לא שנא הכי ולא שנא הכי this is referring to the measurements of the corners of the altar, concerning which there is no difference with regard to this, their height, and there is no difference with regard to that, their width, as both are measured with a cubit of five handbreadths.
מזבח כמה הוי חמשין ותמניא פלגיה דמזבח כמה הוי עשרין ותשעה מקרנות ועד סובב כמה הוו עשרין ותלתא Accordingly, how many handbreadths is the height of the altar? It is fifty-eight handbreadths high, as only eight of its cubits are of six handbreadths, while two cubits, those of the base and of the corners, are of five handbreadths. How many handbreadths is the height of half of the altar? It is twenty-nine handbreadths. How many handbreadths is the height from the top of the corners of the altar until the surrounding ledge? It is twenty-three handbreadths, as the corners of the altar are five handbreadths high, and the upper section of the altar is three cubits of six handbreadths.
כמה בציר לפלגיה דמזבח שיתא ותנן אם עשאה למטה מרגליו אפילו אמה אחת כשירה Therefore, how many handbreadths is the surrounding ledge short of half the height of the altar? It is six handbreadths above the halfway mark. And this correlates with that which we learned in the baraita: And if the priest performed the squeezing below his feet, even one cubit beneath the ledge, it is valid. According to this calculation, one cubit below the surrounding ledge is still part of the upper section of the altar.
דיקא נמי דכתיב חיק האמה ואמה רוחב שמע מינה The Gemara adds that the language of the verse is also precise. The verse indicates that although it is referring to the height of the base, it is referring to the width of the surrounding ledge, as it is written with regard to the base: “The bottom shall be a cubit,” whereas with regard to the ledge it is written: “And the breadth a cubit.” Since the verse mentions the breadth only with regard to the surrounding ledge one can infer that the previous term is referring not to the width but to the height. The Gemara concludes: One may conclude from the language of the verse that this is the correct interpretation.
וכמה אמה בינונית אמר ר' יוחנן ששה טפחים אמר רבי יוסי בר אבין אף אנן נמי תנינא רבי מאיר אומר השלחן ארכו שנים עשר ורחבו ששה § The Gemara (97a) cited a dispute between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda. According to Rabbi Meir all the cubits mentioned with regard to the Temple were medium cubits, except for the measurements of the golden altar, the corners of the external altar, its surrounding ledge, and its base. The Gemara asks: And how many handbreadths is a medium cubit? Rabbi Yoḥanan says: It is six handbreadths. Rabbi Yosei bar Avin says: We learn in a mishna (96a), as well: Rabbi Meir says: The Table, its length is twelve handbreadths and its width is six handbreadths. Since the Torah states that the length of the Table was two cubits and its width one cubit (see Exodus 25:23), this indicates that the cubit is six handbreadths.
מכלל דהויא אמה דנפישא מינה אין והא תנן שתי אמות היו בשושן הבירה אחת על קרן מזרחית צפונית ואחת על קרן מזרחית דרומית שעל קרן מזרחית צפונית יתירה על של משה חצי אצבע שעל קרן מזרחית דרומית היתה יתירה עליה חצי אצבע נמצאת יתירה על של משה אצבע The Gemara asks: May one derive from the fact that the cubit of six handbreadths is referred to as a medium cubit that there is a cubit that is larger than the medium cubit? The Gemara answers: Yes, there is a larger cubit, and so we learned in a mishna (Kelim 17:9): There were two rods for measuring cubits in the chamber of Shushan the capital, which was located above the eastern gate of the Temple Mount, one in the northeast corner and one in the southeast corner. The one that was in the northeast corner was longer than the cubit used by Moses in the building of the Tabernacle, which was of six handbreadths, by half a fingerbreadth, and the one that was in the southeast corner was longer than the other one by another half a fingerbreadth. One therefore finds it longer than Moses’ cubit by a full fingerbreadth.
ולמה אמרו אחת גדולה ואחת קטנה כדי שיהו האומנין נוטלין בקטנה ומחזירין בגדולה כדי שלא יבואו לידי מעילה The mishna continues: And why did the Sages say that there should be two measures of a cubit, one large and one small? It was so that the artisans who were working in the Temple would take payment according the amount of work they did, as measured by the small cubit, and return it to the Temple through their work, as measured by the large cubit, so they would not come to misuse consecrated property. If they would accept any payment that they did not deserve, they would be misusing consecrated property.
ותרתי למה לי חדא לכספא ודהבא וחדא לבניינא The Gemara asks: And why do I need two large cubits? The Gemara answers: One, the shorter of the two, was used to measure silver and gold. Since silver and gold were valuable, the difference between the two measurements was set at only half a fingerbreadth, so that the artisans would not suffer too great a loss. And the other one, which was longer than Moses’ cubit by a full fingerbreadth, was used in the construction of wood and stone structures.
תנן התם שער המזרח עליו שושן הבירה צורה מאי טעמא § The Gemara discusses the depiction of Shushan the capital: We learned in a mishna there (Middot 1:3): One of the five gates of the Temple Mount was the eastern gate upon which Shushan the capital was depicted. The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Shushan the capital was depicted on a gate of the Temple Mount?
רב חסדא ורב יצחק בר אבדימי חד אמר כדי שידעו מהיכן באו וחד אמר כדי שתהא אימת מלכות עליהן There is a dispute with regard to this matter between Rav Ḥisda and Rav Yitzḥak bar Avdimi. One said that Shushan was depicted so that those who passed through the gate would know from where it was that they had come back to Jerusalem. The Jews returned once Persia had conquered Babylonia, and therefore they should give thanks to the Persian Empire for releasing them from exile. And one said that it was depicted so that the fear of the Persian Empire would be upon them, to prevent them from rebelling.
אמר ר' ינאי לעולם תהא אימת מלכות עליך שנאמר (שמות יא, ח) וירדו כל עבדיך אלה אלי והשתחוו לי לאמר ואילו לדידיה לא קאמר ליה The Gemara continues to discuss giving a king his due: Rabbi Yannai says: The fear of kingship should always be upon you, even when the king does not deserve it, as it is stated that Moses said to Pharaoh, when he warned him about the forthcoming plague of the firstborn: “And all these, your servants, shall come down to me, and bow down to me, saying: Get out, you and all the people who follow you, and after that I will go out” (Exodus 11:8). Although ultimately Pharaoh would himself come to Moses, Moses mentioned only that Pharaoh’s servants would come to him, whereas he did not say this to Pharaoh about Pharaoh himself, because of giving a king his due.
ר' יוחנן אמר מהכא שנאמר (מלכים א יח, מו) ויד ה' היתה אל אליהו וישנס מתניו וירץ לפני אחאב עד באכה יזרעאלה: Rabbi Yoḥanan said this principle may be derived from here, as it is stated: “And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel” (I Kings 18:46). Despite Ahab’s wickedness, Elijah acted in this manner out of respect for the king.
(יחזקאל מז, יב) ועלהו לתרופה רב חסדא ורב יצחק בר אבדימי § The Gemara cites another dispute between Rav Ḥisda and Rav Yitzḥak bar Avdimi: With regard to the fruit trees that in the future will grow on either side of a river that will emerge from the Temple, the verse states: “And by the river upon its bank, on this side and on that side, shall grow every tree for food, whose leaf shall not wither, neither shall its fruit fail. It shall bring forth new fruit every month, because its waters issue out of the Sanctuary, and its fruit shall be for food, and its leaf for healing [litrufa]” (Ezekiel 47:12). The Gemara interprets the term “litrufa” as a contraction of lehatir peh, meaning: To unlock the mouth, and there is a dispute between Rav Ḥisda and Rav Yitzḥak bar Avdimi with regard to the meaning of this term.
חד אמר להתיר פה שלמעלה וחד אמר להתיר פה שלמטה איתמר חזקיה אמר להתיר פה אלמים בר קפרא אמר להתיר פה עקרות One said the leaf shall serve to unlock the mouth that is above, i.e., in the person’s head. The leaves will unlock the mouths of the mute and they will be capable of speech. And one said the leaf shall serve to unlock the mouth that is below, i.e., the womb, enabling barren women to give birth. It was likewise stated that Ḥizkiyya says: The leaf shall serve to unlock the mouth of the mute, whereas bar Kappara says: It shall serve to unlock the mouth, i.e., the womb, of the barren women.
תנו רבנן אילו נאמר (ויקרא כד, ה) ולקחת סלת ואפית אותה שתים עשרה חלות ושמת אותם שתים מערכות ולא נאמר שש הייתי אומר אחת של ארבע ואחת של שמונה לכך נאמר שש § The Torah states with regard to the shewbread: “And you shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes from it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in one cake. And you shall set them in two arrangements, six in an arrangement, upon the pure Table before the Lord” (Leviticus 24:5–6). The Sages taught: Had the Torah stated: “And you shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes from it…And you shall set them in two arrangements,” but had it not stated the continuation “six in an arrangement,” I would have said there may be one arrangement of four loaves and one of eight loaves, i.e., the arrangements do not have to be of equal size. Therefore, it is stated: “Six in an arrangement.”
ואילו נאמר שתים מערכות שש המערכת ולא נאמר שתים עשרה הייתי אומר שלש של שש שש לכך נאמר שתים עשרה The baraita continues: And had the Torah stated: “Two arrangements, six in an arrangement,” but had it not stated: “Twelve cakes,” I would have said that the total number of loaves may be more than twelve, and the phrase “six in an arrangement” teaches that one may bring another arrangement of six loaves in addition to the two mentioned in the verse, so that there are three arrangements of six loaves each. Therefore, it is stated: “Twelve cakes.”
ואילו נאמר שתים עשרה חלות ומערכות ולא נאמר שתים ושש הייתי אומר שלשה של ארבע ארבע לכך נאמר שתים ושש הא עד שלא יאמרו שלושה מקראות הללו לא למדנו And had the Torah stated: Twelve cakes…And you shall set them in arrangements, but had it not stated: “Two” and “Six,” I would have said that the twelve loaves should be divided into three arrangements of four loaves each. Therefore, it is stated: “Two arrangements,” and: “Six in an arrangement.” Therefore, until these three phrases in the verses were stated we could not learn how to set the shewbread on the Table.
הא כיצד נותן שתים מערכות של שש שש ואם נתן אחת של ארבע ואחת של שמונה לא יצא שתים של שבע שבע רבי אומר רואין את העליונה כאילו אינה והא בעינן (ויקרא כד, ז) ונתת על How are these arrangements actually set on the Table? The priest places on the Table two arrangements of six loaves each. And if he placed one arrangement of four loaves and one arrangement of eight loaves he has not fulfilled the obligation. If he added two loaves, so that there were two arrangements of seven loaves each, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: One views the upper loaf of each arrangement as though it is not there, and he has fulfilled the obligation. The Gemara asks: But don’t we require that the frankincense be placed upon the shewbread, as it is stated: “And you shall place pure frankincense upon [al] each arrangement, that it may be for the bread as a memorial part” (Leviticus 24:7)? If the priest places an additional, non-sacred loaf upon the arrangement, it interposes between the frankincense and the shewbread.
אמר ליה רב חסדא לרב המנונא ואמרי לה רב המנונא לרב חסדא רבי לטעמיה דאמר על בסמוך דתניא רבי אומר ונתת על המערכת לבונה זכה על בסמוך אתה אומר על בסמוך או אינו אלא על ממש כשהוא אומר (שמות מ, ג) וסכות על הארון את הפרוכת הוי אומר על בסמוך: Rav Ḥisda said to Rav Hamnuna, and some say that Rav Hamnuna said to Rav Ḥisda: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as he said that the word “al” means that the frankincense is adjacent to the shewbread. This is as it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: The verse states: “And you shall place pure frankincense by [al] each arrangement” (Leviticus 24:7). The preposition “al” in this verse means that the frankincense is adjacent to the shewbread. Do you say that al means adjacent to the shewbread, or perhaps it means nothing other than that the frankincense was literally upon the shewbread? When it says: “And you shall place the Curtain as a screen next to [al] the Ark” (Exodus 40:3), it is evident that “al” does not mean upon the Ark, as the Curtain separating the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies was hung in front of the Ark and not placed on top of it. Therefore, you must say that the word al can also mean adjacent to.
כל הכלים שבמקדש וכו': תנו רבנן כל הכלים שבמקדש ארכן לארכו של בית חוץ מארון שארכו לרחבו של בית וכך היה מונח וכך היה בדיו מונחין § The mishna states: All the vessels that were in the Temple were placed so that their length was from east to west, along the length of the Temple. The Sages taught in a baraita: With regard to all the vessels that were in the Temple, their length was placed along the length of the Temple, except for the Ark, whose length was placed along the width of the Temple, from north to south. And in this manner the Ark was placed, and in that manner its staves were placed.
מאי קאמר הכי קאמר כך היה מונח מדבדיו כך היה מונחין The Gemara asks: What is the tanna saying in the last clause of the baraita? The Gemara explains that this is what he is saying: One can infer that in this manner the Ark was placed, i.e., along the width of the Temple, from the fact that its staves were placed in that manner, along the length of the Temple. Since the staves were fixed along the width of the Ark, the Ark itself was necessarily placed along the width of the Temple
ובדיו מנלן דתניא (מלכים א ח, ח) ויאריכו הבדים יכול לא היו נוגעין בפרוכת תלמוד לומר ויראו אי ויראו יכול יהו מקרעין בפרוכת ויוצאין תלמוד לומר (מלכים א ח, ח) לא יראו החוצה הא כיצד The Gemara asks: And with regard to its staves, from where do we derive that they were placed along the length of the Temple, from east to west? This is derived as it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “And the staves were so long that the ends of the staves were seen from the holy place before the Sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside” (I Kings 8:8). One might have thought that the staves did not touch the Curtain separating the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies, and did not protrude at all. Therefore, the verse states: “The ends of the staves were seen.” If the verse had stated only: “The ends of the staves were seen,” one might have thought that the staves tear through the Curtain and emerge into the Sanctuary. Therefore, the verse states: “They could not be seen outside.” How can these texts be reconciled?