1) A MORNING LIGHTING OF THE MENORAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah (6:1) states that if the Kohen finds the two remaining eastern lights of the Menorah extinguished (according to the Girsa of the Mishnayos and most Rishonim), he must clean the lamps and rekindle the Ner ha'Ma'aravi from the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah.
The verses (Shemos 30:7-8) clearly state that the Hatavah (cleaning of the lamps of the Menorah) is performed in the morning, and the actual lighting is performed in the evening. Why, then, does the Mishnah require that the Ner ha'Ma'aravi be rekindled in the morning?
(a) The ROSH (DH Medashno) reads the Mishnah differently. According to his reading, there is a pause after the word "Medashno." The Mishnah is saying that if the Kohen finds the two remaining candles extinguished, he must clean them (and he does nothing else). The words "u'Madliko mi'Mizbe'ach ha'Olah" refer to the lighting of the Menorah that is performed in the evening. (The RASHBA (Teshuvos 1:79, 1:309) also suggests that the Mishnah is referring to the evening lighting, but he goes further and explains that the entire Mishnah is describing the evening lighting, and not the morning lighting; see (b) below, and see following Insight).
(b) The RA'AVAD explains that this part of the Mishnah discusses only the evening Avodah. When the Kohen finds the two remaining candles extinguished in the evening, he cleans their lamps and rekindles the Ner ha'Ma'aravi from the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah.
(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 3:12) writes that the morning Avodah also involves lighting the Menorah. He explains that the word "Hatavah" in the verse (Shemos 30:7) refers not only to the cleaning of the lamps, but also to the kindling of the lamps. (In Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 3:10, the Rambam derives this from the verse, "l'Ha'alos Ner Tamid" (Shemos 27:20, Vayikra 24:2).) Accordingly, the Mishnah means simply that if the two remaining candles became extinguished, the Cohen is to rekindle them. However, he must rekindle the Ner ha'Ma'aravi from the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah.
However, the OR SAME'ACH (Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 3:13) points out that the Rambam's ruling contradicts the verse in Divrei ha'Yamim II (13:11), which describes the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. In the verse's description, only the Kohanim lit the Menorah, and only in the evening. This contradicts the Rambam's ruling in two respects. First, the Rambam rules that the Menorah was lit in the morning as well as in the evening, and, second, he rules (Hilchos Bi'as ha'Mikdash 9:7) that a non-Kohen may light the Menorah under certain circumstances. How does the Rambam understand the verse in Divrei ha'Yamim II?
The Or Same'ach explains that one of the miracles that occurred in the Beis ha'Mikdash was that the Ner ha'Ma'aravi burned until the evening (Yoma 39a). Since the Ner ha'Ma'aravi must be lit from the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah, only a Kohen may light it, because a non-Kohen is not permitted on the Mizbe'ach. Therefore, at night, after the Ner ha'Ma'aravi went out, only a Kohen could relight it. This is why the verse refers specifically to Kohanim lighting the candles at night; during the daytime, even a non-Kohen could light them!
2) LIGHT THE TWO EASTERN CANDLES; EXTINGUISH THE TWO EASTERN CANDLES
QUESTION: The Mishnah (30b) teaches that if the Kohen found the two easternmost candles extinguished, he would clean their lamps and light them from any lit candle. Afterwards, he would clean the other five lamps.
Why did the Kohen light those two candles? The Mishnah here explains that the two easternmost candles had to be extinguished and cleaned after the Korban Tamid was slaughtered. Why should the Kohen light them if, shortly afterwards, he would extinguish them?
(a) RABEINU GERSHOM, RASHI in Shabbos (22b), the ROSH, and the RA'AVAD explain that there is a Mitzvah to divide the lighting of the Menorah into two parts. Rekindling the two easternmost candles distinguishes them from the five others which must be cleaned and prepared at this point. If the two were left unlit, then there would be no distinction between the two sets of candles. (See also BARTENURA.)
However, according to this explanation, it should suffice to merely light the two candles; why must they be cleaned at this point as well? Since they are going to be cleaned shortly afterwards (after the Shechitah of the Korban Tamid), as the Mishnah here says, why do they need to be cleaned when they are rekindled? (RASHBA, Teshuvos 1:79)
1. The RA'AVAD suggests that to light candles without cleaning them is not a respectful way to fulfill the Mitzvah.
2. The BARTENURA explains that the Dishun of the Menorah mentioned earlier (30b) is not the same as the Dishun mentioned in the Mishnah here. In the Dishun of the Mishnah earlier, the Kohen did not replace the oil or the wicks. He simply removed the ashes from the existing wicks, pulled them up and relit them. After the Shechitah of the Korban Tamid, he cleaned them and replaced the oil and wicks.
(b) The RASHBA (Teshuvos 1:79, 1:309) suggests that since the verse says, "Lifnei Hash-m Tamid" with regard to the Ner ha'Ma'aravi, it indeed must burn all day. Although the other candles are kindled only at night, the Ner ha'Ma'aravi is kindled in the morning as well. Since it cannot be called "Ma'aravi" unless there is another light to the east of it, the eastern lamp and the second lamp to the east (the "Ner Ma'aravi") are both lit in the morning. (This is a compromise between the opinions of the Rambam, who asserts that all the lamps were lit in the morning, and the other Rishonim, who insist that none were lit in the morning.)
However, the Mishnah at the beginning of the sixth Perek describes cleaning out the Ner Ma'aravi and the eastern lamp even when they are lit. If the Kohen lights the eastern candles in order for them to remain lit all day, then why does he now extinguish them?
Moreover, why does the Mishnah in the third Perek write that the two eastern candles are lit before the other five? From the Gemara in Yoma (14a) it is clear that the five other candles are lit first, and then there is a break (during which the Tamid is brought) before the two eastern candles are lit!
The Rashba answers that the Mishnah in the sixth Perek is not discussing the morning lighting at all. It is referring to the afternoon, and it is describing the way the Kohen lit the lamps of the Menorah in the evening lighting. (The Rashba (in Teshuvos) defends this position at length, asserting that it is implicit in the words "Bein ha'Arbayim" at the end of the Mishnah that the entire Mishnah is discussing the events that occurred Bein ha'Arbayim.)
The Rashba explains that the Mishnah in the third Perek argues with the Gemara and Mishnayos in Yoma and maintains that there was no break during which another Avodah was performed, in the middle of the morning lighting.
(c) In the RAMBAM's text of the Mishnayos there is an important difference in the Girsa. In the sixth Perek, the Mishnah is referring to the "western" candles. The two candles that are found unlit, as described in the third Perek, are the two eastern candles. The Kohen cleans and lights them from any lit candle, because, according to the Rambam, all of the candles are lit in the morning. The "rest of the candles" that the Kohen cleans, as mentioned in the third Perek, are three of the five other candles. The Mishnah here, in contrast, describes how the Kohen does the Avodah of the two western candles, which include the Ner Ma'aravi. (According to most Rishonim, the Ner Ma'aravi is the candle just to the west of the easternmost candle. According to the Rambam, it is the westernmost candle.)
3) THE "SHIR SHEL YOM" IN THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH
QUESTION: The last Mishnah in Tamid relates which Shir was recited by the Leviyim in the Beis ha'Mikdash each day as the Shir Shel Yom.
The TUR (end of OC 133) writes that every evening, after Tefilas Ma'ariv, there was a custom to recite "Pitum ha'Ketores" (the Beraisa in Kerisus 6a), but not the Shir Shel Yom, the daily Shir. The reason why Pitum ha'Ketores was recited both in the morning and evening, while the Shir was recited only in the morning, is that the Mitzvah of offering incense in the Beis ha'Mikdash applied both in the morning and in the evening, while the Mitzvah of singing the Shir applied only in the morning. The BEIS YOSEF cites the ORCHOS CHAYIM who writes similarly, "I have not seen anyone who recites the Shirim at Minchah, and the reason is that the Mitzvah [in the Beis ha'Mikdash] was to say them only in the morning." The REMA (OC 132:2) also writes that we say the Shir Shel Yom only in the morning, at Shacharis.
The practice to recite the Shir Shel Yom only in the morning seems to be at odds with the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (30b). The Mishnah there says that the original practice was to accept the testimony of witnesses (who saw the new moon of Tishrei) throughout the entire day of the thirtieth of the month of Elul. However, it happened once that the witnesses arrived late in the day, after the time of Minchah, and as a result the Leviyim did not say the correct Shir when they brought the Korban Tamid in the afternoon. The Rabanan subsequently instituted that witnesses for the new moon may not be accepted after the time of Minchah (see Insights to Rosh Hashanah 30:2).
RASHI in Beitzah (5a, DH v'Niskalkelu) explains that, on that occasion, the Leviyim thought that since it was so late in the day witnesses would no longer arrive, and thus the day was not Rosh Hashanah, the first day of Tishrei. When the witnesses eventually did arrive on that day, the day was declared to be Yom Tov and the Shir that the Leviyim sang turned out to have been the wrong one. Rashi adds that no Kilkul could occur with regard to the morning Shir, because the same Shir was always said in the morning, even if the witnesses arrived before the morning Tamid was offered, because most years the witnesses did not arrive so early.
It is evident from the incident in the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah that the Shir was also recited with the offering of the afternoon Korban. Why, then, do the Tur and Beis Yosef write that the Mitzvah of Shir was done only in the morning?
(a) The PERISHAH (OC 133:9) initially suggests that the Shir sang with the afternoon Korban differed from the Shir sang with the morning Korban. The Shir we recite as part of our prayer service is the Shir said in the morning. These Shirim are the ones mentioned in the Mishnah here, and which the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (31a) says are arranged each day according to the appropriate aspect of the work of Creation of that day.
However, the Perishah rejects this answer. He argues that if a different Shir was recited for the afternoon Korban, then the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (30b-31a) should inform us what Shirim were said then, and why they were said, in the same way that it tells us about the Shirim that were said every weekday morning, and during Shacharis, Musaf, and Minchah of Shabbos, and Minchah of Rosh Chodesh and Rosh Hashanah!
Moreover, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Temidin u'Musafin 6:9-11) lists all of the Shirim that the Leviyim said as stated in Rosh Hashanah. At the end of the chapter, the Rambam writes a general rule about the order of the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash: "All of the things done in the morning were also performed in the afternoon, except for the Terumas ha'Deshen from the outer Mizbe'ach, and the arranging of the Ma'arachah (wood on the Mizbe'ach), and the Payis (lottery), which were done only in the morning." The fact that the Rambam does not mention that the Shir also was not said in the afternoon implies that the Shir said in the morning was also said in the afternoon.
(b) The MAGEN AVRAHAM (OC 133:4) cites the TESHUVOS RAM ALSHICH (#138) who answers that although the Shir was said both in the morning and afternoon, it was only absolutely necessary in the morning. That is, if the Shir was not said with the morning Korban Tamid, then the Tamid was not valid. In contrast, the Shir was not Me'akev the afternoon Korban Tamid; the Korban was valid b'Di'eved even if the Shir was not said.
Accordingly, when the Tur writes that the Mitzvah of Shir applied only in the morning, he means that only in the morning was it Me'akev and essential to the Korban. (See the Gemara in Erchin 11a, which records a dispute between the Chachamim and Rebbi Meir about whether Shir is Me'akev the Korban. See also PNEI YEHOSHUA to Rosh Hashanah 31a (DH b'Gemara) and TESHUVOS AVNEI NEZER OC #27, who discuss the Ram Alshich's opinion at length.)
(c) The MISHNEH BERURAH (OC 132:16) cites another answer of the Magen Avraham. Although the Shir was usually said in the Beis ha'Mikdash both in the morning and in the afternoon, on occasion it happened that the Kohanim did not have time to offer the Nesachim (wine libations) of the afternoon Korban Tamid while it was still daytime, and they had to offer it at night (for example, they were busy doing other parts of the Avodah). There is a rule (see Berachos 35b, Erchin 11a) that the Shir may be said only when the Nesachim are offered. There is another rule that the Shir may be said only during the day (Erchin 11a). Accordingly, when the Nesachim were offered at night, the Shir for the afternoon Tamid was not recited. Since the afternoon Shir was not always said in the Beis ha'Mikdash, our custom is not to say it during Minchah or Ma'ariv at all.
(According to this approach, it seems that when the Tur and Beis Yosef write that the Mitzvah in the Beis ha'Mikdash was to say Shir only in the morning, they mean that the Mitzvah was only fulfilled invariably in the morning.) (See also TOSFOS to Rosh Hashanah 30b, DH v'Niskalkelu.) (D. BLOOM)