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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 7

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Klei Hamikdash - Chapter 7


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


חֲמִשָׁה עָשָׂר מְמֻנִּין הָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ וְכֵן מְמַנִּים לְעוֹלָם עַל כָּל דָּבָר מֵחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ מְמֻנֶּה אֶחָד. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן.) עַל הַזְּמַנִּים.) עַל נְעִילַת שְׁעָרִים.) עַל הַשּׁוֹמְרִים.) עַל הַמְשׁוֹרְרִים.) עַל הַצִּלְצָל עִם שְׁאָר כְּלֵי שִׁיר.) עַל הַפְּיָסוֹת.) עַל הַקָּנִים.) עַל הַחוֹתָמוֹת) עַל הַנְּסָכִים.) עַל הַחֻלִּין.) עַל הַמַּיִם.) עַל מַעֲשֵׂה לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים.) עַל מַעֲשֵׂה הַקְּטֹרֶת.) עַל מַעֲשֵׂה הַפָּרֹכֶת.) עַל מַעֲשֵׂה בִּגְדֵי כְּהֻנָּה:


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.


כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מִמְּמֻנִּים אֵלּוּ תַּחַת יָדוֹ אֲנָשִׁים הַרְבֵּה כְּדֵי לְהָכִין הַמְּלָאכָה שֶׁהוּא מְמֻנֶּה עָלֶיהָ. זֶה שֶׁעַל הַזְּמַנִּים הוּא וַאֲנָשָׁיו מְשַׁמְּרִים אֶת הַזְּמַנִּים. כֵּיוָן שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ עֵת הַקָּרְבָּן מַכְרִיז הוּא אוֹ אֶחָד מֵאֲנָשָׁיו בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְאוֹמֵר עִמְדוּ כֹּהֲנִים לָעֲבוֹדָה וּלְוִיִּם לַדּוּכָן וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לַמַּעֲמָד וְכֵיוָן שֶׁיִּשְׁמַע קוֹלוֹ יָבוֹא כָּל אֶחָד לִמְלַאכְתּוֹ:


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 sounded three times at the opening of the gates [in the following manner]: a tekiah,21 a teruah,22 and a tekiah.


זֶה שֶׁעַל נְעִילַת שְׁעָרִים עַל פִּיו נוֹעֲלִין וְעַל פִּיו פּוֹתְחִין וְאֵין הַתּוֹקְעִין תּוֹקְעִין בְּכָל יוֹם לִפְתִיחַת הַשְּׁעָרִים אֶלָּא בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. וּבְכָל יוֹם תּוֹקְעִין בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ שָׁלֹשׁ תְּקִיעוֹת לִפְתִיחַת הַשְּׁעָרִים תְּקִיעָה תְּרוּעָה וּתְקִיעָה:


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


זֶה שֶׁעַל הַשּׁוֹמְרִים הוּא אִישׁ הַר הַבַּיִת שֶׁמְּסַבֵּב עַל הַלְוִיִּם בְּכָל לַיְלָה וְכָל מִי שֶׁיָּשֵׁן עַל מִשְׁמָרוֹ מַלְקֶה אוֹתוֹ בְּמַקְלוֹ וְשׂוֹרֵף אֶת כְּסוּתוֹ:


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.


זֶה שֶׁעַל הַמְשׁוֹרְרִים הוּא בּוֹרֵר בְּכָל יוֹם הַמְשׁוֹרְרִים שֶׁעוֹמְדִים עַל הַדּוּכָן לוֹמַר שִׁירָה בַּפֶּה. וְעַל פִּיו תּוֹקְעִין עַל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת. אֵין פּוֹחֲתִין בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ מֵאַחַת וְעֶשְׂרִים תְּקִיעָה בְּכָל יוֹם. שָׁלֹשׁ לִפְתִיחַת שְׁעָרִים. וְתֵשַׁע לְתָמִיד שֶׁל שַׁחַר. וְתֵשַׁע לְתָמִיד שֶׁל בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם. וְיוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ קָרְבַּן מוּסָף מוֹסִיפִין תֵּשַׁע עַל קָרְבַּן מוּסָף. וְאִם חָל רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ אוֹ יוֹם טוֹב לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת אוֹ שֶׁחָל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁיֵּשׁ שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה מוּסָפִין אֵין תּוֹקְעִין לְכָל מוּסָף וּמוּסָף בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ אֶלָּא תּוֹקְעִין תֵּשַׁע בִּלְבַד לְכָל הַמּוּסָפִין:


On 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.33 On 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


בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מוֹסִיפִין שֵׁשׁ. שָׁלֹשׁ לְהַבְטִיל אֶת הָעָם מִן הַמְּלָאכָה וְשָׁלֹשׁ לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחל. וּבָרֶגֶל מוֹסִיפִין שָׁלֹשׁ לִפְתִיחַת שַׁעַר הַתַּחְתּוֹן וְהוּא שַׁעַר עֶזְרַת נָשִׁים וְשָׁלֹשׁ לִפְתִיחַת שַׁעַר הָעֶלְיוֹן הוּא שַׁעַר נִקָּנוֹר וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא שַׁעַר עֶלְיוֹן לְפִי שֶׁהוּא לְמַעְלָה מֵעֶזְרַת נָשִׁים. וְכֵן תּוֹקְעִין שָׁלֹשׁ לְמִלּוּי הַמַּיִם שֶׁמְּנַסְּכִין בֶּחָג וְאֵין תּוֹקְעִים לְמִלּוּי הַמַּיִם בְּשַׁבָּת. וְתוֹקְעִין שָׁלֹשׁ עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּנַסְּכִין הַמַּיִם. וְכָל הַתּוֹקְעִים שֶׁתּוֹקְעִים עַל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת מִתַּחַת יַד זֶה שֶׁעַל הַמְשׁוֹרְרִים וּבִרְשׁוּתוֹ. וְכָל אֵלּוּ הַתְּקִיעוֹת בַּחֲצוֹצְרוֹת הֵן:


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


זֶה שֶׁעַל הַצִּלְצָל הוּא הַמַּעֲמִיד כָּל הַמְשׁוֹרְרִים עַל פִּי כְּלֵי שִׁיר שֶׁסּוֹעֲדִין עִם הַלְוִיִּם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


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.


זֶה שֶׁעַל הַפְּיָסוֹת הוּא מֵפִיס בֵּין הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּכָל יוֹם עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כָּל אִישׁ וְאִישׁ עוֹשֶׂה מְלַאכְתּוֹ שֶׁזָּכָה בָּהּ בַּפַּיִס. וְאַרְבַּע פְּעָמִים הָיוּ מְפִיסִין בְּכָל יוֹם וּבְהִלְכוֹת תְּמִידִין אֲבָאֵר כֵּיצַד הָיוּ מְפִיסִין:


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


הַמְמֻנֶּה שֶׁעַל הַקִּנִּים הוּא שֶׁפּוֹסְקִין עִמּוֹ שֶׁיִּמְכֹּר הַקִּנִּים לַקָּרְבָּנוֹת כָּךְ וְכָךְ בַּסֶּלַע וְכָל מִי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב תּוֹרִים אוֹ שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי יוֹנָה יָבִיא דְּמֵיהֶם לַמִּקְדָּשׁ. וְזֶה הַמְמֻנֶּה נוֹתֵן הַקִּנִּים לְבַעֲלֵי הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת וְעוֹשֶׂה חֶשְׁבּוֹן עִם הַגִּזְבָּרִין וְנוֹתְנִין לוֹ. מִשְּׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם לִשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם פּוֹסְקִין עִמּוֹ הַשַּׁעַר. וְאִם הוּזְלוּ הַקִּנִּים מַסְפִּיק כְּשַׁעַר הַזּוֹל וְאִם הוּקְרוּ מַסְפִּיק כְּמוֹ שֶׁפָּסְקוּ עִמּוֹ שֶׁיַּד הֶקְדֵּשׁ עַל הָעֶלְיוֹנָה. וְכֵן קֵן שֶׁנִּמְצָא פָּסוּל אוֹ שֶׁנִּפְסַל קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּקָּרֵב נוֹתֵן אַחֵר תַּחְתָּיו:


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


זֶה שֶׁעַל הַחוֹתָמוֹת הוּא שֶׁמְּקַבֵּל דְּמֵי הַנְּסָכִים מִמְּחֻיְּבֵי נְסָכִים וְנוֹתֵן לָהֶן חוֹתָמוֹת. וְזֶה שֶׁעַל הַנְּסָכִים הוּא שֶׁמּוֹכֵר הַנְּסָכִים:


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


כֵּיצַד. אַרְבַּע חוֹתָמוֹת הָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ. הָאֶחָד כָּתוּב עָלָיו עֵגֶל. וְהַשֵּׁנִי כָּתוּב עָלָיו זָכָר. וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי כָּתוּב עָלָיו גְּדִי. וְהָרְבִיעִי כָּתוּב עָלָיו חוֹטֵא:


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


כָּל מִי שֶׁיָּבִיא קָרְבְּנוֹתָיו לַמִּקְדָּשׁ נוֹתֵן דְּמֵי הַנְּסָכִים לְזֶה הַמְמֻנֶּה עַל הַחוֹתָמוֹת וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ חוֹתָמוֹת כְּמִנְיַן הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה מְצֹרָע עָשִׁיר נוֹתֵן לוֹ חוֹתָם אֶחָד שֶׁכָּתוּב עָלָיו חוֹטֵא וְהַלָּה הוֹלֵךְ בַּחוֹתָמוֹת שֶׁבְּיָדוֹ לְזֶה הַמְמֻנֶּה עַל הַנְּסָכִים וְנוֹתֵן לוֹ נְסָכִים כְּמִנְיַן הַחוֹתָמוֹת וּכְמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בָּהֶן וְלָעֶרֶב בָּאִים זֶה אֵצֶל זֶה מוֹצִיא אֶת הַחוֹתָמוֹת וּמְקַבֵּל כְּנֶגְדָּן מָעוֹת אִם הוֹתִירוּ הַמָּעוֹת הוֹתִירוּ לַהֶקְדֵּשׁ וְאִם פָּחֲתוּ הַמָּעוֹת יְשַׁלֵּם זֶה שֶׁעַל הַחוֹתָמוֹת מִבֵּיתוֹ. מִי שֶׁאָבַד חוֹתָמוֹ מַמְתִּינִין לוֹ עַד הָעֶרֶב אִם מָצְאוּ בַּמָּעוֹת יֶתֶר כְּדֵי חוֹתָם שֶׁטּוֹעֵן נוֹתְנִין לוֹ וְאִם לָאו אֵין נוֹתְנִין לוֹ. וְשֵׁם כָּל הַיּוֹם כָּתוּב עַל הַחוֹתָם מִפְּנֵי הָרַמָּאִים שֶׁלֹּא יַשְׁהֶא הַחוֹתָם אֶצְלוֹ עַד שֶׁיּוּקְרוּ הַנְּסָכִים:


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


מִשְּׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם לִשְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם פּוֹסְקִין שַׁעַר הַיַּיִן וְהַסּלֶת עִם הַמְמֻנֶּה עַל הַנְּסָכִים. אִם הוּקְרוּ נְסָכִים מְסַפֵּק לָהֶן כְּמוֹ שֶׁפָּסְקוּ עִמּוֹ. וְאִם הוּזְלוּ מְסַפֵּק לָהֶן כְּשַׁעַר הַזּוֹל. וְהַשָּׂכָר שֶׁמִּשְׂתַּכֵּר הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ בִּשְׁעָרִים אֵלּוּ הוּא הַנִּקְרָא מוֹתַר נְסָכִים וְלוֹקְחִין בּוֹ עוֹלוֹת לְקַיִץ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְאֵין מְקַיְּצִין אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּעוֹלוֹת עוֹף שֶׁאֵין בְּקָרְבְּנוֹת הַצִּבּוּר עוֹף:


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


הַכֹּהֲנִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן עוֹמְדִין עַל הָרִצְפָּה תָּמִיד וְאוֹכְלִין בָּשָׂר הַרְבֵּה וְאֵין עֲלֵיהֶן בְּגָדִים בִּשְׁעַת הָעֲבוֹדָה אֶלָּא חָלוּק אֶחָד הֵם חוֹלִין בִּמְעֵיהֶן. לְפִיכָךְ מַעֲמִידִין מְמֻנֶּה אֶחָד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מְבַקֵּר אוֹתָן וּמְרַפֵּא כָּל תַּחְלוּאֵיהֶן וְעוֹסֵק בָּהֶן תָּמִיד הוּא וַאֲנָשָׁיו שֶׁתַּחַת יָדוֹ:


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


וְכֵן מְמַנִּין אַחֵר לִהְיוֹת חוֹפֵר בּוֹרוֹת וְשִׁיחִין וּמְתַקֵּן הַבּוֹרוֹת שֶׁל רַבִּים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ הַמַּיִם מְצוּיִין בִּירוּשָׁלָיִם לְכָל אֶחָד מִיּוֹשְׁבֶיהָ וּלְכָל עוֹלֵי הָרְגָלִים. וְאֶחָד מְמֻנֶּה עַל כָּל אֻמָּנֵי לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים וְהוּא מְתַקֵּן כָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ. וְאֶחָד מְמֻנֶּה עַל כָּל אֻמָּנֵי הַקְּטֹרֶת וְהוּא מְתַקֵּן מְלַאכְתָּהּ:


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-breadth67 thick. They were woven with 72 heddles.68 Its length was forty cubits and its width was 20 cubits.69


זֶה שֶׁעַל הַפָּרֹכֶת מְמֻנֶּה עַל כָּל אוֹרְגֵי הַפָּרֹכוֹת וְהַרוֹקְמִין בָּהֶן שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מוּכָנוֹת לַהֵיכָל וְלַשְּׁעָרִים. וּשְׁתֵּי פָּרֹכוֹת הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין בְּכָל שָׁנָה לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַקֹּדֶשׁ לְקֹדֶשׁ הַקֳדָשִׁים. וְחוּטֵי הַפָּרֹכֶת כְּפוּלִין שִׁשָּׁה שִׁשָּׁה. וְאַרְבָּעָה מִינִין הָיוּ בָּהּ שֵׁשׁ וּתְכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי. וְכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶן כָּפוּל שִׁשָּׁה הֲרֵי אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים חוּטִין. וְטֶפַח הָיָה עָבְיָהּ וְעַל שְׁנַיִם וְשִׁבְעִים) נִירִין הָיְתָה נֶאֱרֶגֶת אָרְכָּהּ אַרְבָּעִים אַמָּה וְרָחְבָּהּ עֶשְׂרִים אַמָּה:


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,71 one over the entrance to the Sanctuary, two72 to serve as the d'vir73 between it and the [most] holy chamber, and two corresponding to them in the upper storey.74


וּשְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה פָּרֹכוֹת הָיוּ בְּמִקְדַּשׁ שֵׁנִי שֶׁבַע עַל שִׁבְעָה שַׁעֲרֵי הָעֲזָרָה וְאַחַת עַל פֶּתַח הָאוּלָם וְאַחַת עַל פֶּתַח הַהֵיכָל וּשְׁתַּיִם לַדְּבִיר בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּשְׁתַּיִם כְּנֶגְדָּן בַּעֲלִיָּה:


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.


פָּרֹכֶת שֶׁנִּטְמֵאת בִּוְלַד הַטֻמְאָה מַטְבִּילִין אוֹתָהּ בִּפְנִים וּמַכְנִיסִין אוֹתָהּ מִיָּד לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה הַעֲרֵב שֶׁמֶשׁ. וְשֶׁנִּטְמֵאת בְּאַב הַטֻמְאָה מַטְבִּילִין אוֹתָהּ מִבַּחוּץ וְשׁוֹטְחִין אוֹתָהּ בַּחֵיל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא צְרִיכָה הַעֲרֵב שֶׁמֶשׁ. וְאִם הָיְתָה חֲדָשָׁה שׁוֹטְחִין אוֹתָהּ עַל גַּב הָאִצְטַבָּא כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְאֶה הָעָם אֶת מְלַאכְתָּהּ שֶׁהִיא נָאָה:


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.


וְכָל הַכֵּלִים שֶׁהָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיוּ לָהֶם שְׁנִיִּים וּשְׁלִישִׁים שֶׁאִם יִטַּמְּאוּ הָרִאשׁוֹנִים יָבִיאוּ הַשְּׁנִיִּים תַּחְתֵּיהֶם:


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


זֶה הַמְּמֻנֶּה עַל מַעֲשֶׂה בִּגְדֵי כְּהֻנָּה עוֹסֵק בַּהֲכָנַת בִּגְדֵי כֹּהֲנִים הֶדְיוֹטִים וּבִגְדֵי כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל וּבַאֲרִיגָתָן וּמִתַּחַת יָדוֹ נַעֲשָׂה הַכּל. וְלִשְׁכָּה הָיְתָה לוֹ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ:

Test Yourself on This Chapter


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


See Halachah 2.


See Halachah 3.


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.


See Halachah 5.


See Halachah 7.


See Halachah 8.


See Halachah 9.


See Halachah 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.


See Halachah 14.


See Halachah 15.


See Halachah 15.


See Halachah 15.


See Halachah 16.


See Halachah 20.


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.


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.


At sunset.


At dawn.


A prolonged and drawn out blast.


A series of staccato blasts.


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


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


As mentioned in Halachah 3.


See Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 6:5, 7.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


See Chapter 3, Halachah 3.


Hilchot Temidim UMusafim 4:1, 3.


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.


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


Ordinary domesticated doves.


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.


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.


And suffer the loss from his own funds.


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


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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


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.


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


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.


See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 1:4.


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


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


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).


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


8 centimeters in contemporary measure thick.


For there were 72 strings used to weave it.


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


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


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


The two mentioned in the previous halachah.


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


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).


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.


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.


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


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


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


See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:1.


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.


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

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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