Menachot 98bמנחות צ״ח ב
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98bצ״ח ב

דוחקין ובולטין בפרוכת ודומין כמין שני דדי אשה שנאמר (שיר השירים א, יג) צרור המור דודי לי בין שדי ילין

The baraita explains: The staves of the Ark pressed against the Curtain and bulged outward. And they appeared like two breasts of a woman that are discernible through her clothes, as it is stated: “My beloved is to me like a bundle of myrrh that lies between my breasts” (Song of Songs 1:13). Since the staves pressed against the Curtain, they were evidently placed from east to west.

ומנלן דבדיו לפותיא דארון הוו יתבי דילמא לארכו דארון הוו יתבי אמר ר' יהודה תרי גברי באמתא ופלגא לא מסתגי להו

The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that the Ark’s staves were set along the width of the Ark? Perhaps they were set along the Ark’s length, in which case the Ark was placed along the length of the Temple, not along its width. Rav Yehuda said that this cannot be the case, as the Ark was carried by two men on each side, who stood between the two staves. If the staves were placed along its length, the two men carrying it on each side would be positioned along the width of the Ark, which was one and a half cubits. This is impossible, as two men standing next to each other in the space of only one and a half cubits cannot walk. If the staves were placed along the width of the Ark, the two bearers on each side would be positioned between the staves along the length of the Ark, which was a larger space of two and a half cubits.

ומנא לן דבארבעה הוו דרו להו דכתיב (במדבר י, כא) ונסעו הקהתים תרי נושאי המקדש נמי תרי

The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that the Ark was carried by four men? This is derived from a verse, as it is written with regard to the carrying of the Ark by the descendants of Kohath: “And the Kohathites would travel, the bearers of the Holy Ark, that the Tabernacle might be set up before their coming” (Numbers 10:21). The verse uses the plural form twice. The first phrase: “And the Kohathites would travel,” indicates that two people bear the Ark, and the second phrase: “The bearers of the Holy Ark,” also indicates that two people bear the Ark; the total is therefore four bearers.

תנו רבנן עשרה שולחנות עשה שלמה המלך שנאמר (דברי הימים ב ד, ח) ויעש שולחנות עשרה וינח בהיכל חמשה מימין וחמשה משמאל

§ The Sages taught: King Solomon built ten additional tables, modeled after the one that Moses crafted, as it is stated in the description of the Temple constructed by Solomon: “He made also ten tables, and placed them in the Sanctuary, five on the right side, and five on the left” (II Chronicles 4:8).

ואם תאמר חמשה מימין הפתח וחמשה משמאל הפתח אם כן מצינו ששולחן בדרום והתורה אמרה (שמות כו, לה) והשולחן תתן על צלע צפון

And if you say that the terms “right” and “left” are referring to the two sides of the entrance to the Sanctuary, which was in the center of the eastern wall, this is difficult. According to this interpretation, Solomon placed five tables to the right of the entrance, on the north side, and five tables to the left of the entrance, on the south of the Sanctuary. If so, we find that in the case of the five tables to the left of the entrance, the table was placed in the south of the Sanctuary. But the Torah said: “And you shall put the Table on the north side” (Exodus 26:35).

אלא של משה באמצע חמשה מימינו וחמשה משמאלו

Rather, the verse means that the Table of Moses was placed in the middle of the north section of the Sanctuary, while five of Solomon’s tables were placed to the right of Moses’ Table and the other five were placed to the left of Moses’ Table. All of the tables were in the north of the Sanctuary.

תנו רבנן עשר מנורות עשה שלמה שנאמר (דברי הימים ב ד, ב) ויעש את המנורות הזהב עשר כמשפט ויתן בהיכל חמשה מימין וחמשה משמאל

Similarly, the Sages taught: King Solomon built ten additional candelabra, modeled after the one that Moses crafted, as it is stated: “And he made the ten candelabra of gold according to the ordinance concerning them; and he set them in the Sanctuary, five on the right, and five on the left” (II Chronicles 4:7).

ואם תאמר חמשה מימין הפתח וחמשה משמאל הפתח אם כן מצינו מנורה בצפון והתורה אמרה (שמות כו, לה) ואת המנורה נכח השולחן

And if you say that the terms “right” and “left” are referring to the two sides of the entrance to the Sanctuary, this is difficult. According to this interpretation, Solomon placed five candelabra to the right of the entrance, on the north side, and five candelabra to the left of the entrance, on the south side. If so, we find that in the case of the five candelabra to the right of the entrance, the candelabrum was placed in the north of the Sanctuary. But the Torah said: “And you shall set the Table outside the Curtain, and the Candelabrum opposite the Table on the side of the Tabernacle toward the south, and you shall put the Table on the north side” (Exodus 26:35).

אלא של משה באמצע חמשה מימינה וחמשה משמאלה

Rather, the verse means that the Candelabrum of Moses was placed in the middle of the south section of the Sanctuary, while five of the candelabra that Solomon crafted were placed to the right of the Candelabrum of Moses, and five to its left, all in the south of the Sanctuary.

תני חדא מחצי בית ולפנים היו מונחין ותני חדא משליש הבית ולפנים היו מונחין

§ It is taught in one baraita that these tables and candelabra were set inward of the first half of the length of the structure of the Temple, as measured from east to west. And it is taught in one baraita that they were set inward of the first third of the length of the structure of the Temple.

ולא קשיא מר קא חשיב בית קדשי הקדשים בהדי היכל מר לא קא חשיב בית קדשי הקדשים בהדי היכל

The Gemara explains that this is not difficult, as the two baraitot do not disagree with regard to the location of the tables and candelabra. In the second baraita the Sage is reckoning the length of the Hall of the Holy of Holies, which was twenty cubits, together with the length of the Sanctuary, which was forty cubits. Accordingly, the total length of the structure of the Temple was sixty cubits, and the tables and candelabra were set inward of the first third of its length, i.e., twenty cubits from the entrance. Conversely, in the first baraita the Sage is not reckoning the length of the Hall of the Holy of Holies together with the length of the Sanctuary. Since he is referring to the forty cubits of the Sanctuary itself, inward of the first half of the structure of the Temple’s length means twenty cubits from the entrance.

תנו רבנן מזרח ומערב היו מונחין דברי רבי רבי אלעזר בר' שמעון אומר צפון ודרום מאי טעמא דרבי גמר ממנורה מה מנורה מזרח ומערב אף הני נמי מזרח ומערב

The Sages taught in a baraita: All the tables built by Solomon were placed from east to west, i.e., their length was along the length of the Sanctuary, as was the Table in the Tabernacle; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, says: They were placed from north to south, along the width of the Sanctuary. The Gemara explains: What is the reason of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi? He derives this halakha from a comparison of the tables to the Candelabrum: Just as the Candelabrum was placed from east to west, so too, these tables were positioned from east to west.

ומנורה גופה מנלן מדכתיב בנר מערבי (ויקרא כד, ג) יערוך אותו [אהרן וגו'] לפני ה'

The Gemara asks: And with regard to the Candelabrum itself, from where do we derive that it was positioned from east to west? This is derived from the fact that it is written with regard to the western lamp of the Candelabrum: “Outside the Curtain of the testimony, in the Tent of Meeting, Aaron shall set it in order, to burn from evening to morning before the Lord continually” (Leviticus 24:3). The phrase “shall set it in order” is written in the singular, referring only to the western lamp.

מכלל דכולהו לאו לפני ה' ואי סלקא דעתך צפון ודרום כולהו נמי לפני ה' נינהו

The Gemara explains: One can infer from the fact that the verse states that the western lamp is set “before the Lord,” i.e., before the Holy of Holies, that the location of all the other lamps of the Candelabrum is not considered “before the Lord,” as they are not situated in the same proximity to the Holy of Holies. This would be the case only if the Candelabrum was positioned from east to west. But if it enters your mind to say that the Candelabrum was positioned from north to south, then all the other lamps should also be considered “before the Lord,” as all the lamps are an equal distance from the Holy of Holies.

ור' אלעזר בר' שמעון מאי טעמא גמר מארון מה ארון צפון ודרום אף הני נמי צפון ודרום ורבי נמי ליגמר מארון דנין חוץ מחוץ ואין דנין חוץ מבפנים

The Gemara asks: And as for Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, what is the reason for his opinion? The Gemara replies: He derives this halakha from a comparison of the tables to the Ark: Just as the Ark was placed from north to south, so too, these tables were positioned from north to south. The Gemara challenges: But as for Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, let him also derive from the Ark that the tables were positioned from north to south. The Gemara explains that according to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, one derives the position of the tables, which are located in the outer area of the Sanctuary, from the Candelabrum, which is also located in the outer area of the Sanctuary. And one does not derive the position of the tables, which are located in the outer area of the Sanctuary, from the Ark, which is located in the inner area of the Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies.

ור' אלעזר בר' שמעון ליגמר ממנורה אמר לך מנורה גופה צפון ודרום הוה מנחה

The Gemara challenges: And as for Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, let him derive from the Candelabrum that the tables were positioned from east to west. The Gemara answers that Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, could have said to you: The Candelabrum itself was also placed from north to south.

אלא הכתיב יערוך אותו אהרן ובניו דמצדד להו אצדודי

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written with regard to the western lamp of the Candelabrum: “Aaron and his sons shall set it in order, to burn from evening to morning before the Lord” (Exodus 27:21), indicating that this lamp must be in greater proximity to the Holy of Holies, which is possible only if the Candelabrum is positioned from east to west? The Gemara replies that according to Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, the term “before the Lord” means that the wick of the middle lamp is turned toward the Holy of Holies, as the priest who kindles the lamps turns the wicks of the other lamps slightly to the side, whereas the wick of the middle lamp is turned directly toward the Holy of Holies.

דתניא (במדבר ח, ב) אל מול פני המנורה יאירו שבעת הנרות מלמד שהיו מצדדין פניהם כלפי נר אמצעי אמר רבי נתן מכאן שאמצעי משובח

This is as it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light toward the front of the Candelabrum” (Numbers 8:2). This teaches that the priests would turn the front of each lamp toward the middle lamp, but the middle lamp was turned toward the Holy of Holies. Rabbi Natan says: One can infer from here that the middle position is preeminent.

בשלמא למן דאמר מזרח ומערב היינו דהוו יתיבי עשרה בעשרים אלא למאן דאמר צפון ודרום עשרה בעשרים היכי הוו יתבי

§ The Gemara discusses the different opinions with regard to the position of the tables: The length of each table was two cubits. When the ten tables were placed one alongside the other their overall length would amount to slightly more than twenty cubits. Granted, according to the one who said the tables were positioned along the length of the Sanctuary from east to west, i.e., Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, this is the way that ten tables resided in an area twenty cubits long; they could extend slightly beyond the twenty cubits, since the entire area was forty cubits long. But according to the one who said the tables were positioned along the width of the Sanctuary from north to south, i.e., Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon, how could ten tables reside in an area that was precisely twenty cubits wide?

ותו כהנים היכי הוו עיילי ותו מצינו חמשה שלחנות בדרום ותו שלחן דמשה היכא מנח ליה

And moreover, if the ten tables occupied the entire width of the Sanctuary, how would the High Priests pass them in order to enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur? And moreover, if the tables were positioned in this manner we find that five of the ten tables were located in the south of the Sanctuary, whereas the Torah states that the Table must be in the north of the Sanctuary. And moreover, if the ten tables built by Solomon occupied the entire width of the Sanctuary, where would one place the Table built by Moses?

וליטעמיך למאן דאמר מזרח ומערב נמי שלחן דמשה היכא הוה מנח ליה

The Gemara replies: But according to your reasoning, the last question applies according to the one who said the tables were positioned from east to west as well: Where would one place the Table built by Moses? If the ten tables of Solomon occupied the entire twenty cubits of the inner half of the Sanctuary, how could Moses’ Table be placed in the middle of the ten tables?

אלא מי סברת חד דרא הוה תרי דרי נינהו

Rather, do you maintain that there was only one row of tables? It was not so; they were set in two rows, with the Table of Moses between the rows. Therefore, there was room for all the tables and it was also possible for the High Priest to pass by them.