Chesed Club World Wide Center & Discussion Groups




(a) Answer #3 (Rav Yosef (he retracted from his first answer) - Beraisa): "Va'Yachinu ha'Mizbe'ach Al Mechonosav" - (in the days of Ezra) they realized how large the Mizbe'ach may be.
1. Question: "Ha'Kol bi'Chsav mi'Yad Hash-m Alai Hiskil" (Hash-m taught David the dimensions of the Mikdash - any change requires (a procedure including) the Urim v'Tumim, which was not in Bayis Sheni!)
2. Answer (Rav Yosef): They expounded "Zeh Hu Beis Hash-m ha'Elokim v'Zeh Mizbe'ach l'Olah" - the Mizbe'ach is like Beis Hash-m (the Heichal), i.e. it is (at most) 60 Amos long.
(b) Question: Granted, those who built Bayis Sheni could tell where to rebuild the Heichal, they could see the foundations of the (destroyed) walls;
1. How did they know where to put the Mizbe'ach?
(c) Answer #1 (R. Elazar): They saw (with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh) the Mizbe'ach built (in its proper place) and (the angel) Micha'el offering Korbanos on it.
(d) Answer #2 (R. Yitzchak Nafcha):They saw the ashes of Yitzchak (Hash-m considers it is as if Avraham slaughtered and burned him like an Olah) in its place.
(e) Answer #3 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): Everywhere else in the Mikdash, they smelled Ketores; in that place they smelled (burning) meat.
(f) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): Three prophets (Chagai, Zecharyah and Malachi) accompanied them from Bavel - one told them that the Mizbe'ach may be up to 60 Amos, one told them where the Mizbe'ach should be, one told them that we may bring Korbanos (if the Mizbe'ach is in the proper place) even without the Beis ha'Mikdash.
(g) (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ben Yakov): Three prophets accompanied them from Bavel - one told them that the Mizbe'ach may be up to 60 Amos and where it should be, one told them that we may bring Korbanos even without the Mikdash, and one permitted them to write the Torah in Ashuris (the letter forms we use today).
(a) (Beraisa): The following are Me'akev the Mizbe'ach - it must have Keranos, a ramp, a Yesod, and it must be square;
1. The following are not Me'akev - its length, width and height.
(b) Question: What is the source of this?
(c) Answer (Rav Huna): Wherever it says "ha'Mizbe'ach", it is Me'akev.
(d) Question: If so, Rebbi should say that Kiyur (pictures) is Me'akev, and R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah should say that the Sovev is Me'akev!
1. (Beraisa - Rebbi): "V'Nasatah Osah Tachas *Karkuv* ha'Mizbe'ach" - this refers to pictures on the top half of the Mizbe'ach;
2. R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah says, it refers to the Sovev.
(e) Answer: Indeed, they say this!
1. (Beraisa): The day that a Tzeduki poured the Nisuch of water (of Sukos) on his feet (because Tzedukim denied this Mitzvah, everyone threw rocks (and Esrogim) at him), the Mizbe'ach became dented, they sealed it with salt;
2. This did not Machshir Avodah, it was in order that the Mizbe'ach should not appear deficient.
3. The Mizbe'ach is Pasul unless it has Keranos, a ramp, a Yesod, and is square.
4. R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah says, it must also have a Sovev. (Likewise, Rebbi would require pictures.)
(f) (Beraisa): The Karkuv is between the Keranos, where the Kohanim walk, an Amah wide.
(g) Objection: The Kohanim do not walk between the Keranos (if so, they could not turn the corner)!
(h) Correction: Rather, (the Karkuv is between the Keranos) *and* the Amah-wide walkway of the Kohanim.
(i) Question: But it says "Tachas Karkuvo mi'Lmatah Ad Chetzyo" - this shows that it was on the outside of the Mizbe'ach!
(j) Answer (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): There were two Karkuvim - one was (a protrusion around the Sovev) for decoration, the other was a rim around the walkway (which was sunken) in order that the Kohanim should not slip.
(k) (Beraisa): The following are not Me'akev - its length, width and height.
(l) (R. Mani): However, they cannot be less than Moshe's Mizbe'ach.
(m) Question: What was the length (and width, for it was square) of Moshe's Mizbe'ach?
(n) Answer (Rav Yosef): It was an Amah.
1. People laughed at this - it says "Chamesh Amos Orech v'Chamesh Amos Rochav Ravu'a Yihyeh"!
2. Abaye: Perhaps you mean, the place of the Ma'arachah was an Amah (the Keranos occupied one Amah on each side, and also the walkway)!
3. Rav Yosef: A great person (like yourself) understands what I meant - those who laughed are like Benei Keturah (inferior descendants of Avraham).

(o) R. Tarfon was teaching, his nephews were listening dumbly. He (mis)cited a verse (to break their silence) 'Vayosef Avraham Vayikach Ishah u'Shmah Yuchni'.
1. His nephews: It says "Keturah"!
2. R. Tarfon: You are like Benei Keturah.
(p) (Abaye bar Huna): The woods Moshe made for the Ma'arachah were one square Amah (each), the thickness was like a Machak (the rod used to even off a measure) of a Se'ah (it has a standard thickness - if it is too heavy (or light), it will sag too much (or not enough) into the measure.
(q) (R. Yirmeyah): This refers to a heaping (slightly more than an) Amah (Tosfos; our text, Rashi - less than an Amah, so it does not stick out into the walkway).
(r) Objection (Rav Yosef - Beraisa): "Al ha'Etzim Asher Al ha'Esh Asher Al ha'Mizbe'ach" - the wood may not leave the Ma'arachah (Tosfos - which is only one Amah! Rashi (according to Shitah Mekubetzes) - the wood may be a full Amah. Rashi (according to Tzon Kodoshim) - Rav Yosef supports R. Yirmeyah, the wood may not exceed one Amah.)
(a) (Mishnah): The ramp was on the south of the Mizbe'ach, it was 32 Amos long and 16 Amos wide.
(b) Question: What is the source of this?
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Huna): "V'Shachat Oso Al Yerech ha'Mizbe'ach Tzafonah" - the leg of the Mizbe'ach is in the north, it follows that its face is in the south.
1. Question: Perhaps the leg and face are both in the north!
2. Answer (Rava): When a person lies down, his leg and face are in opposite directions.
3. Question (Abaye): When a person sits, his leg and face are in the same direction!
4. Answer (Rava): It says "Ravu'a" (this is close to 'Ravutz', lying).
5. Question: We need this to teach that it must be square!
6. Answer: If so, it should have said 'Meruba'.
7. Question: If the Torah wanted to teach that we consider a person lying down, it should have said 'Ravutz'!
8. Answer: It says "Ravu'a", which is close to 'Ravutz' and 'Meruba', allowing us to learn both.
(d) Answer #2 (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "U'Ma'alosehu Penos Kadim" - its ramps (are situated so that when you) turn to (your right, this is to the) east.
(e) Question: Perhaps when you turn to your left, this is eastward!
(f) Rejection (Rami bar Yechezkeil - Beraisa): Shlomo's Yam (Mikvah) rested on 12 supports - "Shelosha Ponim Tzafonah u'Shelosha Ponim Yamah... Ponim Negbah... Ponim Mizrachah" (the verse lists them in the order of one who starts in the north and circles around to his right);
1. This teaches that whenever we circle around, it is to the right.
(g) Question: The verse teaches about the supports, we cannot learn anything else from it!
(h) Answer: It was not necessary to repeat "Ponim" each time, the repetition teaches that we always circle to the right.
(i) Question (R. Shimon ben Yosi ben Lekunya): Did R. Shimon say that there is a space between the ramp and the Mizbe'ach?
(j) Answer (R. Yosi): Don't you agree? It says "V'Asisa Olosecha ha'Basar veha'Dam" - just as blood of an Olah is thrown on the (corners of) the Mizbe'ach, also the meat is thrown (across the space, to the fire).
(k) Question (R. Shimon ben Yosi): Perhaps (there is no space), he stands next to the Ma'arachah and throws the meat!
(l) Answer #1 (R. Yosi): Obviously, he throws to a part of the Ma'arachah which is aflame (the verse need not teach this) - therefore, the verse teaches that he throws over a space.
(m) Answer #2 (Rav Papa): Just as the blood is thrown over the ground (without anything in between), also the meat.
(n) (Rav Yehudah): Two small ramps emerged from the main ramp, one led to the Yesod, the other to the Sovev;
1. They did not touch the Mizbe'ach, they were separated by a hair's breadth, for it says "Saviv" (it must be possible to put something around the Mizbe'ach, i.e. nothing touches it externally.)
2. (R. Avahu): We learn this from "Ravu'a".
(o) The Torah must say "Saviv" and "Ravu'a":
1. If it only taught "Saviv", one might have thought that the Mizbe'ach may be round;
2. If it only taught "Ravu'a", one might have thought that the Mizbe'ach may be long and thin (as long as it is rectangular);
(p) (Mishnah): The ramp and the Mizbe'ach (together) occupied 62 Amos.
(q) Question: Together they occupy 64! (Each of them was 32 Amos),
(r) Answer: The ramp overlaps one Amah that the Yesod juts out, and one Amah of the Sovev.
(s) (Rami bar Chama): All ramps in the Mikdash rise one Amah for every three Amos (horizontally; Shitah Mekubetzes - along the diagonal), except for the ramp to the Mizbe'ach, which rose one Amah for every three and a half Amos and a one and a third fingers (it was less steep in order that Kohanim should not slip, for they had to ascend carrying limbs, which are heavy);
1. 'Fingers' refers to Zachrusa (the thick part of the thumb; some texts - Zutrasa, i.e. pinkies, a sixth of a Tefach).