בשרירי מנא הני מילי
with regard to hardened limbs that were dried by the fire but have not yet been reduced to ash. The mishna teaches that before midnight, such limbs should be returned to the altar. The Gemara asks: From where is this matter derived that midnight determines whether or not they shall be returned?
אמר רב כתוב אחד אומר (ויקרא ו, ב) כל הלילה והקטיר וכתוב אחד אומר (ויקרא ו, ב) כל הלילה והרים
Rav says: One verse states: All night and he shall burn the burnt offering, which indicates that there is a mitzva to burn the limbs of a burnt offering all night, as the verse states: “It is the burnt offering on the pyre upon the altar all night until the morning” (Leviticus 6:2). And one verse states: “All night until the morning…and he shall remove the ashes that the fire has consumed of the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar” (Leviticus 6:2–3), which indicates that one may remove the ashes at any time during the night, including the limbs of a burnt offering that were already hardened by the fire. How can these texts be reconciled?
חלקיהו חציו להקטרה וחציו להרמה
Rav explains: Divide the night into two parts: Half of the night, i.e., until midnight, is designated for the mitzva of burning, and during this time, that which is dislodged from the altar shall be returned; and half of the night, i.e., after midnight, is designated for removing.
מתיב רב כהנא בכל יום תורם את המזבח מקרות הגבר או סמוך לו מלפניו [או] מאחריו ביום הכיפורים בחצות ברגלים באשמורת הראשונה ואי סלקא דעתך מחצות דאורייתא היכי מקדמינן (והיכי מאחרינן
With regard to Rav’s assertion that one may begin to remove the ashes only after midnight, Rav Kahana raises an objection from a mishna (Yoma 20a): Every day the priests would remove the ashes from the altar and place them on the east side of the ramp at the rooster’s crow or close to the time of its crowing, whether before it or after it, as there was no insistence on a precise time. On Yom Kippur they would remove the ashes at midnight. On the Festivals the ashes were removed even earlier, at the end of the first watch. Rav Kahana concludes his objection: And if it enters your mind that the proper time for removing the ashes by Torah law is from midnight, how do we advance the removal of the ashes on the Festivals, and how do we delay their removal the rest of the year?
אלא) אמר רבי יוחנן ממשמע שנאמר כל הלילה איני יודע שעד הבקר מה תלמוד לומר עד בקר תן בקר לבקרו של לילה
Rather, Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The proper time of the removal of the ashes is based on the following: From the fact that it is stated with regard to the burning of the limbs: “All night” (Leviticus 6:2), don’t I know that he may burn a burnt offering until the morning? If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “Until the morning”? It means: Add another morning to the morning of the night. Arise before dawn, as that is the time for the removal of the ashes. Nevertheless, there is no specific hour fixed for performing this removal, and one may remove the ashes from the beginning of the night.
הלכך כל יומא מקרות הגבר סגי ביום הכיפורים משום חולשא דכהן גדול מחצות ברגלים דנפישי קרבנות דקדמי אתו ישראל מאשמורת הראשונה כדקתני סיפא לא היתה קריית הגבר מגעת עד שהיתה עזרה מלאה מישראל
Therefore, every day, performing the removal at the rooster’s crow is sufficient. On Yom Kippur, due to the weakness of the High Priest, who must perform the entire Temple service on that day, they would hasten to remove the ashes from midnight. On the Festivals, during which there are many offerings on account of the masses of Jewish people in Jerusalem on those days, who, in order to offer their sacrifices, would arrive early at the Temple, they would remove the ashes beginning from the end of the first watch, as the mishna teaches in the latter clause (Yoma 20a): The call of the rooster would not arrive on Festivals until the Temple courtyard was filled with Jews.
איתמר פירשו קודם חצות והחזירן אחר חצות רבה אמר
§ The Gemara previously explained the mishna as saying that limbs that were hardened by the fire but not entirely consumed are not returned to the altar if they were dislodged from it after midnight, since the mitzva of burning has been performed and the limbs are considered to have been entirely consumed. It was stated that amora’im engage in a dispute concerning the following matter: In the case of limbs that separated from upon the altar before midnight and were returned after midnight, whereby the mitzva of burning was not completed by midnight, Rabba says: