CONSTRUCTION OF THE MENORAH
(Rav): The Menorah was nine Tefachim tall.
Question (R. Simi bar Chiya - Mishnah): There was a rock in front of the Menorah with three steps. The Kohen would stand on it when fixing the lamps. (If it was only nine Tefachim (about waist-height), there would be no need for a stone!)
Answer (Rav): I meant that the Menorah was nine Tefachim above where the outermost branches meet the central shaft.
Question: "Veha'Perach veha'Neros veha'Melkachayim Zahav Hu Michlos Zahav" - what is this?
Answer (R. Ami): Shlomo Kilah (exhausted) all his Zahav Sagur (choice gold) on them (the Menoros and their Kelim);
(Rav Yehudah): Shlomo made 10 Menoros. For each he put 1000 Kikaros (a Kikar weighs 3000 Shekalim) in the smelting pot 1000 times, until it was reduced to one Kikar of ultra-refined gold.
Question: "V'Chol Klei Mashke ha'Melech Shlomo Zahav Ein Kesef Lo Nechshav bi'Mei Shlomo l'Me'umah"! (This shows that he still had plenty of gold!)
Answer: R. Ami only said that Shlomo exhausted his Zahav Sagur. (Melachim 1:10:21 says that he used Zahav Sagur in his house. Presumably, he acquired it afterwards.)
Question: Is so much gold really lost in smelting?!
(Beraisa - R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah): They once measured the Menorah of Bayis Rishon. It was a Kordikani Dinar (a tiny fraction of a Kikar) more than the Menorah of the Mishkan. They returned it to the smelting pot 80 times, until it was exactly a Kikar.
Answer: After 1000 times in the smelting pot, very little is lost if it is smelted again.
Question (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): What do we learn from "Al ha'Menorah ha'Tehorah"?
Answer #1 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): It was made (Tzon Kodoshim; Rashi - shown to Moshe; Maharsha - and also how to make it) from a Tahor place (Shamayim);
Objection: If so, we should similarly expound "Al ha'Shulchan ha'Tahor" to teach that it was made (or shown) to Moshe from a Tahor place!
Rather, we must say that "ha'Tahor" teaches that it can be Mekabel Tum'ah;
Answer #2: Likewise, "Al ha'Menorah ha'Tehorah" teaches that it can be Mekabel Tum'ah.
Objection: We understand the Chidush that the Shulchan is Mekabel Tum'ah;
(Reish Lakish): "Al ha'Shulchan ha'Tahor" teaches that it can be Mekabel Tum'ah;
Question: It is a wooden Kli made to be stationary. Such Kelim are not Mekabel Tum'ah (even if they are plated with metal)!
Answer: It is considered a Kli that is moved empty and full, because they would lift up the Shulchan on the festival to show the Lechem ha'Panim, to show Bnei Yisrael's dearness to Hash-m.
Question: How does the Lechem ha'Panim show Bnei Yisrael's dearness to Hash-m?
Answer (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): A great miracle was done with Lechem ha'Panim. It was as warm (or fresh) when taken off the Shulchan as it was when placed on it (shortly after it was baked) a week earlier - "Lashum Lechem Chom b'Yom Chilakcho".
Summation of objection (n): What is the Chidush that the Menorah is Mekabel Tum'ah? All metal Kelim are Mekabel Tum'ah!
Defense of Answer #1: Indeed, we must say the Menorah was made (or shown to Moshe) from a Tahor place, even though we expound differently regarding the Shulchan.
(Beraisa - R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah): Fiery forms of the Aron, Shulchan and Menorah descended from Shamayim. Moshe saw them and (taught Betzalel, who) made them - "u'Re'eh va'Aseh b'Savnisam Asher Atah Mar'eh ba'Har".
Question: If so, we should likewise expound "va'Hakemosa Es ha'Mishkan k'Mishpato Asher Hareisa ba'Har" to teach that a fiery form of the Mishkan descended from Shamayim!
Answer: No. Regarding the Mishkan it says "k'Mishpato". (This connotes that Moshe received its Halachos.) Regarding the Kelim it says "b'Savnisam". (This connotes that he saw its form.)
(R. Chiya bar Aba): Gavri'el descended and showed Moshe how to make the Menorah - "v'Zeh Ma'aseh ha'Menorah."
(Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): Moshe had difficulty understanding three things, until Hash-m showed him (as vividly as) with a finger - the Menorah, (how much of the moon must be seen to declare) Rosh Chodesh and Sheratzim (which species are Tamei);
We learn from "v'Zeh Ma'aseh ha'Menorah", "ha'Chodesh ha'Zeh Lachem Rosh Chadashim", and "v'Zeh Lachem ha'Tamei".
Some say, He also showed him laws of Shechitah (the Pesul of Hagramah, i.e. the knife left a ring of the windpipe) - "v'Zeh Asher Ta'aseh Al ha'Mizbe'ach." (Shechitah is the first part of Hakravah.)
THE WRITING MUST BE COMPLETE
(Mishnah): The two Parshiyos in a Mezuzah are Me'akev each other. Even one Kesav (letter) is Me'akev.
Objection: This is obvious! (It says "u'Chsavtam". The Kesav must be Tam (complete)!)
Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): The Mishnah teaches that even the Kotz (Rashi - the protrusion on the bottom right; R. Tam - the protrusion on the top left) of a Yud is Me'akev.
Objection: Also this is obvious! (If the Kotz is missing, the letter is invalid.)
Answer #2 (Rav Yehudah): The Mishnah teaches that if a letter is not (Rashi - entirely; Rashba - at least partially) surrounded by blank parchment on all four sides, (it and therefore) the entire Mezuzah is Pasul.
Version #1 (Ashi'an bar Nidvach citing Rav Yehudah): If there is a hole in the Toch of a 'Hei' (the left leg; alternatively, the blank parchment in the middle), it is Kosher. If there is a hole in the Yerech (the right leg; alternatively, any part where ink is put), it is Pasul;
Version #2 (R. Zeira, or Yakov citing Rav Yehudah): If there is a hole in the Toch of a 'Hei', it is Kosher;
If there is a hole in the Yerech (that breaks it into two), if the required size for a letter remains, it is Kosher. If not, it is Pasul.
The leg of the 'Hei' in the word "ha'Am" in the Tefilin of Agra (R. Aba's father-in-law) was broken into two;
R. Aba: If the required size for a letter remains, it is Kosher. If not, it is Pasul.
The leg of the 'Vov' in the word "va'Yaharog" in the Tefilin of Rami bar Timri was broken into two;
R. Zeira: Bring a child of intermediate intellect. If he reads it correctly, it is Kosher. If he (mistakes the Vov for a 'Yud' and) reads it 'Yehareg', it is Pasul.
(Rav Yehudah): When Moshe alighted to receive the Torah, Hash-m was tying crowns on the letters.
Moshe: You do not need crowns (Maharsha - to aid understanding, and surely, only You understand their meaning)!
Hash-m: After many generations, there will be a Chacham, R. Akiva, who will learn mountains of Halachos from them.
Moshe: Show him to me!
Hash-m put Moshe in the eighth row in R. Akiva's class. Moshe could not understand the class, he felt depressed. A question was asked, and R. Akiva's only answer was 'we know this from a tradition from Moshe from Sinai.' Moshe felt better.
Moshe: He is such a Chacham. Why did You choose to give the Torah through me?!
Hash-m: It was My intent (Iyun Yakov - that you should expound this way. Since you were afraid to look at the burning bush on Har Sinai, you cannot.)
Moshe: You showed to me his Torah. Show to me the reward he will receive.
Hash-m showed Moshe R. Akiva's flesh (which had been torn from him with iron combs) being sold in the meat market.
Moshe: Is this the reward for such Torah?!
Hash-m: It was My intent (Iyun Yakov - to create the world solely with Midas ha'Din. R. Akiva fulfills My intent. I also used Midas ha'Rachamim for the sake of most people, who could not survive otherwise.)
CROWNS ON LETTERS
(Rava): There are seven letters that (Rambam - sometimes) have three crowns (protrusions from the top) each (Rashi - on the top left 'Yud'-like part; Nimukei Yosef - on every 'Yud' on top);
The acronym of these letters is 'Sha'atnez Gatz'.
(Rav Ashi): I saw that the most precise scribes are Choter (Tosfos - make a hump in the middle of; Rashi - put a crown on the left end of) the roof of a 'Ches', and they suspend the (left) leg of a Hei (they do not extend it to the roof);
They are Choter the roof of a Ches, to hint that Hash-m is Chai (lives) at the top of the world;
The following explains why they suspend the leg of a Hei.
Question (R. Yehudah Nesi'ah): What does it mean "Bitchu ba'Shem Adei Ad Ki b'Kah Hash-m Tzur Olamim"?
Answer (R. Ami): Hash-m is a fortress in this world and the world to come for all who trust in Him.
Question (R. Yehudah Nesi'ah): (I did not ask about "Olamim" (worlds). Rather,) I wanted to know why it says "b'Kah"?
Answer (R. Ami): R. Yehudah expounded that Hash-m created two worlds (this one and the world to come) "b'Kah", with the letters Yud-Kei, one letter for each world.
Question: Which letter was used for which?
Answer: We read "Eleh Toldos ha'Shamayim veha'Aretz b'Hibar'am" like 'b'Hei-bar'am' (He created (Shamayim and Aretz, i.e. this world) with the letter Hei.
Question: Why was this world created with the letter Hei?
Answer: (Hei is open on the bottom.) It resembles an Achsadra (a house open on one side). Whoever wants to leave (to do evil) is able to do so.
Question: Why is there another opening above the left leg?
Answer: It is an opening for those who will do Teshuvah.
Question: Why can't he enter from the same opening he left from?
Answer: He will not be able to.
Also Reish Lakish taught that one who wants to be Metaher himself needs Hash-m's help;
(Reish Lakish): "Im la'Letzim Hu Yalitz vela'Anavim Yiten Chen" - Hash-m (merely) gives opportunity for one who wants to be Metamei himself (Maharsha - "Hu Yalitz", the person himself scoffs), but to one who wants to purify himself, Hash-m is Nosen Chen (helps him, for he needs help).
Question: Why does Hei have a crown?
Answer: Hash-m will tie a crown to one who does Teshuvah.
Question: Why was the world to come created with the letter Yud?
Answer: (It is the smallest letter.) The Tzadikim that merit to be there are few in number (Maharsha - they make themselves small (are humble).)
Question: Why is the top of the Yud bent?
Answer: Every Tzadik there bends his head in deference to Tzadikim who performed great deeds that he himself did not.
CORRECTING MISTAKES IN A SEFER TORAH
(Rav Yosef): Rav said two Halachos about Sifrei Torah. Beraisos refute both of them (one of them is absolutely refuted).
(Teaching #1): If there are two mistakes on every Daf (parchment) of a Sefer Torah, they may be corrected. If there are three mistakes on every Daf, Yiganez (the Sefer must be buried).
Refutation (Beraisa): If there are three mistakes on every Daf, they may be corrected. If there are four, Yiganez.
(Beraisa): If there is one good Daf, it saves the entire Sefer. (One may correct it.)
(R. Yitzchak bar Shmuel bar Marsa): This is only if most (Beis Yosef - of the letters) of the Sefer is (are) correct.
Question (Abaye): Is a Daf with only three mistakes considered 'good' (or must it have no mistakes)?
Answer (Rav Yosef): Since that Daf may be corrected, it is considered good (and it saves the entire Sefer).
Genizah is required only due to missing letters, but not if there are extra letters.
Question: What is the reason?
Answer (Rav Kahana): (Extra letters can be erased, but) missing letters must be inserted between the lines. (If there are four on every Daf,) the Sefer will look spotted.