1)[line 1] KOL MI- any [Kohen] who


(a)Every morning, a Kohen removes some of the ashes of the consumed sacrifices heaped upon the Mizbe'ach. He then places them southeast of the Mizbe'ach alongside its ramp, at a distance of three Tefachim (approx. 10.5 inches) away from the ramp and 10 Amos from the foot of the ramp (Vayikra 6:3).

3)[line 5]HA'MEMUNEH- a) the assistant Kohen Gadol (Segan) (RASHI 15b); b) the Kohen in charge of the Payis (who was not the Segan) (TOSFOS Yoma 15b DH Amar, Menachos 100a)

4)[line 5]HATZBI'U- extend your fingers

5)[line 6]AGUDAL- the thumb

6)[line 11]PAYIS

(a)Four times every morning, the Kohanim gather in the Beis ha'Mikdash for a selection process known as a Payis. Each Payis designated a Kohen or Kohanim to perform a certain part or parts of the daily service. All Kohanim present stand in a circle and extend a finger. The officiating Kohen then arbitrarily chooses a number higher than that of the Kohanim present, and begins counting with any of the extended fingers. When he reaches the chosen number, that Kohen is selected to perform the Avodah.


(a)All of the services performed in the Beis ha'Mikdash must be performed during the day. This includes the slaughter of the Korban and all of the subsequent Avodos up to and including the application or dashing of its blood upon the Mizbe'ach. If there was no time to burn its Chalavim (certain fats, also called Pedarim) and Evarim (limbs) during the day, however, then they may be placed on the fire atop the Mizbe'ach for the entire following night. As long as the Zerikas ha'Dam was performed before nightfall, the Korban is kosher.


(a)It is a Mitzvas Aseh for a Kohen to wash his hands and feet whenever he enters the Heichal of the Beis ha'Mikdash, as well as prior to the performance any part of the Avodah (Divine service), (Shemos 30:19).

(b)The manner of washing is as follows: The Kohen bends down and places his right hand on his right foot and his left hand on his left foot. A different Kohen sprinkles water from the Kiyor on his hands and feet. (If he is alone, he places his hands and feet under a faucet of the Kiyor). Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim is an Avodah, and therefore must be performed while standing.

(c)A Kohen need not wash his hands and feet more than once a day, as long as he makes certain that they do not become Temei'im or dirty, and as long as he has not left the Azarah. There is a disagreement as to whether or not a Kohen who spent the entire night performing Avodah must wash his hands and feet again in the morning.

(d)A Kohen who intentionally performs Avodah without washing his hands and feet is liable to receive Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, and his Avodah is disqualified (SEFER HA'CHINUCH #106).

9a)[line 23] ONES SHEINA- those who oversleep

b)[line 26] ONES SHEINA- those who fall asleep early

10)[line 27] SHANI MIGNA MI'MEIKAM- preventing oneself from falling asleep is easier than awakening early

11a)[line 27] ?TAKANATA L'HACH GISA HAVA'I?- was the Payis instituted due to the danger of the footrace?

b)[line 28] !TAKANATA L'HACH GISA HAVA'I!- the Payis was necessary due to the mainstream Avodos that were included in it!

12)[line 29] SIDUR MA'ARACHAH- arranging the wood for the fire atop the Mizbe'ach

13)[line 30] SHNEI GEZIREI ETZIM- placing two square Amah blocks of wood, each as thick as the block used to level a heaping Se'ah, on top of the wood arrangement in order to increase the flames (Zevachim 62b; RAMBAM Temidin u'Musafin 6:1)

14)[line 34] D'MISRAMI LAN- that it will occur to us; i.e., that we will be selected

15a)[line 38] ARBA AMOS D'AR'A LO- [that the end of the footrace described in our Mishnah, which ended four Amos away from a certain point, did] not [end] four Amos [from the Kevesh] on the ground

b)[line 39] KAMAISA NAMI LO- nor [did it end after] the first [four Amos of the Kevesh]

c)[line 40] D'BEINI BEINI NAMI LO- nor [did it end] somewhere in the middle [of the thirty-two Amos of the Kevesh]

16)[line 40]MESAIMA- distinguishable [where it should end]

17)[line 40] D'GABEI MIZBE'ACH- the four Amos next to the Mizbe'ach

18)[last line] BA'I RAV PAPA- [this, however] Rav Papa asked


(a)The outer Mizbe'ach in the Beis ha'Mikdash, also known as the Mizbach ha'Olah (TY #47), consists of three square concrete and stone platforms placed one atop the other. The base (Yesod) measures thirty-two Amos square by one Amah high. (The Yesod did not fully extend around the entire Mizbe'ach; see (b) below.) The middle platform measures thirty Amos square by five Amos high. The upper platform upon which the sacrifices were burned (termed the "Mekom ha'Ma'arachah" by the Rambam), was twenty-eight Amos square by three Amos high. A Keren (lit. horn) a block measuring one-Amah cubed was placed upon each corner of the upper platform (RAMBAM Hilchos Beis ha'Bechirah 2:5-8). The Amos with which the Mizbe'ach is measured consist of five Tefachim (Menachos 97a).

(b)The Yesod protruded one Amah along the entire northern and western sides. It protruded for the length of only one Amah to the south of the southwest corner and one Amah to the east of the northeast corner, however. As such, there was no Yesod on the southeastern corner. The blood of many Korbanos was dashed upon the flank of the Mizbe'ach above the Yesod, from which point it ran down the side to the Yesod (Midos 36a, Mishnah 2; Zevachim 37a, based upon Vayikra 5:9). What remained of this blood was poured directly onto the Yesod (Shemos 29:12; Vayikra 4:7; etc.).

(c)The one-Amah width where middle platform jutted out beyond the upper platform is called the "Sovev", since it encircles the Mizbe'ach. Kohanim used the Sovev as a walkway from which to perform various parts of the service.

(d)The Keranos were hollow. (RAMBAM ibid. 2:8)

(e)A Kevesh (ramp) leads up to the top of the Mizbe'ach on its southern side. The Kevesh is thirty-two Amos long and sixteen Amos wide, and is separated from the south side of the Mizbe'ach by a hair's breadth (Pesachim 77a, Zevachim 62b). It is indented on its underside where it meets the Mizbe'ach such that it fits over the Sovev and the Yesod. The question of Rav Papa is whether to reckon the last four Amos of the Kevesh from the bottom edge not including the two Amos that cover the Yesod and the Amah or from the top edge that meets the Mizbe'ach.


20)[line 4] V'NIMNINHU L'DIDHU?- and let them count the Kohanim themselves?

21)[line 6]", ...""VA'YIFKEDEIM B'VAZEK..."- at this point the Gemara understands this to mean, "And he (Shaul) counted the people using shards of pottery (Shmuel I 11:8)."

22)[line 8]D'MIVZAK- of pottery fragments

23)[line 8] SHEMA D'MASA- the name of a city

24)[line 9]" ...""VA'YIMTZE'U [ES] ADONI VEZEK [B'VEZEK...]"- "And they found Adoni Bezek in [the city of Bezek...]" (Shoftim 1:5).

25)[line 10]" , ...""VAY'SHAMA SHAUL ES HA'AM, VA'YIFKEDEM BA'TELA'IM"- "And Shaul drafted the nation, and he counted them using sheep..." (Shmuel I 15:4).

26)[line 13]"... , ...""... LO YIMAD [V'LO YISAFER]"- "will not be measured or counted..." (Hoshe'a 2:1).

27)[line 15], " ...", " ..."KESIV, "V'HAYAH MISPAR...", U'CHESIV "ASHER LO YIMAD..."- The first part of this verse implies that it is possible to quantify Klal Yisrael; the second half seems to say that they are without number.

28)[line 22]PARNAS- a spiritual and temporal leader

29)[line 25]MI'DIDHU- [the sheep came] from the people themselves

30)[line 25] MAI RABUSA D'MILSA?- what would have been the point of such a thing?

31)[line 25]"[ ,] ""... VA'YAREV BA'NACHAL" - "And Shaul came to the city of Amalek, and he struggled in the valley" (Shmuel I 15:5) (SHAUL'S SIN)

(a)Shaul ha'Melech was commanded by HaSh-m through Shmuel ha'Navi to go to war against Amalek. He was instructed to wipe out the entire nation, including every man, woman and child, as well as every ox, lamb, camel, and donkey.

(b)Our Gemara explains that Sha'ul suffered an internal conflict over the command to slaughter innocent people. The difficulty of such an action was driven home to him by the Parshah of Eglah Arufah, the calf slaughtered in a valley in order to atone for a murdered traveler (see next entry).

(c)Shaul therefore had pity on the sheep of Amalek. He allowed his soldiers to take the sheep back with them in order to sacrifice them to HaSh-m. In addition, Sha'ul held off killing Agag, king of Amalek.

(d)HaSh-m immediately notified Shmuel ha'Navi that Sha'ul had forfeited the kingship as a result of his actions. The Rishonim and Acharonim discuss what exactly the sin of Sha'ul was; see Insights.


(a)If a Jew is found murdered in a field in Eretz Yisrael and it is not known who killed him, the Torah requires an Eglah Arufah to atone for his death (Devarim 21:1).

(b)First, five elders from the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the supreme court which sat in the Beis ha'Mikdash) measure the distances between the body and the cities nearest to it in order to determine which of them is the closest.

(c)The elders of that city then bring a female calf which has never been performed any work to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI). They strike a blow on the back of its neck with a cleaver (Arifah), sundering its spinal column, gullet, and windpipe.

(d)The elders then wash their hands and state, "Our hands did not spill this blood, nor did our eyes see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This proclamation carries with it the assertion that the dead man had not been sent from their city without either proper provisions for his journey or the accompaniment. The Kohanim present then beseech, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). Following the procedure of the Eglah Arufah, HaSh-m forgives his nation for the innocent blood that had been spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).

33)[line 30]DO'EG- Do'eg ha'Adomi was an advisor to Sha'ul ha'Melech. Although he knew a tremendous of Torah, he lost his share in the world to come due to his sins (Sanhedrin 10:2; see next entry).

34)[line 31]"[ (),] , ""SOV ATAH U'FGA BA'KOHANIM" - "And the king said to Do'eg, "You should surround [the city] and smite the Kohanim..." (Shmuel I 22:18) (THE SLAUGHTER OF NOV IR HA'KOHANIM)

(a)David was the son-in-law and close advisor of Sha'ul ha'Melech. There came a time, however, when Sha'ul developed an antipathy toward his confidant. Yehonasan, Sha'ul's son and close friend of David, devised a method to test how deep his father's hostility to David ran. After determining that it was no longer safe for David to remain in the palace, he relayed this information and sent David, now a fugitive, on his way.

(b)David sought refuge in Nov, a city of Kohanim wherein the Mishkan was located. He did not divulge the circumstances of his visit, and pretended that he had been sent on a mission by the king. The Kohanim of the city, led by the Kohen Gadol Achimelech, housed David and gave him provisions to continue his journey.

(c)Sha'ul was incensed when he heard that the Kohanim had aided his enemy. Although they protested that they had had no reason not to believe the king's son-in-law and trusted minister, upon the orders of Sha'ul the entire city was wiped out.

35a)[line 31] KAMAH LO CHALI V'LO MARGISH- how free of illness and worry

b)[line 32] GAVRA D'MAREI SAYA'EI- is he whose Master comes to his aid

36)[line 32] B'ACHAS V'ALSAH LO- committed one transgression and it caused him to lose the kingship

37)[line 33]"""NICHMATI..."- "I am regretful..." (Shmuel I 15:11)

38a)[line 34]URIYAH - Uriyah, the first husband of Bas Sheva (Shmuel II 11:11) (THE SIN OF URIYAH)

(a)When King David discovered that the wife of Uriyah ha'Chiti was expecting his child, he summoned Uriyah from the battlefield and ordered him home to his wife in an attempt to extricate himself from the embarrassing situation.

(b)Uriyah, however, refused to comply. "And Uriyah said to David, 'The Aron, Yisrael and Yehudah are dwelling in Sukos (the location of the battle with the Pelishtim), and my master Yo'av and the servants of my master (the king) are encamped upon the field, and I should go to my house to eat and drink, and to be with my wife ...?". Note that although this episode was an embarrassing one for David, he had not actually committed adultery, due to the prevalent custom among his soldiers to divorce their wives before going to war.

(c)David ha'Melech responded by sending Uriyah to the front of the lines, where he met his death. According to some opinions, it was due to this act of insubordination that Uriyah was liable for the death penalty. Others maintain that it was either due to that which he referred to Yo'av as his master in the presence of the king, or to that which he mentioned first Yo'av, and only then the king (see Tosfos Kidushin 43a DH Moreid).

(d)Although Uriyah was guilty, the Gemara (Shabbos 56a) states that David, too bore some guilt for the way in which he handled the situation, as he should have arranged a proper trial for Uriyah in front of the Sanhedrin.

b)[line 34]HASATAH- At the end of the reign of David ha'Melech, many members of Klal Yisrael sinned in private, and the king failed to uproot this practice. As a result, David erred tragically when ordered to take a census of Bnei Yisrael and he counted them directly instead of through a medium. Following this, a plague felled seventy thousand members of the nation (Shmuel II 24:1-15, and RADAK ibid.).

39)[line 34] MA'ASEH D'BAS SHEVA

(a)David ha'Melech requested that HaSh-m test him, as he had Avraham and others, in order to prove his loyalty.

(b)David observed Bas Sheva, the wife of Uriyah ha'Chiti, bathing on her rooftop. He foresaw with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh that he was destined to have a son with her who was to be the next king. She was not technically married at the time, as the custom among David's soldiers was to divorce their wives before going to war in case they should fall in battle and their bodies would not be recovered. David summoned her and had relations with her. Subsequently, her husband was deservedly put to death by David (see a), previous entry), and David married Bas Sheva.

(c)Noson ha'Navi came to David and told him a story of two men, one rich and the other poor. The rich man, although he had many animals, stole the lone sheep belonging to the poor man. What did the king rule? David was incensed and exclaimed that the rich man should receive the death penalty for exhibiting such insolence! Additionally, he should repay the sheep four-fold.

(d)The Navi explained that the story was an analogy, and that David, who had many wives, was the rich man who took Bas Sheva, the lone wife of Uriyah. Overcome with remorse, David could only manage the words "Chatasi la'HaSh-m" "I have sinned to HaSh-m." Noson informed the king that HaSh-m had accepted his repentance and that he would not die (Shmuel II 11,12).

40)[line 34] IPAR'U MINEI- heavenly retribution was exacted from him

41)[line 35]" , ...""V'ES HA'KIVSA YESHALEM ARBATAYIM..."- see above, entry #39:c. Since David suggested that the rich man pay four-fold, HaSh-m punished him through four of his children.

42a)[line 35]YELED- the first son born to David and Bas Sheva died (Shmuel II 12:15-23

b)[line 35], AMNON, TAMAR

(a)Tamar was the daughter of David and Ma'achah bas Talmai, the king of Geshur. Her mother was a Yefas To'ar (see Background to Sanhedrin 21:21) who had been taken by David ha'Melech. Tamar was conceived from the first union of David ha'Melech and Ma'achah, when she was still a Nochris. Tamar was therefore a Geyores (convert), and was not Halachically related to any of the other children of David.

(b)David's son Amnon was a biological half-brother of Tamar. He desired his sister Tamar. Instead of going through the proper channels to marry her as was Halachically acceptable, he pulled a ruse in order to arrange that Tamar would visit him in his bedroom, and then raped her. He then hated her with greater force than he loved her previously, and wanted nothing to do with her.

(c)Avshalom, a full brother of Tamar born after his mother's conversion, hated Amnon for this inhuman treatment of his sister. Two years after this incident, he arranged for the murder of Amnon (Shmuel II 13:1-29).

c)[line 35]AVSHALOM- Avshalom rebelled against his father David and drove the king from Yerushalayim. The rebellion was subsequently quashed and Avshalom killed. David, who never lost his love for Avshalom, mourned the loss of his son bitterly. (Shmuel II 15-19)

43)[line 35]HASAM- there [regarding the sin of counting the nation]

44)[line 35]" ' , ...""VA'YITEN HASH-M DEVER B'YISRAEL..."- "And HaSh-m placed a plague upon Yisrael from the morning until the appointed time..." (Shmuel II 24:15).

45)[line 36]!LAI!- it is not so!

46)[line 37] SHISHAH CHODASHIM- six months [following the chapter of Bas Sheva]


(a)The Great Sanhedrin is the highest Halachic authority; as such, the most difficult cases are brought to this body. (Devarim 17;8). Seventy-one judges sitting in the Lishkas ha'Gazis make up the Sanhedrin ha'Gedolah.

(b)The name Sanhedrin is a contraction of "Sonei Hadras Panim b'Din" "those who hate favoritism in judgement" (BARTENURA to Sotah 9:11).

48)[line 37]NISTALKAH- departed

49a)[line 38]" , (), ""YASHUVU LI YERE'ECHA, V'YOD'EI EDOSECHA"- "May those who fear You and know Your testimonies return to me" (Tehilim 119:79). This verse refers to the Sanhedrin.

b)[line 38]" , ""HASHIVAH LI SESON YISH'ECHA; [V'RU'ACH NEDIVAH SISMECHENI]"- "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, [and with a generous spirit sustain me]" (Tehilim 51:14). This verse refers to the Shechinah, and it appears in the Psalm that begins, "When Nasan the Prophet came to him (David), after he had relations with Bas Sheva" (Tehilim 51:2).


(a)David ha'Melech was kind to the last remaining descendant of Sha'ul, Mefivoshes, and embraced him as a member of his household. When David was fleeing from the rebellion of his son, Avshalom, he was met by Tziva, the slave of the house of Shaul ha'Melech. Tziva claimed Mefivoshes was celebrating David's downfall. David promised that Tziva would receive the inheritance of Sha'ul. (Shmuel II 16:1-4).

(b)Upon David's return, the verse describes the meeting between David and Mefivoshes: "And Mefivoshes the son of Shaul came down to meet the king, and he had not put on shoes, trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes from the day the king had departed until the day he came back in peace" (Shmuel II 19:25). The two possibilities for his behavior were:

1.He was loyal to King David, and had been mourning the fact that the king was temporarily deposed; or

2.He was disloyal to King David, and did not bother to honor the king's return. Mefivoshes explained that his behavior stemmed from the former.

(c)David was unsure of whom to believe. He settled on a compromise, in which the inheritance was split between Mefivoshes and Tziva.

51)[line 41] RECHAV'AM V'YERAV'AM

(a)Rechav'am, the son of Shlomo ha'Melech, ignored the counsel of his father's ministers to win the people over by repealing the high tax and hard labor that Shlomo had instituted. Instead, he listened to the advice of his friends demonstrate his kingly power immediately. As a result, the people rebelled (Melachim I 12:1-17).

(b)All of the tribes other than Yehudah and Binyamin seceded from the kingdom and created another under the kingship of Yerav'am ben Nevat of the Shevet of Efrayim.

52)[line 41]" ""BEN SHANA SHA'UL B'MALCHO..."- "The process of crowning Sha'ul as king took one year..." (Shmuel I 13:1). Our Gemara interprets this as, "Sha'ul was as a one-year-old child when he became king."

53a)[line 42]TIT- dirt

b)[line 42]TZO'AH- excrement

54)[line 43] ACHVI'U LEI- it was shown to him

55)[line 43]SEYUTA- angels whose appearance was frightening

56)[line 43] NA'ANEISI LACHEM- I have humbled myself before you; I ask forgiveness of you

57)[line 45]DOFI- a blemish upon his lineage

58)[line 46] KUPA SHEL SHERATZIM- a box of bugs (the proverbial can of worms)

59)[line 47] TAZU'ACH DA'ATO- he becomes haughty

60)[line 47] CHAZOR L'ACHORECHA- look behind you

61)[line 48]" , , , ; . , ""U'VNEI BLIYA'AL AMRU... VA'YA'AL NACHASH HA'AMONI..." - "And the rebellious among them said, 'What deliverance will this one provide?' and they ridiculed him, and they did not offer presents; and he (Sha'ul) was as one who is silent. And Nachash the king of Amon encamped upon Yavesh Gil'ad..." (Shmuel I 10:27-11:1) (THE ROCKY BEGINNING TO THE KINGSHIP OF SHA'UL)

(a)Klal Yisrael requested of Shmuel ha'Navi that he crown a king over them. When Shmuel presented Sha'ul as the next first king of Yisrael, most of the nation rejoiced. However, there were those who responded brazenly against Shaul.

(b)The people of Yavesh Gil'ad asked Nachash to rule over them. He agreed, but only upon terrible and degrading conditions. Sha'ul spearheaded a war against him and saved them.

(c)After the war, members of Klal Yisrael offered to put to death those who rebelled against Sha'ul. He refused, citing the victory as reason enough for a pardon.

(d)Rav Yehudah says in the name of Rav that this lack of leadership demonstrated that Sha'ul was not fit for leadership.