1) THE SHECHITAH OF THE TAMID
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that a Payis (drawing of lots) was performed in order to select the Kohen who would perform the Avodah of Shechitah of the Korban Tamid. The law is that a Zar (non-Kohen) is permitted to perform the Shechitah. Why, then, was a Payis instituted among the Kohanim for the Shechitah?
(a) The ROSH (cited in Rav Yakov David Ilan's edition of the Shitah Mekubetzes) and the BARTENURA explain that although the Shechitah is valid when done by a Zar, since it was the first Avodah of the Korban Tamid of the day it was considered a prestigious appointment and was reserved for the Kohanim.
(b) The ME'IRI in Yoma (25a, DH Amar ha'Mei'ri) writes that the Korban Tamid differs from other Korbanos, and the Halachah requires that it be slaughtered by a Kohen, l'Chatchilah, while other Korbanos may be slaughtered l'Chatchilah by a Zar.
Support for the Me'iri's assertion may be found in the Sifri (#116) that comments on the verse, "And you (Aharon) and your sons with you shall guard your priesthood for all matters involving the Mizbe'ach (l'Chol Devar ha'Mizbe'ach)" (Bamidbar 18:7). The Sifri states that "anything having to do with the Mizbe'ach (such as public services related to the Avodah) shall be performed only by you and your sons," emphasizing that the Kohanim have the exclusive rights to perform all public services, such as the Shechitah of the Korban Tamid (a public Korban), while a Zar may perform the Shechitah of other Korbanos. (See TZAFNAS PANE'ACH, Hilchos Kil'ayim p. 5, and addendum to Hilchos Terumos p. 53d, for his interpretation of this Sifri.)
2) THE ORDER OF THE "DISHUN," "SHECHITAH," AND "ZERIKAH"
QUESTION: The Mishnah discusses the Payis (drawing of lots) for the Avodah of the Korban Tamid. It says that lots were drawn first for the Shechitah, then for the Zerikah, and only afterwards for the Dishun ha'Mizbe'ach.
This order contradicts the order in which the Avodos themselves were performed. The preceding Mishnayos teach that the Dishun ha'Mizbe'ach was performed before the Shechitah and the Zerikas ha'Dam. Why was the Payis done in a different order?
(a) The BARTENURA (Tamid 3:1) writes that although the Mishnah mentions Dishun after the Zerikah with regard to the Payis, it does not mean that the Dishun was performed after the Zerikah. Rather, the Dishun was performed first, before the Zerikah. The Mishnah mentions the Payis of the Zerikah first because of the great importance of the Avodah of Zerikah.
The RITVA in Yoma (15a) also explains that the order of the Payis was not the actual order of the Avodos.
(b) The RASHASH in Yoma suggests that the Mishnah of the Payis is not listing the Avodos in the order in which they were started, but rather it is listing them in the order in which they were finished. This is because the completion of the Avodah is more important than the beginning. Consequently, although the Dishun was started first, it was finished only when the ashes were carried away, which occurred after the Zerikas ha'Dam of the Tamid was performed.
(c) The TOSFOS HA'ROSH in Yoma (25a) suggests that although the Shechitah and Zerikah did not precede the Dishun ha'Mizbe'ach, it was necessary to choose the Kohanim who would perform those Avodos before choosing the Kohen for the Dishun, since the ones who would do the Shechitah and Zerikah performed another service which indeed preceded the Dishun ha'Mizbe'ach. This service was the bringing of the lamb for the Korban Tamid from its place and examining it for blemishes, which was done even before the Dishun ha'Mizbe'ach.
(d) In a similar approach, the VILNA GA'ON here in Tamid explains that the Kohen performing the Zerikah was chosen first not because the Zerikah was done before the Dishun, but because the person who performs the Zerikah must also perform the Kabalas ha'Dam, which is done before the Dishun. The Zerikah was done only after the Dishun and between the Hatavas ha'Neros, in order to separate between the first five and last two lamps of the Menorah. In the time that it takes the Kohen who performs the Kabalas ha'Dam to walk with the blood from where the Korban was slaughtered to the Mizbe'ach (approximately a hundred Amos), the Dishun ha'Mizbe'ach was performed as well as the Hatavah of the first five lamps of the Menorah. When the Kohen arrived with the blood at the Mizbe'ach, the Zerikah was done, followed by the Hatavah of the last two lamps of the Menorah. (See more in Insights to Yoma 15:1, where we discuss the answer of TOSFOS in Yoma 14b, DH Amar Abaye.)
3) AGADAH: WHEN DAYLIGHT REACHES HEBRON
QUESTION: The Mishnah relates that according to Masya ben Shmuel, the daily Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash is not to begin until someone says, "Daylight has reached Hebron."
Why was Hebron specifically mentioned to mark the beginning of the day for the Avodah?
ANSWER: The Gemara in Berachos (7b) teaches that Avraham Avinu was the first one to call Hash-m, "Adon." RAV PINCHAS ALTSHUL of Plotsk (a disciple of the Vilna Ga'on) in SIDUR SHA'AR HA'RACHAMIM uses this statement to explain why our morning prayers begin with "Adon Olam." When we recite "Adon Olam," we invoke the merit of Avraham Avinu.
This was also the purpose of proclaiming in the Beis ha'Mikdash, "Daylight has reached Hebron." The purpose of this practice was to arouse the merit of the Avos, our forefathers, who lived in Hebron (see RASHI to Yoma 28a, DH v'Iy Ba'is Eima, citing the Yerushalmi). Just as the Avodah began by invoking the merit of the forefathers, we begin our prayers by reciting "Adon Olam" to invoke the merit of Avraham Avinu.
This is also implicit in the verse we recite every day before the morning prayers, "va'Ani b'Rov Chasdecha..." -- "And I, in Your great kindness, will come into Your house...." In the merit of Avraham Avinu, who aroused the great kindness of Hash-m, we approach Him in prayer.
It is particularly appropriate to mention the merit of Avraham Avinu more than the merit of the other Avos, because the morning prayers were instituted in the pattern of Avraham's morning prayer (Berachos 28b). (M. KORNFELD) (See also Insights to Berachos 7:2.)
4) THE LOCATION OF THE "LISHKAS HA'TELA'IM" IN THE "BEIS HA'MOKED"
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that the Lishkas ha'Tela'im was in the northwest part of the Beis ha'Moked. However, in all of the diagrams of the Beis ha'Mikdash -- which are all based on the words of the Mishnah and Gemara -- the Lishkas ha'Tela'im is situated to the southwest of the Beis ha'Moked! The RAMBAM (Hilchos Beis ha'Bechirah 5:10) also writes that it was to the southwest. How do they understand the Mishnah?
ANSWERS: The Gemara in Yoma (16a) points out a contradiction between the Mishnah here and the Mishnah in Midos (1:6). The Mishnah here says that the Lishkas ha'Tela'im was in the northwest side of the Beis ha'Moked, while the Mishnah in Midos says that it was in the southwest. The Gemara there offers a number of solutions for the contradiction.
(a) The Gemara first explains that the two Mishnayos indeed disagree. The diagrams were drawn according to the Mishnah in Midos.
(b) The Gemara suggests another answer and says that the Lishkas ha'Tela'im was "Aktzuyei Maktzei": for one standing in the south, the Lishkas ha'Tela'im appeared to be in the northwest. For one standing in the north, it appeared to be in the southwest. The Rishonim explain this in different ways.
1. RASHI (Yoma 17a, DH Rav Ada) and the RA'AVAD explain that the Lishkas ha'Tela'im was very long. Since it occupied almost the entire western side of the Beis ha'Moked, when one looked from the north it appeared that more of the Lishkah was in the south, and when one looked from the south it appeared that more of it was in the north.
2. The ARUCH suggests that "Aktzuyei Maktzei" means that it was almost in the center of the western side of the Beis ha'Moked. Therefore, when one looked from the north, since it was still a considerable distance away it looked as though it was in the southwest corner, and to one looking from the south it appeared to be in the northwest corner.
3. The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos to Midos 1:6) explains that the Mishnayos mean that the Lishkas ha'Tela'im was in the southwestern corner of the Beis ha'Moked, and the Beis ha'Moked was in the northwest of the Azarah. (See CHAZON ISH, OC 126:16.)
4. The BA'AL HA'ME'OR in Yoma seems to understand that the walls of the Lishkas ha'Tela'im that protruded into the Beis ha'Moked were not parallel to the north and south walls of the Beis ha'Moked, but rather they were built at a slight diagonal, slanting away from those walls. Therefore, to one coming from the south it seemed as though the Lishkas ha'Tela'im's main area was more towards the north, and to one coming from the north it seemed as though the main area was more towards the south.
5) HEARD AS FAR AS YERICHO
QUESTION: The Mishnah gives a list of what sounds and scents reached Yericho. Among the sounds that reached Yericho were the sound of the hinges of the door of the Heichal opening and the voice of Gevini, the one who heralded the start of the day's Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash.
However, the Gemara in Yoma (39b) quotes Rabah bar bar Chanah who says that the sound of the hinges of the door of the Heichal was heard only for a distance of eight Techumei Shabbos. Since each Techum Shabbos is 2000 Amos, this distance was only two Parsa'os (16,000 Amos), which is much less than the distance from Yerushalayim to Yericho!
In addition, the Gemara in Yoma (20b) quotes a Beraisa that says that the voice of Gevini was heard only for a distance of three Parsa'os. How are these contradictions to be reconciled?
(a) The ROSH (cited by Rav Yakov David Ilan's edition of Shitah Mekubetzes) answers that the tunnel that was dug by Chizkiyahu extended from Yerushalayim until Yericho. The sounds traveled through the tunnel of Chizkiyahu until Yericho, while in other directions they traveled a much shorter distance.
(b) The RA'AVAD explains that in the direction of Yericho was a less mountainous terrain, so sound traveled farther in that direction.
(c) The Ra'avad cites his Rebbi who suggests that it was through a miracle that these sounds were heard in Yericho. Yericho was singled out for this miracle because it was the first place that the Jews conquered upon their arrival in Eretz Yisrael, and its conquest led eventually to the building of the Beis ha'Mikdash in Yerushalayim. The capture of Yericho is therefore considered to be the beginning of Kedushas Yerushalayim. This is why Yehoshua prohibited anyone from taking the spoils of Yericho. He wanted to be Makdish it and give it a special status in the same way that one is Makdish his first fruits as Bikurim and the first part of his produce as Terumah. Hash-m caused the sounds and scents of Yerushalayim to be perceived in Yericho to show that Yericho had, to a certain degree, a Kedushah similar to that of Yerushalayim.
6) THE UTENSILS THAT THE KOHEN BRINGS INTO THE "HEICHAL"
QUESTIONS: The Mishnah teaches that when the Kohen who won the Payis to perform the Dishun ha'Menorah entered the Heichal and found the two easternmost lamps alight, he would remove the ashes from the other five lamps.
The BARTENURA points out that the Kohen would not extinguish the two remaining lights, but if he found them extinguished he would rekindle them (as the Mishnah says). In contrast, if he found any of the other five lights still burning, he would extinguish them and then perform the Dishun, but if he found them extinguished he would not rekindle them until the following evening.
The Bartenura adds that the Kohen would remove the used oil from the five other lamps, as well as the used wick and ashes, and put all of it into the Kuz, a golden utensil shaped like a pitcher, used to collect the leftover oil and burned wicks of the Menorah. The Kohen would then pour fresh oil and place new wicks into the western lamps.
(a) In what vessel would the Kohen bring the new oil and wicks into the Heichal? The Mishnah earlier (beginning of 30b) states that the two Kohanim who performed the Dishun of the inner Mizbe'ach and the Dishun of the Menorah brought only four vessels into the Heichal -- the Teni (a golden utensil shaped like a basket used to collect the ashes of the inner Mizbe'ach), the Kuz, and two keys. Why does the Mishnah make no mention of a fifth vessel for carrying the fresh oil and wicks into the Heichal?
(b) RASHI on Chumash (Shemos 25:38) explains that the golden Machtos (coal-pans) that the Torah says were used to service the Menorah were small Bezichin (ladles; see MEFARESH to Tamid 31b, DH ha'Shishi) with which the Kohen removed the ashes every morning from the lamps of the Menorah. Why does the Mishnah not mention these Kelim among the Kelim that the Kohen needed to bring with him into the Heichal?
(a) The RASHASH answers that, indeed, at this stage in the morning service the Kohen only removed the ashes from the Menorah. Only later on, in the evening, when the time arrived to actually kindle the lights, did the Kohen bring in the fresh oil and new wicks.
The MIKDASH DAVID (Kodshim 21:2, DH v'Hineh Ra'isi) cites a number of proofs for the answer of the Rashash. Among his proofs is the Gemara in Menachos (88b) which states that one of the seven vessels of different sizes used for measuring liquids in the Beis ha'Mikdash was the half-Log Kli which the Kohen used to pour half a Log of oil into each lamp in the Menorah. This Kli also had to be brought into the Heichal, and yet it is not mentioned in the Mishnah here. It must be, as the Rashash says, that it was only later in the evening that this Kli was brought into the Heichal and used to fill the lamps with oil.
(The Rashash points out that the RASHBA, quoted by the TOSFOS YOM TOV (6:1), writes that "in the morning the Kohen placed the Kuz on the second step in front of the Menorah, so that he would be able to put oil in the two easternmost lamps in the evening." While the Rashba's words support the Rashash's assertion that only in the evening was the oil placed in the lamps, the Rashba clearly states that the Kuz was used for a different purpose than the purpose mentioned by the Bartenura. It must be that there is a dispute concerning the purpose of the Kuz. According to the Bartenura, it was used to take out the leftover oil and used wicks, and according to the Rashba, it was used to bring the new oil into the Heichal.)
(b) The Rashash answers the second question by saying that it is possible that the gold Machtos mentioned in the Torah were kept permanently in the Heichal, next to the Menorah. Therefore, it is obvious why the Mishnah does not mention the Machtos among the Kelim that the Kohen brought with him into the Heichal. It was not necessary to bring them into the Heichal since they were always there. (D. BLOOM)