Yoma 58bיומא נ״ח ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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58bנ״ח ב

מתני׳ (ויקרא טז, יח) ויצא אל המזבח אשר לפני ה' זה מזבח הזהב התחיל מחטא ויורד מהיכן הוא מתחיל מקרן מזרחית צפונית צפונית מערבית מערבית דרומית דרומית מזרחית מקום שהוא מתחיל בחטאת על מזבח החיצון משם היה גומר על מזבח הפנימי

MISHNA: It is stated: “And he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord, and make atonement for it; and he shall take of the blood of the bull, and of the blood of the goat, and place it upon the corners of the altar round about” (Leviticus 16:18). This altar is the golden altar, since the outer altar is not before the Lord in the Sanctuary. He began to cleanse the altar, sprinkling the blood downward. From where does he begin? He begins from the northeast corner, and proceeds to the northwest corner, and then to the southwest corner, and finally to the southeast corner. A way to remember this is: At the place where he begins sprinkling the blood for a sin-offering sacrificed on the outer altar, the southeast corner, there he finishes sprinkling the blood on the inner altar.

רבי אליעזר אומר במקומו היה עומד ומחטא

Rabbi Eliezer says: The priest would not circle the altar; rather, he stood in one place and sprinkled the blood from there. Since the altar was only one square cubit, he could sprinkle the blood on all four corners without moving.

ועל כולן היה נותן מלמטה למעלה חוץ מזו שהיתה לפניו שהיה נותן מלמעלה למטה הזה על טהרו של מזבח שבע פעמים ושירי הדם היה שופך על יסוד מערבי של מזבח החיצון ושל מזבח החיצון היה שופך אל יסוד דרומי אלו ואלו מתערבין באמה ויוצאין לנחל קדרון ונמכרין לגננין לזבל ומועלין בהן

And on all the corners he would present the blood from below upward, except for that corner that was directly before him, on which he would present the blood from above downward. He sprinkled blood on the pure gold of the altar seven times after clearing away the ashes. And he would pour the remainder of the blood on the western base of the outer altar. On a related topic, the mishna teaches that he would pour the remaining blood of an offering, after it was sprinkled, on the outer altar, on its southern base. These remainders of blood from the outer altar and those remainders of blood from the inner altar are mixed in the canal beneath the altar and flow out with the water used to rinse the area to the Kidron River. This water was sold to gardeners for use as fertilizer. The gardeners paid for this water and thereby redeemed it from its sanctity. Failure to do so would render them guilty of misuse of consecrated property.

גמ׳ תנו רבנן ויצא אל המזבח מה תלמוד לומר אמר רבי נחמיה לפי שמצינו בפר הבא על כל המצות שכהן עומד חוץ למזבח ומזה על הפרוכת בשעה שהוא מזה יכול אף זה כן

GEMARA: The Sages taught: “And he shall go out to the altar” (Leviticus 16:18). What is the meaning when the verse states this? Upon his exit, after sprinkling toward the curtain, the High Priest must necessarily reach the golden altar. Rabbi Neḥemya said: It is because we find with regard to the bull brought for a violation of all the mitzvot, i.e., the bull that must be brought in the event that the community errs with regard to any of the mitzvot, which is called the bull for an unwitting communal sin, that when the priest sprinkles toward the curtain he stands past the altar and sprinkles back toward the curtain; therefore, one might have thought that here, too, the rite should be performed in the same manner.

תלמוד לומר ויצא אל המזבח היכן היה לפנים מן המזבח

Therefore, the verse states: “And he shall go out to the altar.” Where was he before? He was on the inner side of the altar, i.e., the western side, close to the curtain, when he sprinkled, not on the outer side of the altar.

תניא אידך לפני ה' מה תלמוד לומר אמר רבי נחמיה לפי שמצינו בפר ושעיר של יום הכפורים שכהן עומד לפנים מן המזבח ומזה על הפרוכת בשעה שהוא מזה יכול אף זה כן

It was taught in another baraita: With regard to the bull for an unwitting communal sin the verse states: “And he shall sprinkle seven times before the Lord in front of the curtain” (Leviticus 4:17). What is the meaning when the verse states: Before the Lord? Rabbi Neḥemya said: It is because we find with regard to the bull and the goat of Yom Kippur that when he sprinkles the High Priest stands on the inner side of the altar, close to the curtain, and sprinkles toward the curtain; therefore, one might have thought that here, too, in the case of the bull for an unwitting communal sin, it should be the same rite.

תלמוד לומר (ויקרא ד, ז) מזבח קטרת הסמים לפני ה' אשר באהל מועד מזבח לפני ה' ואין כהן לפני ה' הא כיצד עומד חוץ למזבח ומזה

Therefore, the verse states: “And the priest shall put the blood upon the corners of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the Tent of Meeting” (Leviticus 4:7). This verse teaches that the altar is before the Lord, but the priest is not before the Lord. How so? The priest stands on the outer side of the altar and sprinkles.

התחיל מחטא ויורד וכו' תנו רבנן התחיל מחטא ויורד מהיכן היה מתחיל מקרן מזרחית דרומית דרומית מערבית מערבית צפונית צפונית מזרחית דברי רבי עקיבא רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר מקרן מזרחית צפונית צפונית מערבית מערבית דרומית דרומית מזרחית

§ The mishna taught: He began to cleanse the altar, sprinkling the blood downward. The Sages taught in a baraita: He began to cleanse downward. From where would he begin? He would begin from the southeast corner of the altar, and from there he would turn to the southwest corner, onward to the northwest corner, and finally to the northeast corner. This is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Yosei HaGelili says: He began from the northeast corner, from which he turned to the northwest corner, then to the southwest corner, and finished at the southeast corner.

מקום שרבי יוסי הגלילי מתחיל שם רבי עקיבא פוסק מקום שרבי עקיבא מתחיל שם רבי יוסי הגלילי פוסק

The Gemara notes: The place where the High Priest begins according to the opinion of Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, i.e., the northeast corner, there is where Rabbi Akiva says he ends; and the place where the High Priest begins according to the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, the southeast corner, there is where Rabbi Yosei HaGelili says he ends.

דכולי עלמא מיהא בההוא קרן דפגע ברישא לא עביד מאי טעמא אמר שמואל דאמר קרא ויצא אל המזבח עד דנפיק מכוליה מזבח

The Gemara asks: Everyone agrees, in any case, that he does not perform the service at the corner that he encounters first. Since the High Priest approaches the altar from the west side, the first corner he encounters is located on the west side. What is the reason for this? Shmuel said: The reason is that the verse states: “And he shall go out to the altar,” which indicates that he does not begin until he goes out from the sacred area beyond the entire area of the altar. At this stage, he is no longer on the western side of the altar but on its eastern side.

ולרבי עקיבא נקיף דרך ימין לימא בדרמי בר יחזקאל קא מיפלגי

The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, let him go around via the right. Since the High Priest is standing at the eastern side of the altar facing the west, the corner on his right is the northeast one. Let us say that they disagree with regard to the opinion of Rami bar Yeḥezkel.

דאמר רמי בר יחזקאל ים שעשה שלמה עומד על שנים עשר בקר שלשה פונים צפונה ושלשה פונים ימה ושלשה פונים נגבה ושלשה פונים מזרחה והים עליהם מלמעלה וכל אחוריהם ביתה הא למדת שכל פינות שאתה פונה לא יהו אלא דרך ימין למזרח מר אית ליה דרמי בר יחזקאל ומר לית ליה דרמי בר יחזקאל

As Rami bar Yeḥezkel said: A verse describes the sea, the basin that Solomon built, in the following terms: “It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; and the sea was set upon them above, and all their hinder parts were inward” (II Chronicles 4:4). From the direction in which the text lists the groups of oxen under the basin, you learn that all turns that you turn should be only to the right and to the east side. Let us say that this Sage, Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, is of the opinion that the ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Rami bar Yeḥezkel, and this Sage, Rabbi Akiva, is of the opinion that the ruling is not in accordance with the opinion of Rami bar Yeḥezkel.

לא דכולי עלמא אית להו דרמי בר יחזקאל והכא בהא קא מיפלגי מר סבר ילפינן פנים מחוץ ומר סבר לא ילפינן פנים מחוץ

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: No, everyone is of the opinion that the ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Rami bar Yeḥezkel, but here they disagree with regard to this matter: One Sage, Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, holds: We derive the order of the rite inside the Sanctuary from the manner of the sprinkling on the outside: Just as the priest sprinkles on the corners of the outer altar in that order, he sprinkles similarly on the inner altar. And one Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds: We do not derive the order of the rite inside of the Sanctuary from the rite performed outside.

ורבי עקיבא נהי דלא יליף פנים מחוץ אי בעי הכי נעביד אי בעי הכי נעביד אמר לך רבי עקיבא מדינא בההוא קרן דפגע ברישא בההוא עביד ברישא דאמר ריש לקיש אין מעבירין על המצות

§ The Gemara asks: And according to the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, although he does not derive the inside from the outside, nevertheless if the High Priest wants, let him perform the rite in this manner, and if he wants, let him perform the rite in that manner. Why must he begin specifically at the southeast corner? The Gemara answers: Rabbi Akiva could have said to you: Indeed, by right he should begin sprinkling by that corner of the altar that he reaches first, as Reish Lakish said: One does not pass on an opportunity to perform mitzvot. If one has the chance to perform a mitzva, he should not put it off for later but should do it immediately.

ואמאי לא עביד משום דכתיב ויצא אל המזבח עד דנפיק מכוליה מזבח וכיון דיהיב בההוא קרן הדר אתי לההוא קרן דאיחייב למיתב ברישא

And why does he not do so; why does the High Priest not begin the sprinkling on one of the western corners? This is due to that which is written: “He shall go out to the altar,” meaning that he does not begin until he goes out from the area of the entire altar. And since he presents the blood at that corner on the outside of the altar, he then comes to that corner on the west side where he should have presented the blood first.