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Thursday, 25 Adar 5777 / March 23, 2017

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 6, Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 7, Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 8

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Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 6

1

It is impossible for the sacrifice of a person to be offered without him standing in attendance. [Now,] the communal offerings are the sacrifices of the entire Jewish people, but it is impossible for the entire Jewish people to stand in the Temple Courtyard at the time they are being offered. Therefore, the prophets of the first era1 ordained that there be selective upright and sin-fearing Jews who should serve as the agents of the entire Jewish people2 to stand [and observe the offering of] the sacrifices. They were called "the men of the maamad."3

They divided them into 24 ma'amadot, equaling the number of watches of the priests and Levites. Over each of the watches was one who was appointed as [the supervisor] of them all. He was called the head of the ma'amad.

א

אי אפשר שיהיה קרבנו של אדם קרב והוא אינו עומד על גביו וקרבנות הציבור הן קרבן של כל ישראל ואי אפשר שיהיו ישראל כולן עומדין בעזרה בשעת קרבן לפיכך תקנו נביאים הראשוני' שיבררו מישראל כשרים ויראי חטא ויהיו שלוחי כל ישראל לעמוד על הקרבנות והם הנקראים אנשי מעמד וחלקו אותם כ"ד מעמדות כמנין משמרות כהונה ולויה ועל כל מעמד ומעמד אחד מהן ממונה על כולם והוא נקרא ראש המעמד:

2

Each week, the members of the ma'amad of that week would gather together. Those [living] in Jerusalem or close to it would enter the Temple with the priestly and Levitical watch of that week. When [the week of] their ma'amad arrived, those members of the ma'amad who [lived] in distant places would gather in the synagogues of their locale.

ב

בכל שבת ושבת מתקבצין אנשי מעמד של אותה שבת מי שהיה מהן בירושלים או קרוב לה נכנסין למקדש עם משמר כהונה ולויה של אותה שבת והרחוקים שבאותו מעמד כיון שהגיע מעמד שלהן הן מתקבצין לבית הכנסת שבמקומן:

3

What would those who gather together - both in Jerusalem and in the synagogues - do? They would fast on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of their week. They would not fast on Friday out of respect for the Sabbath4 and not on Sunday, so they would not make a transition from the pleasure of the Sabbath to a fast.5

ג

ומה הן עושין אלו המתקבצין בין בירושלים בין בבתי כנסיות מתענין בשני בשבת שלהן ובשלישי וברביעי ובחמישי אבל בערב שבת לא היו מתענין מפני כבוד שבת ובאחד בשבת אינם מתענים כדי שלא יצאו מעונג שבת לצום:

4

On every day of the week that was their ma'amad, they would recite four prayer services: the morning service, the afternoon service, the neilah service,6 and another prayer service between the morning service and the afternoon service which was additional [and unique] for them.7 In the ma'amad, the priests bless the people three times, in the morning service, in this additional service, and in the neilah service.8

They would have three men read from the Torah twice a day: in the morning service and in the second service that they would add.9 In the afternoon service, they would not read the Torah. Instead, they would recite the Shema by heart. They would not gather for the afternoon service on Friday, for they were busy [with their preparations] for the Sabbath.

ד

ובכל יום ויום משבת שהיה מעמדן מתפללין ארבע תפלות שחרית ומנחה ונעילה ועוד מוסיפין תפלה אחרת בין שחרית ומנחה והיא יתירה להן ונושאין כפיהן הכהנים במעמד ג' פעמים בכל יום בשחרית ובתפלה זו היתירה ובנעילה וקורין בספר תורה שלשה אנשים שתי פעמים בכל יום בשחרית ובתפלה השניה שמוסיפין אבל במנחה לא היו קורין בספר תורה אלא על פה כקוראין את שמע ולא היו מתקבצין לתפלת מנחה בע"ש מפני שהן טרודין לשבת:

5

Their gathering together for each of these prayers of these four services and their standing in prayer, supplication, and petition and reading the Torah is called a ma'amad.

ה

וקיבוצן לכל תפלה מארבע תפלות אלו ועמידתן שם לתפלה ולתחינה ולבקשה ולקרות בתורה נקרא מעמד:

6

What would they read [from the Torah]? The narrative of creation.10 On the first day, they would read: "In the beginning," "Let there be a firmament;"11On the second day, "Let there be a firmament" and "Let [the waters] be gathered;" on the third day, "Let [the waters] be gathered" and "Let there be luminaries;" on the fourth day, "Let there be luminaries" and "Let the waters teem;" on the fifth day, "Let the waters teem" and "Let the earth produce;" on the sixth day, "Let the earth produce" and "[The heavens and the earth] were completed."

ו

ובמה היו קוראין במעשה בראשית ביום הראשון קוראין בראשית ויהי רקיע בשני יהי רקיע ויקוו בשלישי יקוו ויהיה מאורות ברביעית יהי מאורות וישרצו בחמישי ישרצו ותוצא הארץ בששי ותוצא הארץ ויכולו:

7

A large passage12 would be read by two men, a small passage, by one. The two passages that were read in the morning would be read during this second service from a scroll. They would then be read again during the afternoon service by heart.

ז

פרשה גדולה קוראין אותה בשנים וקטנה קורא אותה אחד ושתי פרשיות שקוראין שחרית הם שחוזרין וקורין אותן בתפלה השניה בספר וחוזרין וקוראין אותן במנחה על פה:

8

During the eight days of Chanukah, the men of the ma'amad would not carry out a ma'amad13 in the morning service.14 On any day when there was a Musaf sacrifice,15 there was not a ma'amad during their second service, nor in the afternoon service,16 only during the morning and neilah services. On any day when there was a sacrifice of wood,17 there was not a ma'amad during the neilah service, only during the morning, second, and afternoon services.

ח

שמנת ימי חנוכה לא היו אנשי מעמד עושין מעמד בשחרית וכל יום שיש בו קרבן מוסף לא היה בו מעמד לא בתפלה שניה שלהם ולא במנחה אלא בשחרית ובנעילה בלבד וכל יום שהיה בו קרבן העצים לא היה בו מעמד בנעילה אלא בשחרית ובתפלה שניה ובמנחה:

9

What was a sacrifice of wood? Certain families had a fixed time on which they would go out to the forests and bring wood for the arrangement [on the altar].18 On the day designated for this family to bring their sacrifices, they would bring voluntary burnt offerings. This was called the sacrifice of the wood. It was like a festival for these families and they were forbidden to have eulogies delivered, fast, and perform work on that day. This was a custom.

ט

ומהו קרבן העצים זמן קבוע היה למשפחות משפחות לצאת ליערים להביא עצים למערכה ויום שיגיע לבני משפחה זו להביא העצים היו מקריבין עולות נדבה וזהו קרבן העצים והיה להם כמו יו"ט ואסורין בו בהספד ובתענית ובעשיית מלאכה ודבר זה מנהג:

10

Even a private individual who gave wood or logs for the arrangement [of the altar]19 is forbidden to have eulogies delivered, fast, and perform work on that day. This was a custom.

י

אפילו יחיד שהתנדב עצים או גזרים במערכה אסור באותו היום בהספד ובתענית ובעשיית מלאכה ודבר זה מנהג:

11

The men of the ma'amad are forbidden to have their hair cut and to launder [their clothes] throughout the week [they serve in the Temple]. On Thursday,20 they were permitted in honor of the Sabbath. Why were they forbidden to have their hair cut and to launder [their clothes]? So that they would not enter their ma'amad while they were unkept. Instead, they would have their hair cut and launder [their clothes] beforehand.21

יא

אנשי מעמד אסורין מלספר ומלכבס כל שבת שלהן ובחמישי מותרין מפני כבוד השבת ומפני מה אסרו עליהם לספר ולכבס כדי שלא יכנסו למעמדם כשהם מנוולין אלא יספרו ויכבסו מקודם:

Footnotes
1.

Samuel and David (Ta'anit 27a).

2.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Ta'anit 4:2), the Rambam writes: " Their intent and their goal was involvement in Divine service and prayer. They were not occupied with their own concerns. Their minds and their thought were on the sacrifices."

3.

Ma'amad literally means "standing," because they would stand over the sacrifice or stand in prayer, as stated in Halachah 5. The term also has the connotation of "status" and "dignified position."

4.

So that they would have the energy to make their Sabbath preparations.

5.

This would weaken them exceedingly (ibid.).

6.

Neilah means "closing." Hilchot Tefilah 1:7 states that the Men of the Great Assembly ordained "a prayer after the afternoon service [to be recited] close to sunset on fast days only to increase supplication and pleading due to the fast. This is called the neilah service, as if to say the gates of heaven are being closed." Since the men of the ma'amad were observing an ordained fast, they would recite this service as well.

7.

The Ra'avad differs and maintains that there was not an extra service ordained especially for the men of the ma'amad. If the Mishnah spoke of Musaf, the additional service, in this context, the intent was a day like Rosh Chodesh when Musaf would be recited by the entire Jewish people.

The Radbaz supports the Rambam's opinion, explaining that during this prayer service they would pray that the sacrifices be accepted and that Jews in situations of danger be saved.

8.

They would not bless the people in the afternoon service, because generally, it was suspected that a priest might be intoxicated in the afternoon and it is improper to bless the people in such a state. Hence, our Sages forbade the recitation of the priestly blessing in the afternoon service at all times. They allowed it to be recited in the Neilah service, because the neilah service is only recited on a fast day. In later generations, it became customary to recite the priestly blessing (or in the Ashkenazic community, the passage Eloheinu V'Elohei Avoseinu) in the afternoon service, because at present, it is customary to recite the afternoon service late on a fast day. Hence, it resembles the neilah service and will not be confused with an ordinary afternoon service. See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:1), Hilchot Nesiat Kapayim 14:1-2.

9.

The Ra'avad differs here as well and states that there is no extra service and, hence, no extra Torah reading, except on a day when Musaf is recited.

10.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.:2), the Rambam explains that this subject was chosen, because the ultimate fulfillment of existence is the service of sacrificial worship, as implied by Ta'anit 27b: "Were it not for the sacrifices, the heavens and the earth would not be maintained."

11.

On each day, they would read the passage associated with that and the following day of creation.

12.

I.e., three aliyot were given out for each reading. If the passage was large - i.e., it contained eight verses - two aliyot were given in it and the third aliyah was given for the second passage that accompanied it.

13.

I.e., read from the Torah or recite the readings by heart [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.:4)].

14.

Since they would recite the Hallel prayers that day. As Taanit 4:4 states: Whenever Hallel was recited [and the Musaf service was not recited (the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah)], there was no ma'amad. The rationale is that since the recitation of Hallel took time, no further obligations were imposed on the men of the ma'amad.

15.

I.e., on the intermediate days of the festivals and on Rosh Chodesh.

16.

For they were occupied with the sacrifice of the Musaf service.

17.

See the following halachah.

18.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.:5), the Rambam refers to Nechemiah 10:35 which speaks of casting lots for the wood offering. Implied is that different families were allotted the responsibility for bringing wood for the altar and were given different days to bring that wood. On that day, in addition to the wood, they would bring other sacrifices, as the Rambam continues to explain.

19.

For bringing wood is considered equivalent to bringing a sacrifice and the day on which a person brings a sacrifice is considered as his private festival.

20.

And certainly on Friday (Rambam LeAm).

21.

See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 1:17,12.

Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 7

1

There were fifteen officers in the Temple and similarly, an officer would always be appointed over these fifteen matters.1 They are [responsible for]:

a) the time [for the offering of the sacrifices],2

b) the locking of the gates,3

c) the guards,4

d) the singers,5

e) the cymbals and the other musical instruments,6

f) the lotteries,7

g) the pairs [of doves],8

h) the seals,9

i) the wine libations,10

j) the sick,11

k) the water,12

l) the preparation of the showbread,13

m) the preparation of the incense offering,14

n) the preparation of the curtains,15

o) the preparation of the priestly garments.16

א

חמשה עשר ממונין היו במקדש וכן ממנים לעולם על כל דבר מט"ו דברים אלו ממונה אחד ואלו הן: (א) על הזמנים ג (ב) על נעילת שערים ד (ג) על השומרים ה (ד) על המשוררים ו (ה) על הצלצל עם שאר כלי שיר ז (ו) על הפייסות ח (ז) על הקנים ט (ח) על החותמות י (ט) על הנסכים יא (י) על החולין יב (יא) על המים יג (יב) על מעשה לחם הפנים יד (יג) על מעשה הקטורת טו (יד) על מעשה הפרכת טז (טו) על מעשה בגדי כהונה:

2

Each one of these officers has many men under his command in order to arrange the task over which he is appointed.

The one [appointed] to supervise the times: He and his men watch the times. When the time comes for a sacrifice to be offered,17 he or one of the men under his charge announce: "Priests arise to the [Temple] service. Levites [go] to the platform,18 Israelites, to the ma'amad." When his voice was heard, everyone would proceed to his task.

ב

כל אחד ואחד מממונים אלו תחת ידו אנשים הרבה כדי להכין המלאכה שהוא ממונה עליה זה שעל הזמנים הוא ואנשיו משמרים את הזמנים כיון שיגיע עת הקרבן מכריז הוא או אחד מאנשיו ברשותו ואומר עמדו כהנים לעבודה ולוים לדוכן וישראל למעמד וכיון שישמע קולו יבוא כל אחד למלאכתו:

3

The one [appointed] to supervise the locking of the gates: At his command, the gates would be locked19 and opened.20 Those who sound [the trumpets] every day for the opening of the gates sound them only by his instruction. Every day, [the trumpets] were sound three times at the opening of the gates [in the following manner]: a tekiah,21 a teruah,22 and a tekiah.

ג

זה שעל נעילת שערים על פיו נועלין ועל פיו פותחין ואין התוקעין תוקעין בכל יום לפתיחת השערים אלא ברשותו ובכל יום תוקעין במקדש שלש תקיעות לפתיחת השערים תקיעה תרועה ותקיעה:

4

The one [appointed] to supervise the guards: He is "the officer of the Temple Mount" who would walk around [checking] the Levites23 [who would guard the Temple] every night. Whenever anyone would sleep at his post, he would strike him with his staff and burn his garment.24

ד

זה שעל השומרים הוא איש הר הבית שמסבב על הלוים בכל לילה וכל מי שישן על משמרו מלקה אותו במקלו ושורף את כסותו:

5

The one [appointed] to supervise the singers: Each day, he would chose singers to stand on the duchan to sing melodies. At his command, [the trumpets] would be sounded for the sacrifices. There were never less than 21 trumpet blasts sounded each day in the Temple: three at the opening of the gates [of the Temple Courtyard],25 nine for the daily offering of the morning,26 and nine for the daily offering of the afternoon. On a day when a Musaf offering is brought, nine trumpet blasts are added for the Musaf offering. If Rosh Chodesh or a festival falls on the Sabbath27 or Rosh HaShanah falls on the Sabbath - in which instance three Musaf offerings are brought28- we do not sound the trumpets for each Musaf offering individually. Instead, nine trumpet blasts are sounded for all the Musaf offerings.

ה

זה שעל המשוררים הוא בורר בכל יום המשוררים שעומדים על הדוכן לומר שירה בפה ועל פיו תוקעין על הקרבנות אין פוחתין במקדש מאחת ועשרים תקיעה בכל יום שלש לפתיחת שערים ותשע לתמיד של שחר ותשע לתמיד של בין הערבים ויום שיש בו קרבן מוסף מוסיפין תשע על קרבן מוסף ואם חל ראש חדש או יו"ט להיות בשבת או שחל ראש השנה להיות בשבת שיש שם שלשה מוספין אין תוקעין לכל מוסף ומוסף בפני עצמו אלא תוקעין תשע בלבד לכל המוספין:

6

One Friday, six trumpet blasts are added: three29 to [notify] the people [when] to cease work30 and three to make a distinction between the holy and the mundane. On the pilgrimage festivals, three are added [to announce] the opening of the lower gate, i.e., the gate to the Women's Courtyard,31 and three [to announce] the opening of the upper gate, i.e., the Gate of Nicanor.32

Why is it called the upper gate? Because it is higher than the Women's Courtyard.33On Sukkot, three trumpet blasts are added [to announce] the filling of [a vessel with] water which is used for a libation on that holiday.34 The trumpets are not sounded for the filling of the water on the Sabbath. Three trumpet blasts are added upon the altar while the water libation is being offered.

All of these trumpet blasts were sounded under the direction of the officer in charge of the singers and at his command. All of these blasts were sounded with trumpets.35

ו

בערב שבת מוסיפין שש שלש להבטיל את העם מן המלאכה ושלש להבדיל בין קדש לחול וברגל מוסיפין שלש לפתיחת שער התחתון והוא שער עזרת נשים וג' לפתיחת שער העליון הוא שער נקנור ולמה נקרא שער עליון לפי שהוא למעלה מעזרת נשים וכן תוקעין שלש למילוי המים שמנסכין בחג ואין תוקעים למלוי המים בשבת ותוקעין ג' על גבי המזבח בשעה שמנסכין המים וכל התוקעים שתוקעים על הקרבנות מתחת יד זה שעל המשוררים וברשותו וכל אלו התקיעות בחצוצרות הן:

7

The one [appointed] to supervise the cymbal: He would arrange all the musicians who would help the Levites together with their instruments, as we explained.36

ז

זה שעל הצלצל הוא המעמיד כל המשוררים על פי כלי שיר שסועדין עם הלוים כמו שביארנו:

8

The one [appointed] to supervise the lotteries, he would conduct the lotteries between the priests every day until each one would perform the work that he acquired through the lotteries. There were four lotteries conducted every day. In Hilchot Temidim,37 I will explain how these lotteries were conducted.

ח

זה שעל הפייסות הוא מפיס בין הכהנים בכל יום עד שיהיה כל איש ואיש עושה מלאכתו שזכה בה בפייס וד' פעמים היו מפיסין בכל יום ובהלכות תמידין אבאר כיצד היו מפיסין:

9

The one [appointed] to supervise [the sale of] the pairs of doves:38 He is the one with whom a price is determined to sell pairs [of doves] for the sacrifices, so-and-so many doves for a sela. Everyone who was obligated to [bring] turtle doves39 or doves40 [as a sacrifice]41 would bring the money for them to the Temple. This officer would give the pairs [of doves] to the people bringing the sacrifices. He would make a reckoning with the treasurers and they would provide him with [the doves].42

Every thirty days, a price was established with him. If the price decreases [during that month], [the Temple treasurers] supply him with them according to the lower price. If it increases, they provide them at the price established [originally], for the Temple is always given the upper hand [in business transactions]. Similarly, if a pair of doves is discovered to be unacceptable or was disqualified before it was offered, [this officer] must provide another in its place.43

ט

הממונה שעל הקינים הוא שפוסקין עמו שימכור הקנים לקרבנות כך וכך בסלע וכל מי שהוא חייב תורים או שני בני יונה יביא דמיהם למקדש וזה הממונה נותן הקינים לבעלי הקרבנות ועושה חשבון עם הגזברין ונותנין לו משלשים יום לשלשים יום פוסקין עמו השער ואם הוזלו הקינים מספיק כשער הזול ואם הוקרו מספיק כמו שפסקו עמו שיד הקדש על העליונה וכן קן שנמצא פסול או שנפסל קודם שיקרב נותן אחר תחתיו:

10

The one [appointed] to supervise [the sale of] the seals: He would receive the money for the wine libations from those obligation to bring libations and give them seals. The one [appointed] to supervise the wine libations would sell the wine libations.44

י

זה שעל החותמות הוא שמקבל דמי הנסכים ממחוייבי נסכים ונותן להם חותמות וזה שעל הנסכים הוא שמוכר הנסכים:

11

What is implied? There where four seals in the Temple, one which had "calf" written on it,45 a second which had "male" written on it,46 a third which had "kid" written on it,47 and a fourth that had "sinner" written on it.48

יא

כיצד ארבע חותמות היו במקדש האחד כתוב עליו עגל והשני כתוב עליו זכר והשלישי כתוב עליו גדי והרביעי כתוב עליו חוטא:

12

Whoever would bring his sacrifices to the Temple would give the money for the wine libations to the officer in charge of the seals. He would give him seals according to the number of sacrifices he brought. If a person afflicted with tzara'at was wealthy, he should give him one seal with "sinner" written upon it.49 The recipient then takes the seals to the officer in charge of the wine libations and he gives him wine libations according to the number of seals he has and what is written upon them. In the evening, [the two officers] meet and one gives the other seals and receives money in exchange for them.

If there is extra money, it is given to the Temple treasury.50 If there is less money, the officer in charge of the seals must pay from his own resources. When a person loses a seal, he should wait until the evening. If there is found an extra amount of money equivalent to the seal that he claims, it is given to him. If not, it is not given to him.

The date of each day is written on the seal [to protect against] deceivers [to prevent] one from keeping a seal in his possession until the price of the libations increases.51

יב

כל מי שיביא קרבנותיו למקדש נותן דמי הנסכים לזה הממונה על החותמות ונותן לו חותמות כמנין הקרבנות שלו ואם היה מצורע עשיר נותן לו חותם אחד שכתוב עליו חוטא והלה הולך בחותמות שבידו לזה הממונה על הנסכים ונותן לו נסכים כמניין החותמות וכמ"ש בהן ולערב באים זה אצל זה מוציא את החותמות ומקבל כנגדן מעות אם הותירו המעות הותירו להקדש ואם פחתו המעות ישלם זה שעל החותמות מביתו מי שאבד חותמו ממתינין לו עד הערב אם מצאו במעות יתר כדי חותם שטוען נותנין לו ואם לאו אין נותנין לו ושם כל היום כתוב על החותם מפני הרמאים שלא ישהא החותם אצלו עד שיוקרו הנסכים:

13

Every thirty days, a price for the wine and the flour is established with the officer in charge of the wine libations. If the price of the wine libations increases, he must supply them according to the price established beforehand. If their price decreases, he must supply them according to the lower price.52

The profit the Temple treasury makes on these [fluctuations in] price is called "the windfall of the libations." It is used to purchase burnt offerings as "the desert of the altar."53 Burnt offerings of doves are not used for this purpose, because doves are not used for communal offerings.54

יג

משלשים יום לשלשים יום פוסקין שער היין והסולת עם הממונה על הנסכים אם הוקרו נסכים מספק להן כמו שפסקו עמו ואם הוזלו מספק להן כשער הזול והשכר שמשתכר ההקדש בשערים אלו הוא הנקרא מותר נסכים ולוקחין בו עולות לקיץ המזבח ואין מקיצין את המזבח בעולות עוף שאין בקרבנות הציבור עוף:

14

Since the priests stand on the floor at all times,55 eat much meat,56 and during their Temple service, they are not covered by any garments other than one cloak, they [often] suffer digestive ailments.57 Therefore an officer is appointed to check them and heal all their illnesses. He and the people in his charge are involved with them at all times.58

יד

הכהנים מפני שהן עומדין על הרצפה תמיד ואוכלין בשר הרבה ואין עליהן בגדים בשעת העבודה אלא חלוק אחד הם חולין במעיהן לפיכך מעמידין ממונה אחד שיהיה מבקר אותן ומרפא כל תחלואיהן ועוסק בהן תמיד הוא ואנשיו שתחת ידו:

15

Similarly, an officer is appointed to dig cisterns and reservoirs59 and fix the cisterns for people at large so that there will be water available in Jerusalem for all of its inhabitants and for all those who come on the pilgrimage festivals.60

And there was one appointed for all the craftsmen who prepare the showbread and he supervises all their work.61 And there is one appointed over the craftsmen who prepare the incense offering and he supervises all their work.62

טו

וכן ממנין אחר להיות חופר בורות ושיחין ומתקן הבורות של רבים כדי שיהיו המים מצויין בירושלים לכל אחד מיושביה ולכל עולי הרגלים ואחד ממונה על כל אומני לחם הפנים והוא מתקן כל מלאכתו ואחד ממונה על כל אומני הקטרת והוא מתקן מלאכתה:

16

The one [appointed] to supervise [the making of] the curtains would be in charge of all those who wove the curtains and embroidered [designs]63 on them so that they would be prepared for the Temple and the gates.

Each year, they would make two curtains64 to separate between the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies.65 The strands of these curtains were all six-fold. They were of four types of fabric: linen, sky-blue dyed wool, purple dyed wool, and crimson dyed wool. Each one was six fold. Thus there were 24 strings.66 The curtains were a hand-breadth67thick. They were woven with 72 heddles.68 Its length was forty cubits and its width was 20 cubits.69

טז

זה שעל הפרוכת ממונה על כל אורגי הפרוכות והרוקמין בהן שיהיו מוכנות להיכל ולשערים ושתי פרוכות היו עושין בכל שנה להבדיל בין הקדש לקדש הקדשים וחיטי הפרוכת כפולין ששה ששה וארבעה מינין היו בה שש ותכלת וארגמן ותולעת שני וכל אחד מהן כפול ששה הרי כ"ד חוטין וטפח היה עביה ועל שנים ושבעים נירין היתה נארגת ארכה ארבעים אמה ורחבה עשרים אמה:

17

There were thirteen curtains in the Second Temple: Seven over the seven gates to the Temple Courtyard,70 one over the opening of the Entrance Porch,71one over the entrance to the Sanctuary, two72 to serve as the d'vir73between it and the [most] holy chamber, and two corresponding to them in the upper storey.74

יז

וי"ג פרוכות היו במקדש שני שבע על שבעה שערי העזרה ואחת על פתח האולם ואחת על פתח ההיכל ושתים לדביר בינו ובין הקודש ושתים כנגדן בעלייה:

18

When a curtain becomes impure [due to contact] with a derivative of impurity,75 it should be immersed within [the Temple Courtyard].76 It was brought into [the Temple] immediately, because there is no need to wait until the evening.77 If it became impure because of contact with a substance that is a source of impurity, it should be immersed [in a mikveh] outside [the Temple Courtyard]78 and it is spread out in the chayl,79 because it must wait until sunset [for its impurity] to depart. If it was new, it would be spread over the colonnade80 so that the people could see its embroidery for it was attractive.

יח

פרוכת שנטמאת בולד הטומאה מטבילין אותה בפנים ומכניסין אותה מיד לפי שאינה צריכה הערב שמש ושנטמאת באב הטומאה מטבילין אותה מבחוץ ושוטחין אותה בחיל מפני שהיא צריכה הערב שמש ואם היתה חדשה שוטחין אותה על גב האצטבא כדי שיראה העם את מלאכתה שהיא נאה:

19

All of the utensils in the Temple had copies and copies of the copies so that if the original contracted impurity, the second could be used in its place.

יט

וכל הכלים שהיו במקדש היו להם שניים ושלישים שאם יטמאו הראשונים יביאו השניים תחתיהם:

20

The one [appointed] to supervise [the making of] the priestly garments: He is occupied with the preparation of the garments of the ordinary priests and the garments of the High Priests and their being woven.81 Everything [necessary for them] is done under his authority. He had a chamber in the Sanctuary.82

כ

זה הממונה על מעשה בגדי כהונה עוסק בהכנסת בגדי כהנים הדיוטים ובגדי כ"ג ובאריגתן ומתחת ידו נעשה הכל ולשכה היתה לו במקדש:

Footnotes
1.

Shekalim 5:1 mentions officers for these fifteen positions. The Rambam explains that this was not merely the situation at one specific time, but represented the ongoing division of responsibilities in the Temple. The officers

2.

See Halachah 2.

3.

See Halachah 3.

4.

See Halachah 4. The Ra'avad offers a different interpretation of this officer's function. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Ra'avad's view is based on the Jerusalem Talmud (Shekalim 5:1), while the Rambam's opinion is based on the Babylonian Talmud. He questions why the Ra'vad favors the Jerusalem Talmud when generally, if there is a difference of opinion between the two, the halachah follows the Babylonian Talmud.

5.

See Halachah 5.

6.

See Halachah 7.

7.

See Halachah 8.

8.

See Halachah 9.

9.

See Halachah 10.

10.

See Halachah 12. The Radbaz notes that the Mishnah (loc. cit.) refers to this person as being appointed over the flour. He explains that since flour would accompany the wine libation, the same person was appointed over both.

11.

See Halachah 14.

12.

See Halachah 15.

13.

See Halachah 15.

14.

See Halachah 15.

15.

See Halachah 16.

16.

See Halachah 15.

17.

Actually, the announcement would be made slightly before the time for the sacrifice. For example, in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Tamid 1:2; 3:8), the Rambam writes that this announcement was made at (or before) dawn.

18.

Where they would stand to sing. Although they would not sing until the wine offering was brought and that was after the limbs of the sacrifice were offered (see Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 6:5), they would proceed to their posts at the same time as the priests.

19.

At sunset.

20.

At dawn.

21.

A prolonged and drawn out blast.

22.

A series of staccato blasts.

23.

The priests would also stand watch in three places. The commentaries discuss why they are not mentioned.

24.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 8:10 where the function of this officer is also mentioned.

25.

As mentioned in Halachah 3.

26.

See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 6:5, 7.

27.

And thus two different Musaf offerings are brought: one for the Sabbath and one for the festival or for Rosh Chodesh.

28.

One for the Sabbath, one for Rosh HaShanah, and one for Rosh Chodesh.

29.

I.e., a tekiah, teruah, tekiah series.

30.

As explained in Hilchot Shabbat 5:18-20, these trumpet blasts were sounded beginning one and a quarter seasonal hours before sunset. The first three were not sounded together. On the contrary, each represented a further stage in the imminent approach of the Sabbath. The second set of three were sounded close to sunset as a unit of three.

31.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:7 for a description of this courtyard.

32.

See ibid. 5:5 for a description of this gate.

33.

22 ½ cubits higher, as indicated by ibid. 6:2.

34.

The water libation and these trumpet blasts are described in Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 10:6-7.

35.

This represents a reversal in the Rambam's thinking from his earlier views in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Tamid 3:8) where he states that it was the shofar that was sounded.

36.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 3.

37.

Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 4:1, 3.

38.

The Rambam in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Shekalim 5:1) notes that the most renown figure to fill this post was Mordechai, the hero of the Purim Megilah. The Radbaz, in his gloss to Halachah 13, feels it necessary to emphasize the extent to which our Sages cherished the service in the Temple. For Mordechai abandoned all the wealth and leisure of the of the Persian court to provide doves for pilgrims to the Temple.

39.

A smaller, wild variety of the dove family. See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:2 for more particulars.

40.

Ordinary domesticated doves.

41.

Many different people would have to bring doves as a sacrifice (see examples in Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah 1:3). Hence, it was necessary that the Temple provide a source for them.

42.

Note the explanation given by the Rambam with regard to the wine libations and meal offerings. In a similar manner, the Temple treasury would purchase doves and sell them to this officer. He would then sell them to those people required to bring them.

43.

And suffer the loss from his own funds.

44.

And the accompanying flour and oil offerings, as explained in the notes to the following halachah.

45.

This referred to the wine libations brought when offering a bull, a half of a hin of wine. Together with the wine were brought three esronim of flour and half a hin of oil.

46.

This referred to the wine libations brought when offering a male ram, a third of a hin of wine. Together with the wine were brought two esronim of flour and third of a hin of oil.

47.

This referred to the wine libations brought when offering a ewe, a fourth of a hin of wine. Together with the wine were brought one isaron of flour and fourth of a hin of oil.

48.

This refers to the wine libations brought by a wealthy person afflicted by tzara'at (a mystic affliction similar to leprosy). He is called a sinner because the affliction was brought about by his sins [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shekalim 5:3), i.e., because tzara'at is brought about by gossip. (See the conclusion of Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at.)

Such a person would bring three animals as a sacrifice, accompanied by three revi'ot of wine, together with three esronim of flour and three revi'ot of oil (Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 2:6).

49.

If, however, a person afflicted with tzara'at is poor, he is only required to bring a ewe as an offering. Hence, he only purchases a "kid" seal.

50.

We do not accept the claim that the officer's own money became mixed together with the money he received.

51.

I.e., the prices of agricultural commodities fluctuate seasonally. Were it not for this safeguard, a person could purchase a seal in the summer (when the prices are relatively cheap, because it is the time of the harvest) and use it in the winter, when the prices had increased.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Shekalim 5:4), the Rambam added another reason. Perhaps, the seal was lost and found by another person. The Radbaz states that the latter is an inferior rationale, because we do not usually take safeguards against such occurrences.

52.

For as stated above, the Temple treasury is given the upper hand in all financial transactions.

53.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shekalim 4:4), where he explains that the term kayitz refers to the time of the fig and grape harvest. These fruits are served as desert, after a person has eaten his major meal. Similarly, these offerings do not represent the fundamental "food" of the altar, but instead, are offered only when the altar is free.

54.

See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 1:4.

55.

While barefoot, so nothing would separate between their feet and the Temple's floor (Radbaz; see Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 5:17).

56.

See the Rambam's statements in Hilchot De'ot 4:9, where he lists certain types of meat as unhealthy food.

57.

As the Rambam mentions, this officer was in charge of healing all the priests' medical ailments. He singles out their digestive ailments here, because they were the most prevalent (Radbaz).

58.

The Radbaz continues explaining that their health situation would have been far more serious except that they were watched over by unique Divine providence.

59.

The Jerusalem Talmud (Shekalim 5:1) explains that these officers had intimate knowledge of the earth and knew how to determine under which rocks there was a spring of cold water and where a spring of hot water could be found.

60.

As the Rambam explains in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Shekalim 5:1), this person's activity was not confined to Jerusalem. Instead, he would dig wells throughout Eretz Yisrael so that water would be available to the pilgrims.

61.

These were the elders of the House of Garmu. The Jerusalem Talmud (loc. cit.) criticizes these priests, because they were unwilling to teach others their unique craft.

62.

These were the elders of the House of Avtinas. The Jerusalem Talmud (loc. cit.) explains that they also would not teach their craft to others. At first, the Sages considered this to be undesirable. Later, they discovered that the House of Avtinas refused to do so in order that the information not be used to prepare incense offerings for idols. The Sages then deemed their conduct praiseworthy.

63.

The Kessef Mishneh understands the Rambam's wording as implying that the embroidery was not part of the original weave of the curtain, but needle work done afterwards. Nevertheless, he quotes other sources that indicate that the designs were made within the pattern of the weave itself.

64.

Each year, new curtains were made, because the smoke from the incense offerings would discolor the old ones (Rabbenu Asher to Tamid 29b). See also Hilchot Shekalim 4:2 which describes additional points concerning these curtains.

65.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 4:2 for an explanation regarding the use of these two curtains.

66.

I.e., each string had four strands and each strand had six threads. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the term sheish, the word the Torah uses for linen implies a strand of six threads. See Chapter 8, Halachah 14. From this, we learn that the strings of the other three fabrics were made in a similar manner.

67.

3.5 centimeters in contemporary measure thick.

68.

For there were 72 strings used to weave it.

69.

For the Holy of Holies was 20 cubits wide and 40 cubits high.

70.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:4 for an explanation regarding the gates to the Temple Courtyard.

71.

The Entrance Porch did not have a gate (ibid. 4:8).

72.

The two mentioned in the previous halachah.

73.

See the notes to Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 4:2 for an explanation of this term.

74.

For it was necessary to make a distinction between the place of the Sanctuary and that of the Holy of Holies on the second storey as well (Rashi, Yoma 54a; see Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 4:13, 7:23).

75.

I.e., an entity that is not inherently impure, but rather contracted impurity because of contact with another impure entity. More specifically, the commentaries explain that the curtain came into contact with liquids that contracted impurity which render utensils impure (see Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTuma'ah 7:1-2). Also, it is speaking about a time when the curtain was not hanging in its place. For if it is hanging in its place, it is considered as part of the structure and it does not contract ritual impurity.

76.

It was immersed in "the Sea of Solomon," a large copper receptacle in the Temple Courtyard. That immersion was acceptable, because that receptacle received its water directly from underground springs.

77.

This type of impurity was instituted by Rabbinic decree and they did not imposed the stringency of waiting until sunset (see Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTuma'ah 9:1; 12:6).

78.

For an article that is ritually impure may not be brought within the Temple Courtyard (Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 3:17).

79.

The rampart surrounding the wall of the Temple Courtyard (Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:3).

80.

See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:1.

81.

The Ra'avad maintains that this officer was in charge of dressing the priests (and not necessarily preparing their garments). In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Shekalim 5:1), the Rambam writes that this officer would perform both functions.

82.

In the Temple Courtyard, next to the Gate of Nicanor. See Midot 1:4.

Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 8

1

There are three types of priestly garments: the garments of an ordinary priest, [the High Priest's] golden garments and his white garments. An ordinary priest has four garments: a tunic, leggings, a hat, and a sash. They are all made from white linen with six-fold threads.1The sash2 alone was embroidered with wool.3

א

בגדי כהונה שלשה מינים בגדי כהן הדיוט ובגדי זהב ובגדי לבן בגדי כהן הדיוט הם ארבעה כלים כתנת ומכנסים ומגבעות ואבנט וארבעתן של פשתן לבנים וחוטן כפול ששה והאבנט לבדו רקום בצמר:

2

The golden garments are the garments of the High Priest.4 There were eight garments: The four of an ordinary priest, the cloak, the ephod, the breastplate, and the forehead plate. The sash of the High Priest was embroidered5 and was made in a similar manner as that of the ordinary priest. Similarly, the turban [the Torah] mentions with regard to Aaron6 corresponds to the hat mentioned with regard to his sons.7 [The difference is that the] turban of the High Priest is worn like fabric swathed around a hernia. The hat of the ordinary priest, by contrast, is worn like an ordinary hat;8 hence, its name.9

ב

בגדי זהב הן בגדי כהן גדול והם שמנה כלים: הארבעה של כל כהן ומעיל ואפוד וחושן וציץ ואבנטו של כהן גדול מעשה רוקם הוא והוא דומה במעשיו לאבנט כהן הדיוט ומצנפת האמורה באהרן היא המגבעת האמורה בבניו אלא שכהן גדול צנוף בה כמי שלופף על השבר ובניו צונפין בה ככובע ולפיכך נקראת מגבעת:

3

The white garments are the four garments that the High Priests would wear on Yom Kippur.10 They are: a tunic, leggings, a sash, and a turban. They are all white, their threads are six-fold, and they are made from linen alone.11 The High Priests had two other tunics for Yom Kippur: one he would wear in the morning12 and one he would wear in the evening.13 Both of them cost 30 maneh.14They were purchased with communal funds.15 If he wished to add to their value, he must add from his own funds. He would consecrate the additional money and then use it to have the tunic made.

ג

בגדי לבן הם ארבעה כלים שמשמש בהן כ"ג ביוה"כ: כתנת ומכנסים ואבנט ומצנפת וארבעתן לבנים וחוטן כפול ששה ומן הפשתן לבדו הם ושתי כתנות אחרות היו לו לכהן גדול ביום הכפורים אחת לובשה בשחר ואחת בין הערבים ושתיהם בשלשים מנה משל הקדש ואם רצה להוסיף מוסיף משלו ומקדיש התוספת ואח"כ עושה בה הכתנת:

4

It is a mitzvah for the priestly garments to be new, attractive, and to hang low like the garments of the men of stature, as [implied by Exodus 28:2 which states that they must be made]: "for honor and for beauty." If they were soiled,16 torn,17 longer than his appropriate measure,18 shorter than his appropriate measure, hoisted up by the sash,19 and a priest performed service while wearing them, his service is invalid.20If they were worn-out or they were too long and he hoisted them with the sash so that they would be appropriate to his measure, his service is valid.

ד

בגדי כהונה מצוותן שיהיו חדשים נאים ומשולשים כדרך בגדי הגדולים שנאמר לכבוד ולתפארת היו מטושטשין או מקורעין או ארוכין יתר על מדתו או קצרים פחות ממדתו או שסלקן באבנט ועבד עבודתו פסולה היו משוחקין או שהיו ארוכים וסילקן באבנט עד שנעשו כמדתו ועבד עבודתו כשרה:

5

Whenever any of the priestly garments become soiled, they are not bleached or laundered. Instead, they are left to be used for wicks and he should wear new ones.21When the garments of the High Priest22 become worn out, they should be entombed.23 The white garments which the High Priest wears on the day of the fast should not be worn a second time at all. Instead, they are entombed in the place where he removes them, as [Leviticus 16:23] states: "And he shall leave them there." It is forbidden to benefit from them.

ה

כל בגד מבגדי כהונה שנעשו צואין אין מלבנין אותן ואין מכבסין אותן אלא מניחן לפתילות ולובש חדשים ובגדי כהן גדול שבלו גונזין אותן ובגדי לבן שעובד בהם ביום הצום אינו עובד בהם פעם שניה לעולם אלא נגנזין במקום שיפשוט אותם שם שנאמר והניחם שם והם אסורין בהנאה:

6

They would make wicks from the leggings and the sashes of the ordinary priests that wore out.24 They were used to kindle lamps in the Temple for the rejoicing that accompanied the water libation.25 The tunics of the ordinary priests26 that wore out were used to make wicks for the Menorah lit continually.27

ו

מכנסי כהנים הדיוטים שבלו ואבנטיהם היו עושין מהן פתילות ומדליקין בהן במקדש בשמחת בית השואבה וכתנות כהנים הדיוטים שבלו היו עושין מהן פתילות למנורת תמיד:

7

All of the priestly garments come from communal funds. When one individual donates one of the priestly garments, he may donate it to the community and then it is permitted to be used. Similarly, the sacrificial vessels and the wood for the altar arrangement that an individual donated to the community are acceptable.28 Even all the communal sacrifices which an individual donates from his own resources to the community are acceptable, provided he gives them to the community.

ז

כל בגדי הכהנים אינן באים אלא משל ציבור ויחיד שהתנדב בגד מבגדי כהונה מוסרו לציבור ומותר וכן כל כלי השרת ועצי המערכה שמסרן יחיד לציבור הרי הן כשרין אף כל קרבנות הציבור שהתנדב אותן יחיד משלו כשרים ובלבד שימסרם לציבור:

8

They would make many sets29 of clothes for ordinary priests. There were 96 lockers in the Temple30 in which to place the clothes, four lockers for each watch. The name of each watch was written on the lockers and they were all closed. When the men of the watch began their priestly service on the Sabbath, they would open their lockers throughout their week and take their garments. When they departed, they would return the clothes to their lockers and close them.

ח

בגדי כהנים הדיוטים היו עושין מהן מחלצות רבות וששה ותשעים חלון היו במקדש להניח בהן הבגדים ארבעה חלונות לכל משמר ושם כל משמר כתוב על חלונותיו וכולן סתומות וכשיכנסו אנשי משמר לעבודה בשבת שלהן פותחין חלונותיהן כל ימי שבתן ונוטלין הכלים וכשיצאו מחזירין הבגדים לחלונותיהן וסותמן:

9

Why did they make four lockers for each watch? So that the garments would not be intermingled.31 Instead, all of the leggings were [stored] in one locker on which was written: Leggings. Similarly, the sashes were [stored] in one locker on which was written: Sash. Similarly, the hats and the tunics each had their own locker.

ט

ולמה עשו ארבעה חלונות לכל משמר לפי שלא יהיו הכלים מעורבין אלא כל המכנסים בחלון אחד וכתוב עליו מכנסים וכן האבנטים בחלון אחד וכתוב עליו אבנט וכן המצנפות כולן בחלון אחד והכתנות כולן בחלון אחד:

10

The High Priest would leave his golden garments in his chamber32 at night or when he left the Temple.

י

כהן גדול מניח בגדי זהב בלשכה שלו בלילה או בעת שיצא מן המקדש:

11

It is permitted to derive benefit from the priestly garments.33 Therefore [the priests] wear them on the day of their Temple service even when they are not performing service with the exception of the sash, because it is shaatnez.34

יא

בגדי כהונה מותר ליהנות בהן לפיכך לובשם ביום עבודתו ואפילו שלא בשעת עבודה חוץ מן האבנט מפני שהוא שעטנז:

12

It is, however, forbidden for an ordinary priest to wear it except during his service. The [clothes] the priests wear for their service are of wool and linen alone.

יב

אסור לכהן הדיוט ללובשו אלא בשעת עבודה אין הכהנים לובשין לעבודה אלא צמר ופשתים בלבד:

13

Whenever the Torah uses the word sheish or bad, it is referring to flax, i.e., linen. Whenever the term techeilet is used, it refers to wool which is dyed sky-blue, i.e., lighter35 than dark blue. The term argaman refers to wool that is dyed red.36 And tola'at sheni refers to wool dyed with a gnat.37

יג

וכל מקום שנאמר בתורה שש או בד הוא הפשתים והוא הבוץ ותכלת האמורה בכל מקום היא הצמר הצבוע כעצם שמים שהוא פתוך מן הכוחל הארגמן הוא הצמר הצבוע אדום ותולעת השני הוא הצמר הצבוע בתולעת:

14

Whenever the Torah uses the term sheish or "spun sheish," it is necessary that the strand be sixfold.38 Where the term bad is used, it is valid, if one strand alone is used. [Even in such situations,] the most desirable manner of performing the mitzvah is that it be sixfold. Whenever the term meshizar39 is used alone, the intent is a thread that is eightfold.

יד

כל מקום שנאמר בתורה שש או שש משזר צריך שיהיה החוט כפול ששה ומקום שנאמר בד אם היה חוט אחד לבדו כשר ומצוה מן המובחר שיהיה כפול ששה ומקום שנאמר בו משזר בלבד צריך שיהיה חוטן כפול שמנה:

15

Whenever the Torah uses the term "a work of embroidery," the intent is that the design which is woven will be seen on one side of the fabric. When it uses the term "a work of craft," the intent is that the design will be seen on both sides of the fabric, front and back.

טו

כל מקום שנאמר בתורה מעשה רוקם הוא שתהיינה הצורות הנעשות באריגה נראות מצד אחד בפני האריג ומעשה חושב הוא שתהיה הצורה נראית משני צדדין פנים ואחור:

16

How are the clothes made? The tunic - whether of the High Priest or an ordinary priest - was made with a boxlike knit. The knit had sequences of squares as is the structure of an animal's maw,40 in the manner which weavers make firm garments. Its sleeve was woven separately and then sown to the body of the tunic.

טז

וכיצד מעשה הבגדים הכתונת בין של כ"ג בין של כהן הדיוט משבצת היתה שהיא בתים בתים באריגתה כמו בית הכוסות כדרך שעושין האורגין בבגדים הקשים ובית יד שלה נארג בפני עצמו ומחברין אותו עם גוף הכתונת בתפירה:

17

The length of the tunic extended until slightly above the heel.41 The length of the sleeve extended until his wrist and its width was the width of his hand.

יז

אורך הכתונת עד למעלה מן העקב ואורך בית יד שלה עד פס ידו ורוחבו כרוחב היד:

18

The leggings - whether of the High Priest or an ordinary priest - extend from the loins until the thighs, i.e., from above the navel, close to the heart, until the end of the thigh, i.e., until the knee. They had straps.42 They did not have a special feature for the anus, nor for the male organ. Instead, they would surround the body like a pouch.

יח

המכנסים בין של כ"ג בין של כהן הדיוט הם ממתנים עד ירכים שהוא למעלה מן הטיבור קרוב מן הלב עד סוף הירך שהוא הארכובה ושנצים יש להם ואין להם לא בית הנקב ולא בית הערוה אלא מוקפין כמין כיס:

19

The turban - whether of an ordinary priest or a High Priest - was sixteen cubits long.43 The sash was about three fingerbreadths44 wide and 32 cubits long. [The priest would] wrap it around himself, winding after winding. The priestly garments were not sown, rather they woven, as [Exodus 39:22] states: "weavers' craft."

יט

המצנפת של כ"ג או הדיוט ארכו שש עשרה אמות והאבנט רוחב כמו שלש אצבעות ואורכו ל"ב אמה מקיפו ומחזירו כרך ע"ג כרך ובגדי כהונה כולן אין עושין אותן מעשה מחט אלא מעשה אורג שנאמר מעשה אורג:

Footnotes
1.

As mentioned in the notes to the previous chapter, the Radbaz explains that this is implied by the very Hebrew term used for linen sheish, for that term also means "six." See Halachah 14.

2.

The Torah (Exodus 39:29) mentions the use of woolen fabrics only with regard to the sash of the High Priest, but through the process of Biblical exegesis, our Sages (Yoma 12b) also derived that the sash of an ordinary priest also contains these fabrics.

3.

Although the combination of these fabrics violates the prohibition against shaatnez (see Hilchot Kilayim, ch. 12), the positive commandment of wearing the Priestly Garments overrides the negative commandment of shaatnez. Nevertheless, this applies only when it is a mitzvah to wear them, i.e., when involved in the Temple service. Otherwise, it is forbidden to wear them (Hilchot Kilayim 10:3).

4.

As the Rambam continues to explain, these garments were not all golden. Nevertheless, they are called golden because certain garments were golden.

7.

Ibid.:40.

8.

The Kessef Mishneh cites the Ramban who states that the headgear of both the ordinary priests and the High Priests were turbans. This is also indicated by Halachah 18 which speaks of their length. The turban of the High Priest, however, was round, while those of the ordinary priests were cone-shaped like hats. Other authorities (Rashi and the Ra'avad) differ and maintain that the ordinary priests wore hats and not turbans.

9.

With regard to this point as well, the Kessef Mishneh cites the Ramban who states that the letters kuf and gimmel can be interchanged. Thus migba'at parallels mikva'at that relates to the word kova, hat.

10.

More particularly, they are the garments that he would wear when he performed the service unique to Yom Kippur. For he would also wear his golden garments on that day and carry out the service that was also peformed on other days while wearing them. See Hilchot Avodat Yom HaKippurim 2:1.

11.

I.e., even the sash was made from linen alone. On this day, it was not of sha'tnez.

12.

To perform the sacrificial service of Yom Kippur.

13.

To remove from the Holy of Holies the ladle that had carried the incense.

14.

A maneh is 100 silver pieces. Thus these were very expensive garments, made of fine fabric. The commentaries note that Yoma 35a states that the garments the High Priest would wear in the morning were more valuable than those he would wear in the evening and question why the Rambam does not mention this point. See also the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Yoma 3:7) which states that the only difference between the two was their cut.

15.

I.e., funds from terumat halishkah, the Temple treasury collected to purchase the communal sacrifices and all their needs. See Halachah 7 and Hilchot Shekalim 4:2.

16.

Our translation is based on Rashi's commentary to Zevachim 18b.

17.

The commentaries have drawn attention to an apparent contradiction in the Rambam's words, for in Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 1:14, he rules that, after the fact, when a priest performs service in torn garments, although he is liable to die at the hand of heaven, his service is acceptable. Among the resolutions offered is that here, the Rambam is speaking about clothes that remain torn. Hence, it is as if he is no longer wearing that garment. In Hilchot Bi'at Hamikdash, by contrast, he is speaking about torn garments that were mended. As the Radbaz explains (in his gloss there), the Rambam is speaking about a tear like the tear made when one rends his garments in mourning which can be mended. Here, he is speaking about a garment that was torn in many places.

18.

I.e., they should reach slightly above the ground, extending until above the priest's heel (Halachah 17). If they drag along the ground, they are disqualified. That is the intent of the phrase "too long" mentioned later (Kessef Mishneh).

19.

It is as if the material hoisted up by the sash was cut off (Zevachim 18b).

20.

It is as if he performed the service without wearing priestly garments at all.

21.

For there should be no expressions of poverty in a place of wealth (Zevachim 88b).

22.

I.e., the golden garments.

23.

Although this is not stated explicitly, it is deduced from a comparison to the white garments (Yoma 12b).

24.

These were not used for the Menorah. The rationale is that since the sash contains wool, it will not serve as an effective wick (see Shabbat 20b-21a). And it is improper to use the leggings for that purpose since the priest wore them on his lower body (Tifferet Yisrael, Sukkah 5:3).

25.

See the conclusion of Hilchot Lulav where this rejoicing is described. Significantly, however, there the Rambam does not connect the rejoining with the water libation.

26.

The Kessef Mishneh asks why the Rambam does not mention the hats of the ordinary priests. He offers two possible resolutions: a) their fabric was thin and not suitable for wicks at all;

b) they were in fact used for the Menorah.

27.

In contrast to the lamps for the water libation rejoicing which took place only during the Sukkot holiday.

28.

I.e., generally, we think of the community purchasing these items by using funds from the Temple treasury. If, however, an individual donates these substances to the Temple treasury they also become communal property and then can be used for whatever purpose the community desires.

29.

I.e., a set with four garments: leggings, a tunic, a sash, and a hat.

30.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Sukkah 5:6), the Rambam speaks of 24 lockers. Rambam LeAm suggests that each watch had one large locker which in turn had four compartments.

31.

Having the garments sorted individually made it easier for the priests to put on the garments in the proper order: first, the leggings, then, the tunic, the sash, and the hat [see Chapter 10, Halachah 1; see also the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Tamid 5:3)].

32.

The Chamber of the High Priest. See Chapter 5, Halachah 7.

Har Hamoriah writes that since the Talmud does not mention that there was a locker for the High Priest's garments, we can assume there was none and that he would leave them in his chamber.

33.

Tosafot, Yoma 69a, suggests that as an initial preference, a priest should not benefit from them. In practice, however, that is not possible, because "the Torah was not given to the ministering angels" and it is impossible for the priests to remove the priestly garments immediately after their Temple service was completed (Kiddushin 54b). Hence they were consecrated with the stipulation that the priests would derive personal benefit from them.

34.

A prohibited mixture of fabrics. During the Temple service, however, it may be worn, because then it is a mitzvah to do so and the observance of a positive mitzvah supersedes the observance of a prohibition. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that the sash may be worn throughout the day, as long as the priest is in the Temple.

Rav Yosef Corcus mentions that the ephod and the breastplate of the High Priest also involved a forbidden mixture of fabrics. He explains, however, that according to the Rambam, the prohibition against mixed fabrics does not apply to them, because they are not worn to provide the body with warmth, and if a garment is worn for a purpose other than that, this prohibition does not apply (Hilchot Kilayim 10:19).

35.

See Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at 1:4 where the Rambam defines patuch as a color mixed with white. See also Hilchot Tzitzit 2:1.

36.

There are some who interpret the term as referring to a purplish dye. Others explain that it is mixture of several dyes of thread. See Ra'avad and Kessef Mishneh.

37.

See Hilchot Parah Adumah 3:2 where the Rambam writes that this dye is produced from a seed that has a small gnat in it that produces a scarlet color.

38.

I.e., one strand made up of six thinner threads.

39.

Often translated as twisted.

40.

See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Chulin 3:1). The boxes were indented slightly, like small pockets.

41.

For as mentioned in Halachah 4, the priests' garments should be fit to their measure, neither too long or too short. Compare to the description of the clothes of Torah scholars in Hilchot De'ot 5:9.

42.

To tighten them around the priest's waist.

43.

As explained in Halachah 2, according to the Rambam, the difference was the manner in which they wrapped the turbans. The actual cloth was the same.

44.

A fingerbreadth is about 2 cm according to Shiurei Torah.

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