More Discussions for this daf
1. Fitting 1,200,000 Korban Pesachs in the Azarah 2. The kidneys that were counted 3. COUNTING THE JEWS
4. Questions about the Korban Pesach 5. Pesachim 064: Questions about the Korban Pesach 6. Kahal Adas Yisrael
7. Are doors smarter than walls? 8. When the 14th of Nissan is a Shabbos 9. Amah of the Beis ha'Mikdash

Elozer Kanner asked:

sholem alaichem

1,200,000 / 4 1/2 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds or 16,200 seconds = 74 zerikos per second

perimeter of yesod = 32 +32+1+1=66 amos


elozer kanner, white shul daf yomi, Far Rockaway, NY

H. Grumet asks:

Does anyone say if the number of people bringing the Pesach (1,200,000) was a Guzma?

H. Grumet

The Kollel replies:

(a) The Maharal (Tiferes Yisrael ch. 41; p. 644 of Rabbi Y. Hartman's edition) writes (regarding another Gemara) that the number 600,000 is generally chosen as an exaggeration ("Haflagah"), and it just means an extremely large number. (Rav Hartman, in his notes, cites some examples of this from Bechoros 59b.)

We find in Rashi (Shabbos 90b DH Shitin) and Tosfos (Bava Kama 92b DH Shitin) that the number 60 is often used as a Rabbinic exaggeration, and the same presumably applies for "60 myriads" (600,000). As Rav Hartman points out, this may be the source for the above statement of the Maharal.

In our case, the doubling of that number may emphasize the vastness of the crowd that was present.

(b) The story of our Gemara is cited in the "letter written by a Roman who witnessed the Korban Pesach" that Rav Yakov Emden printed in his Sidur. (A copy of this letter, in Hebrew, can be accessed online on our site at .) Rav Landy discusses the letter an length in one of his online lectures for our Dafyomi Advancement Forum. (Some doubt has been cast as to the authenticity of the Roman letter.)

Josephus, an undoubtedly authentic source from the same time period as the story in the Gemara, also records the story almost exactly as it appears in the Gemara (Section VI, ch. 21, line 450). The figure that he gives for the attendance in the Azarah is 255,600 Korbanos, each of which was accompanied by 10-20 people.

(c) As for the speed of the Haza'os, Chazal tell us that the Kohanim formed lines like spokes of a wheel extending from the Mizbe'ach to the area where the Korbanos were slaughtered. The utensils holding the blood of each Korban were passed so swiftly from one hand to the next, according to the above-mentioned Roman letter, that one could not even discern the utensils in the hands of the Kohanim. It is not hard to imagine 25 lines, each pouring blood on the Yesod a few times a second.

See, also, what we wrote about the engineering difficulty involved in a previous correspondence (accessible online at .)

Best wishes,

M. Kornfeld