לא נתעצל הכהן מלהוציא את הדשן
the priest tasked with removing the ashes from the circular heap was never indolent in removing the ashes.
החלו מעלין בגזירין לסדר את המערכה וכי כל העצים כשרין למערכה הן כל העצים כשרין למערכה חוץ משל גפן ושל זית אבל באלו היו רגילין במרביות של תאנה של אגוז ושל עץ שמן
After the ashes were cleared to the middle of the altar, the priests began raising logs onto the altar in order to assemble the arrangement of wood on which the offerings were burned. The tanna asks: And is wood from all the trees fit for the arrangement? The tanna replies: Wood from all the trees is fit for the arrangement, except for wood from the vine and from the olive tree, but the priests were accustomed to assemble the arrangement with wood from these trees: With young branches of the fig tree, of the nut tree, and of pinewood.
סידר את המערכה גדולה מזרחה וחזיתה מזרחה וראשי גזירין הפנימים היו נוגעין בתפוח וריוח היה בין הגזירים שהיו מציתים את האליתא משם
The priest who removed the ashes then assembled the large arrangement of wood upon which the daily offering and the sacrificial portions of the other offerings are burned. It was assembled on the eastern side of the altar, and its opening was on the eastern side of the altar, and the inner end of the logs would touch the circular heap of ashes. And there was space between the logs, in which the priests placed twigs, as they would ignite the kindling [ha’alita] from there, so that the fire would spread to the logs.
בררו משם עצי תאנה יפים סידר את המערכה שניה לקטורת כנגד מערבית דרומית משוך מן הקרן כלפי צפון ארבע אמות
The priests selected from among the logs that were there fine logs from fig trees, as when this type of wood was burned it would become coals rather than ashes. The priest who removed the ashes then assembled the second arrangement of wood, from which the coals were taken to the golden altar in the Sanctuary for the burning of the incense. The second arrangement was assembled next to the southwestern corner of the altar and was removed from the corner toward the north side of the altar by a distance of four cubits.
בעומד חמש סאין גחלים ובשבת בעומד שמונה סאין גחלים ששם היו נותנים שני בזיכי לבונה של לחם הפנים האברים והפדרים שלא (היו) נתעכלו מבערב מחזירין אותן למערכה והציתו שתי מערכות באש ירדו ובאו להם ללשכת הגזית:
The second arrangement was assembled of an amount of wood estimated to produce five se’a of coals. And on Shabbat, it was assembled of an amount of wood estimated to produce eight se’a of coals, as there the priests would place the two bowls of frankincense that accompanied the shewbread and that were burned on the altar on Shabbat. With regard to the limbs and the fats that were not consumed during the time from the previous evening, the priests would return them to the large arrangement to be burned. And the priests kindled those two arrangements with fire and descended from the altar. And they then came to the Chamber of Hewn Stone, where they would conduct the second lottery in order to determine who would perform the subsequent rites.
גמ׳ אמר רבא גוזמא השקו את התמיד בכוס של זהב אמר רבא גוזמא
GEMARA: The mishna teaches that sometimes there was as much as three hundred kor of ashes upon the circular heap in the middle of the altar. Rava said: This is an exaggeration. The mishna merely means that the heap contained a large quantity of ashes, not that it reached that actual amount. Similarly, the mishna states (30a) that before slaughtering the daily offering the priests gave the lamb selected for the daily offering water to drink in cup of gold, so that it would be easier to flay it after it was slaughtered. With regard to this mishna, Rava said: This is an exaggeration, as the priests would not give the animal to drink from an actual golden vessel.
אמר רבי אמי דברה תורה לשון הבאי דברו נביאים לשון הבאי דברו חכמים לשון הבאי
In this connection, Rabbi Ami says: In certain instances, the Torah spoke employing exaggerated [havai] language, the prophets spoke employing exaggerated language, and the Sages spoke employing exaggerated language.
דברה תורה לשון הבאי דכתיב (דברים א, כח) ערים גדולות ובצורות בשמים בשמים ס"ד אלא גוזמא
The Gemara cites examples for this statement: The Torah spoke employing exaggerated language, as it is written: “Hear, Israel: You are passing over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven” (Deuteronomy 9:1). Does it enter your mind to say that the cities were literally fortified up to heaven? Rather, this is an exaggeration.
דברו חכמים לשון הבאי הא דאמרן תפוח והשקו את התמיד בכוס של זהב
Likewise, the Sages spoke employing exaggerated language, as in this example that we stated with regard to the circular heap of ashes, and in the description: The priests gave the lamb selected for the daily offering water to drink in a cup of gold.
דברו נביאים לשון הבאי דכתיב (מלכים א א מ) (וכל עם הארץ) מחללים בחלילים וגו' ותבקע הארץ לקולם
The prophets spoke employing exaggerated language, as it is written with regard to the coronation of King Solomon: “And all the people of the land came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them” (I Kings 1:40). The verse merely means that the sound was very great, not that it actually caused the earth to split.
אמר רבי ינאי בר נחמני אמר שמואל בשלשה מקומות דברו חכמים בלשון הבאי ואלו הן תפוח גפן ופרכת
Rabbi Yannai bar Naḥmani says that Shmuel says: In three instances, the Sages spoke in exaggerated language, and these are those instances: With regard to the circular heap of ashes on the altar, with regard to the vine, and with regard to the Curtain that separated the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies, as explained below.
לאפוקי מדרבא דתנן השקו את התמיד בכוס של זהב ואמר רבא גוזמא קא משמע לן הני אין התם לא אין עניות במקום עשירות
The Gemara notes that Shmuel’s statement serves to exclude the opinion of Rava, as we learned in a mishna: The priests gave the lamb selected for the daily offering water to drink in a cup of gold, and Rava said: This is an exaggeration. Shmuel teaches us that in these three instances, yes, the Sages employed exaggerated language, but there, in the case of the golden cup, it is not an exaggeration, as even the cup from which the lamb was given to drink was actually made of gold. This is because there is no poverty in a place of wealth, i.e., the Temple is a place of wealth, where one must act in a lavish manner.
תפוח הא דאמרן גפן דתניא גפן זהב היתה עומדת על פתח ההיכל ומודלה על גבי כלונסות וכל מי שמתנדב עלה
The Gemara details the three instances with regard to which Shmuel states that the Sages employed exaggerated language: The case of the circular heap of ashes is that which we stated above. The case of the vine is as it is taught in a mishna (Middot 3:8): A gold ornament in the form of a vine stood at the entrance to the Sanctuary, and it hung upon posts. And whoever would donate an ornamental gold leaf,