Ketina translates ...
1. ... "Ke'arosav" as - the baking-molds.
2. ... "Kaposav" as - the Bazichin.
(b) "Kesosav" he translates as the S'nifin, and "Menakiyosav" as - the Kanim.

(c) "Asher Yisach Bahein" means - that they (the Kanim) covered the loaves.

(a) Rava, quoting our Mishnah ('Lo Netilasan ... Dochos es ha'Shabbos'), queries Rav Ketina's translation of "Menakiyosav". He asks - that if, as the latter explains, the Kanim were actually Torah-ordained, then how could they be dispensed with on Shabbos?

(b) He retracts however, based on Rebbi's principle (also cited there) - that whatever can be performed before Shabbos (i.e. can be dispensed with on Shabbos) does not override Shabbos, in which case, the Kanim could comfortably be dispensed with, because the short time that the loaves were without them was not sufficient for them to become moldy.

(c) In fact, the Lechem ha'Panim remained without the Kanim - for approximately half a day (because it was in the early afternoon that last week's loaves were removed, and that this week's replaced them.

(d) The Beraisa (quoted by Rava) describes how, on Motza'ei Shabbos - the Kohanim would lift up one loaf at a time, and put the Kanim in place.

(a) According to the Tana, each of the four middle loaves were 'covered' by three Kanim, whereas the fifth one required only two - because the weight on it was minimal (though it is unclear why, according to Rashi, there was any weight at all, seeing as the Kanim themselves rested on the grooves in the S'nifin).

(b) The Beraisa states that ...

1. ... the top Chalah - required no Kanim at all (though this is so obvious that the Beraisa only intimates it by omission).
2. ... the bottom Chalah - required no Kanim either, because it rested on the Shulchan, which was cold (see also Shitah Mekubetzes 7).
(a) In a Mishnah in Keilim, Rebbi Meir states that all the measurements (except for ... ) in the Beis-Hamikdash were 'Benoniyos' - by which he means a six-Tefachim Amah (as will be explained later).

(b) The only Keili that was measured by an Amah of five Tefachim was - the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav.

(c) The three accessories of the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah that fell into the same category were - the Keranos, the Sovev and the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah, all of which measured one Amah. Indeed, the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav too, was one Amah square.

(d) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the measurements of the Keilim were made in Amos of five Tefachim (as we have already learned). However, he concedes to Rebbi Meir - that the measurements of the Binyan were made in Amos of six Tefachim) ...

(e) ... incorporating the walls of the Beis-Hamikdash as well as those of the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah.




(a) Rebbi Yochanan explains that both Tana'im derive their opinions from the same Pasuk in Yechezkel. When the Pasuk writes "ve'Eileh Midos ha'Mizbe'ach be'Amos Amah, Amah va'Tefach" it means - that the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah was measured in Amos, each of which consisted of an Amah which, plus a Tefach, made up an Amah Beinonis of six Tefachim (in other words, Amos of five Tefachim ).

(b) "ve'Zeh Gav ha'Mizbe'ach", with which the Pasuk concludes, is speaking about the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav.

1. "ve'Cheik ha'Amah" refers - to the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah ...
2. ... "ve'Amah Rochav" - to the Sovev ...
3. ... and "u'Gevulah el Sefasah Saviv Zeres ha'Echad" - to the Keranos.
(c) The last statement means - that from the center of the Keren it measured a Zeres (half an Amah) in all four directions.

(d) Rebbi Meir extrapolates from "*ve'Zeh* Cheik ha'Amah ... " 'Zehu be'Amah bas Chamishah, Ha Kol Amos ha'Keilim be'Amah bas Shishah'. Rebbi Yehudah Darshens - 'ka'Zeh Yih'yu Kol Amos ha'Keilim'.

(a) Initially, we try to amalgamate the first two Pesukim "ve'Cheik ha'Amah ... ve'Amah Rochav". The Pasuk would then mean - that the Amos of the lower half of the Mizbe'ach from the Yesod to the Sovev consisted of five-Tefachim Amos.

(b) There were ...

1. ... six Amos from the ground until the Sovev.
2. ... four Amos from the Sovev until the top of the Keranos.
(c) Bearing in mind the fact that we currently understand the lower 'half' of the Mizbe'ach to have comprised Amos of five Tefachim, and the upper 'half', Amos of six - the Mizbe'ach's total height would have been fifty-four Tefachim (thirty, the lower half, and twenty-four, the upper half).

(d) Which means - that the Sovev (thirty Tefachim from the floor) would have been three Tefachim higher than the Chut ha'Sikra, which marked the half-way mark (at twenty-seven Tefachim).

(a) The Beraisa describes the Avodah of the Olas ha'Of which the Kohen performed - whilst standing on the Sovev.

(b) After the Melikah - he performed the Mitzuy (the Shechting of the two pipes causing the blood to squirt on to the wall of the Mizbe'ach).

(c) The lowest point on the wall of the Mizbe'ach at which the Tana permits the Mitzuy to be performed is - one Amah below his feet.

(d) The problem with this is - that one Amah below his feet will be at least two Tefachim below the Chut ha'Sikra (when in fact, the Mitzuy of the Olas ha'Of must be performed on the upper half of the Mizbe'ach).

(a) This forces us to retract from our previous explanation. Consequently, we explain "ve'Cheik ha'Amah" and "ve'Amah Rochav" independently (i.e. just the Yesod and the Sovev were measured in Amos comprising five Tefachim); the walls of the Mizbe'ach in between the two, comprised Amos of six Tefachim.

(b) In fact, the Mizbe'ach measured sixty Tefachim (thirty-six plus twenty-four), and at the Chut ha'Sikra, thirty.

(c) And the real distance from the Sovev to the Chut ha'Sikra was - six Tefachim.

(a) According to what we just learned, the five-Tefachim Amah of the Yesod, the Sovev and the Keranos - refer, not to the height of the Mizbe'ach, but to the length and the breadth.

(b) The Mishnah in Midos describes the shape of the Mizbe'ach. It measured thirty-two Amos square at its base, above ...

1. ... the Yesod - thirty, and above ...
2. ... the Sovev - twenty-eight.
(c) The problem, according to the current explanation, that the Amah ...
1. ... Yesod consisted of five Tefachim is - that the Tana should then have given the measurement of the Mizbe'ach at that point as thirty and two-fifths square (and not just thirty).
2. ... Sovev did too - is that similarly, the Tana should have given the measurement from above the Sovev, not as twenty-eight Amos square, but twenty-eight and four fifths. (d) We attempt to ascribe to apparent error to the fact that the Tana is not concerned with fractions of an Amah. Consequently - since in both cases, the excess is less than an Amah, he doesn't bother to mention it.
(a) According to the continuation of the Mishnah however, which gives the ...
1. ... distance between two adjacent Keranos as twenty-six Amos, the problem remains - that the Tana ought to have given the figure as twenty-seven, and similarly ...
2. ... the measurement of the Makom ha'Ma'arachah (from the inner edge of the Hiluch ha'Kohanim) as twenty-four square Amos, should have been given as twenty-five.
(b) The width of the Makom Hiluch ha'Kohanim - was one Amah consisting of six Tefachim.

(c) We try to answer the first Kashya - with 'Lo Dak' (the Tana does not bother to give an accurate measurement).

(a) We reject the same answer with regard to the second Kashya however, from a Pasuk in Yechezkel. Had the Navi written "ve'ha'Ariel Sh'teim-Esrei Orech ... Ravu'a" - the measurement of the Ariel (another name for the Mizbe'ach) would have been twelve Amos by twelve Amos.

(b) Now that he adds the words "al Arba'as Reva'av" - they are twenty-four Amos by twenty-four Amos (twelve Amos in all four directions from the center).

(c) We can ...

1. ... no longer answer 'Lo Dak' - because it is not feasible to say that about a Pasuk.
2. ... not answer that when the Pasuk gives the dimensions of the Mizbe'ach as thirty-two by thirty-two Amos, it is combining Amos of six Tefachim and five Tefachim - because then the Mishnah in Midos (that we are about to discuss) should have added an extra Amah on to the Azarah (in order to make up for the missing Amah of the Mizbe'ach), seeing as in terms of six Tefachim Amos, the Mizbe'ach really measured thirty-one Amos squared.
(a) The Azarah was a hundred and thirty-five Amos wide (from north to south), and, beginning from the Ezras Yisrael) - a hundred and eighty seven Amos long (from east to west).

(b) The length of Ezras Yisrael was eleven Amos - and so was the Ezras Kohanim.

(c) The Mizbe'ach was thirty-two Amos, and 'Achorei Beis-ha'Kapores' eleven. ...

1. ... 'Bein ha'Ulam ve'la'Mizbe'ach' was - twenty-two Amos, whist ...
2. ... the Heichal was - one hundred Amos long.
(d) We therefore conclude that "Cheik ha'Amah" refers to the height of the Yesod. The width of the Yesod consisted of six Tefachim.
(a) The Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Amah Rochav" pertains - to the width of the Sovev?
2. ... "u'Gevulah el Sefasah Saviv" - could pertain to either the width or the height.
(b) We know that the distinction between that we just drew between the Yesod and the Sovev is correct - because of the Pasuk's switch in Lashon from "Cheik ha'Amah" to "ve'Amah Rochav" (which serve as the source for the two D'rashos).

(c) We now answer the Kashya why the Tana gives the measurements between two adjacent Keranos as twenty-six Amos, and not more - because at most, it would measure twenty-six and four fifths Amos (in any event, less than twenty-seven).

(d) Now that all the Amos except for those of the Yesod and the Keren consisted of six Tefachim, the height of ...

1. ... the Mizbe'ach was - fifty-eight Tefachim, and of ...
2. ... the Sovev - thirty-five.
(e) Six Tefachim - now divided the Sovev from the Chut ha'Sikra
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