POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
THE FREIDA MILLER MASECHES MIDOS
prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
1) STONES OF THE MIZBE'ACH
(a) (Mishnah 2): In the southwest corner there were two holes like thin nostrils, blood that was poured on the Yesod on the southern and western sides would go through them into the Amah, and flow out to Nachal Kidron.
(b) (Mishnah 3): On the floor near that corner was a tile, one Amah by one Amah, with a ring on it (and a pit underneath). Through it they would descend (about once every 70 years) to the Shis (a pit) to clean it out (from congealed wine of Nesachim).
(c) The ramp was on the south side of the Mizbe'ach. Its length (horizontally, not along the incline) was 32 Amos long and 16 Amos wide;
1. It had a cavity in the western side where they would put Pesulei Chatas ha'Of (which cannot be eaten. They were left to become Nosar and burned the next day).
(d) (Mishnah 4): Stones for the ramp and Mizbe'ach were brought from the valley of Beis Kerem. They would dig land that had never been dug, and bring whole stones that never touched iron;
1. If an iron instrument touched a rock, or if a rock was chipped through any means, it was Pasul. (Tosfos in Chulin (18a) - they must be perfectly smooth. Even the Shamir (a worm that can bore through stone) does not make them smooth enough. Smooth stones from the bottom of rivers were used. Me'iri - smooth stones from Beis Kerem were used, for one could tell if they were (later) chipped. This implies that stones that were rough from the beginning are Kesherim, just it is not evident if they were later chipped - PF.)
2. (If a rock built into the Mizbe'ach was chipped,) it is Pasul, but the rest are valid.
(e) We whiten (plaster over) the ramp and Mizbe'ach twice a year, (before) Pesach and Sukos. We whiten the Heichal (before) Pesach;
(f) Rebbi says, we clean (the Mizbe'ach) every Erev Shabbos with a cloth, for it gets dirty from blood.
(g) We do not whiten with an (iron) builder's trowel (rather, with a wooden one), lest it touch the stones and disqualify them.
1. Iron was created (with potential) to shorten life (through killing). The Mizbe'ach extends life. It is not proper that what shortens (life) touch what extends.
2) OTHER PARTS OF THE AZARAH
(a) (Mishnah 5): There were rings north of the Mizbe'ach for slaughtering Kodshim. (The neck or legs were held in the rings).
(b) There were four rows of six rings. Some say there were six rows of four rings.
(c) The place for preparing the meat was north of the Mizbe'ach;
(d) There were eight low stone pillars. Squares of cedar wood on top of them, in which three rows of iron hooks were fixed (each row at a different height), for hanging animals (of different sizes);
(e) Flaying was done on marble tables between the pillars.
(f) (Mishnah 6): The Kiyor (from which Kohanim wash their hands and feet) was south of the area between the Ulam and Mizbe'ach.
(g) There were 22 Amos between the Ulam and Mizbe'ach, and 12 steps. The height of each step was a half-Amah;
(h) The steps were in series of three (Gra; Bartenura - four) -- the width of the first two (Bartenura - three) in each series was one Amah, and the last was three Amos, except for the very last step. Its width was four Amos;
(i) R. Yehudah says, the width of the last step was five Amos.
(j) (Mishnah 7): The height of the opening to the Ulam was 40 Amos, and its width was 20. There were five beams of Milas wood (oak or cedar) on top of it. The first (was 22 Amos long, it) extended an Amah over the wall on each side; each successive beam extended an Amah over the beam below it on each side. It follows that the top beam was 30 Amos long.
(k) There was a row of stones between each beam and the one above it.
(l) (Mishnah 8): Cedar poles went from the wall of the Heichal to the wall of the Ulam, to prevent them from leaning.
(m) Gold chains were fixed in the ceiling beams of the Ulam. Young Kohanim would climb up on them to see the Ataros (Rosh - golden windows in the shape of crowns; Tosfos (Gitin 7a) - golden domes in the windows) - "veha'Ataros Tihyeh l'Chelem... l'Zikaron b'Heichal Hash-m."
(n) There was a golden vine at the entrance to the Heichal, supported by poles. Donations of gold leaves, grapes or clusters would be hung on the vine;
(o) R. Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok: They once counted the number of Kohanim used to move it. There were 300.
PEREK PISCHO SHEL HEICHAL
3) THE DOORS OF THE HEICHAL
(a) (Mishnah 1): The opening to the Heichal was 20 Amos tall, and 10 wide (and five Amos deep). It had four doors. Two were on the outside, and two inside -- "u'Shtayim Delasos la'Heichal vela'Kodesh."
(b) The outer doors open into the opening, and cover the walls (on the sides of the opening -- five Amos are covered, one Amah is exposed). The inner doors open into the Heichal and swivel around to cover (five Amos on each side of) the wall of the Heichal next to the opening
1. The entire Heichal is covered with gold, except for this part of the wall.
(c) R. Yehudah says, (also) they (the inner doors) open into the opening. Each door of the Heichal is made of two doors (each two and a half Amos wide) with a hinge in between. It folds into two and a half Amos. When all the doors are open, the outer doors cover two and a half Amos (towards the outside) of the side walls of the opening, the inner doors cover the remaining two and a half (towards the inside);
1. We learn from "u'Shtayim Delasos la'Delasos Shtayim Musabos Shtayim l'Deles Echas u'Shtei Delasos la'Acheres."
(d) There was a small Pishpesh (opening) to the north of Sha'ar ha'Gadol, and one to the south. (The opening to the Heichal is called Gadol with respect to these small ones, or because it is so important);
1. No person enters from the southern one -- "ha'Sha'ar ha'Zeh Sagur Yihyeh Lo Yipase'ach v'Ish Lo Yavo Ki Hash-m Elokei Yisrael Ba Vo v'Hayah Sagur." (Rashi on Yechezkel - Hash-m will enter through it in the future. Maharsha - the Shechinah entered through it in Bayis Sheni.)
(e) (To open the Heichal,) one takes the key and opens (the north Pishpesh), enters the cell (a hollow between the inner and outer walls) and from there to the Heichal;
(f) R. Yehudah says, he goes straight to the interior of Sha'ar ha'Gadol. He opens the outer doors from the inside and the inner doors from the outside.