The reference numbers below that appear in parentheses (e.g., TY #43) represent vessels or parts of the structure of the Beis ha'Mikdash. The labeling follows that of the diagram of the Tiferes Yisrael. This diagram, which has been included in a separate mailing and can also be found on our site (at, is printed both in the Tiferes Yisrael Mishnayos (Midos Chapter 2 or following Midos) and in Rav P. Kahati's Mishnayos (page 290, at the beginning of Midos).

[52a - 28 lines; 52b - 44 lines]

1)[line 1] L'MEI'AL B'HEDYA- to walk straight toward [the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, since he then can see into it during his approach]

2)[line 1] CHAVIVIN YISRAEL SHE'LO HITZRICHAN HA'KASUV L'SHALI'ACH- beloved are Yisrael, as the verse does not require them to act through an intermediary. This refers to the prayer of Shlomo ha'Melech that HaSh-m heed the plea of any individual who prays at the Beis ha'Mikdash (Melachim I 8:38). Since this is so, how honored must the representative of all of Klal Yisrael be! (RASHI; see Insights for a further discussion of this and other approaches to this idea).

3)[line 3] MESHACHAREI MANEI- his garments would become blackened [from the soot collected on the wall next to the Menorah]

4)[line 10]" , ...""V'LIFNEI HA'DEVIR..."- "And in front of the partition..." (Melachim I 6:20). This verse describes the measurements of the Kodesh ha'Kodashim.

5)[line 14]CHALALA- the open space

6)[line 15] CHASHIV LEI L'DIDEI- they are accounted for separately

7)[line 16]B'RUM- with a height of

8)[line 17]ULAM- (TY #56) the roofed hallway in front of the Sanctuary (Heichal); the largest and most ornate structure in the Beis ha'Mikdash, its roof is seventeen stories above the ground.

9)[line 17] ACHAS ESREI- is eleven Amos [wide, from east to west]

10)[line 20]HA'TA- (TY #63) the width of the thirty-eight storage compartments on the west side of the Heichal and Kodesh ha'Kodashim. There are fifteen to the north (three levels of five each), fifteen on the south side (three levels of five each), and eight on the west side (two levels of three each, and an additional two on the uppermost level). Each compartment opened to the compartments on either side of it, as well as to the one above it.

11)[line 22]" , ""U'DVIR B'SOCH HA'BAYIS MI'PENIMAH HECHIN, L'SITEN SHAM ES ARON BRIS HASH-M"- "And he prepared a partition in the Beis ha'Mikdash toward the inside, in order to place the Aron of the Covenant of HaSh-m there" (Melachim I 6:19). This translation follows the punctuation of the verse, and identifies the partition as part of the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. Yosef Ish Hutzal suggests a possible alternate reading: "And he [built] a partition in the Beis ha'Mikdash, as well as a[n inner chamber] in which to place the Aron of the Covenant of HaSh-m." The Dvir would then be part of the Heichal.

12)[last line] EIN LAHEN HECHRE'A- can be read in one of two ways


13a)[line 1]"[ ] [ , ...]""[HALO IM TEITIV] SE'ES [V'IM LO SETIV LA'PESACH CHATAS ROVETZ...]"- There are two ways to interpret what HaSh-m said to Kayin before he killed his brother Hevel: a) "Surely, if you improve yourself you will be forgiven; but if you do not, then your sin will be preserved [and held against you on the Day of Judgement];" or b) "Surely, if you improve yourself [you will be forgiven]; you will bear the burden of your sin if you do not. Your sin will be preserved [and held against you on the Day of Judgement]" (Bereishis 4:7).

b)[line 1]"[ ] [ ]""[U'VAMENORAH ARBA'AH GEVI'IM] MESHUKADIM [KAFTOREHA U'FRACHEHA]"- There are two ways to interpret this description of the Menorah: a) "[And the Menorah shall contain four] engraved [cups, its knobs and its flowers];" or b) "[And the Menorah shall contain four cups, its knobs and its flowers shall be] engraved" (Shemos 25:34).

c)[line 1]"[... ] [ ...]""... V'TZEI HILACHEM BA'AMALEK] MACHAR [ANOCHI NITZAV...]"- There are two ways to interpret what Moshe Rabeinu told Yehoshua prior to fighting Amalek: a) "[... go and wage war against Amalek] tomorrow; [I will stand (in Tefilah) ...];" or b) "[... go and wage war against Amalek (immediately)]; tomorrow [I will stand (in Tefilah) ...]" (Shemos 17:9).

d)[line 1]"[ ]. [ ...]""... U'VIRTZONAM IKERU SHOR.] ARUR [APAM KI AZ...]"- There are two ways to interpret this Berachah given to Shimon and Levi by their father Yaakov: a) "[....] Cursed [be their anger for it is bold...];" or b) "[... and they willingly uprooted the] cursed [ox (of Shechem). Their anger is bold..." (Bereishis 49:6-7).

e)[line 1]"[... ] [ ...]""... HINCHA SHOCHEV IM AVOSECHA] V'KAM [HA'AM HA'ZEH V'ZANAH...]"- There are two ways to interpret what HaSh-m told Moshe Rabeinu before his death: a) "[... you are to lie with your fathers, and this nation will] arise [and turn toward the strange gods of the land...]"; or b) "[... you are to lie with your fathers and (then)] arise (at the time of the Resurrection of the dead); [and this nation will turn toward the strange gods of the land...]" (Devarim 31:16).

14)[line 1]V'HATANYA...- This is the end of the Gemara's question. Since Yosef Ish Hutzal and Isi ben Yehudah are the same person, why did not include the verse in Melachim concerning the Dvir in his list of Pesukim that can be understood in one of two ways?

15)[line 7]" , ; ' ""VA'YISHLACH..."- Rav Chisda contends that there are two ways to interpret this verse: a) "And he (Moshe) sent the young lads of Bnei Yisrael and they offered [sheep as] Olos; and they sacrificed bulls as Korbenos Shelamim"; or b) "And he (Moshe) sent the young lads of Bnei Yisrael and they offered bulls [both] as Olos and Korbenos Shelamim" (Shemos 24:5).

16)[line 11]HA'CHITZONA- the outer [curtain]

17)[line 11]PERUFAH- folded back [and held open with a clasp]

18)[line 14] IM HA'PAROCHES- along the Paroches

19)[line 14]ARON- (TY #75) the holy Ark, which held the tablets of the Ten Commandments received by Moshe Rabeinu on Har Sinai as well as the original Sefer Torah written by Moshe Rabeinu, among other artifacts (see below)

20)[line 15]BADIM- the poles held to the sides of the Aron with rings, by which the Aron was carried

21)[line 16]TZAVAR- heaped

22)[line 17] U'VA LO B'DERECH (BEIS) KENISASO- and he exited the same way in which he entered, i.e., facing the Aron. This was accomplished by walking backwards.

23)[line 18] BEIS HA'CHITZON- the Heichal

24)[line 19]L'HAV'IS- to frighten

25)[line 22] MISHE'NIGNAZ HA'ARON- from when the Aron was hidden away; see below, entry #33

26)[line 23] TZINTZENES HA'MAN- the flask of Manna [which Aharon put away in the Aron in order to show it to future generations (Shemos 16:33)]

27a)[line 23]TZELOCHIS- the flask


(a)Moshe Rabeinu prepared special oil with which to anoint the Mishkan and its vessels, as well as all future Kohanim Gedolim and kings of the House of David (Bamidbar 30:22-33). It contained the following ingredients:

1.500 Maneh (approximately 212 kilograms) of MOR DEROR, either a) distilled myrrh, a resin produced by trees and shrubs which grow in Arabia and Africa. It has a lasting, bitter, aromatic taste; or b) according to Rabeinu Sa'adya Ga'on and the Rambam, this refers to musk, an liquid obtained from the musk deer which lives in Nepal and Tibet.

2.250 Maneh (approximately 106 kilograms) of KINEMAN BESEM, either a) the fragrant dried bark of the cinnamon tree, cultivated mainly in Ceylon; or 2. aloeswood (or lignum aloes), which grows in the East Indies and tropical Southeast Asia. (There are indications that it used to grow in the Holy Land.) This is the opinion of our Gemara. The Talmud Bavli (Kerisus 5a), however, interprets the verse (Shemos 30:23) to mean that two portions of 250 Maneh of Kineman Besem were added to the Shemen ha'Mishchah.

3.250 Maneh (approximately 106 kilograms) of KENEH VOSEM - fragrant cane. a) Some identify this with the sweet calamus. This is the sweetflag or flagroot, a species of which apparently grew in the Chula valley in the Holy Land; b) Some identify it with the Indian plant Cympopagan martini, which looks like red straw.

4.500 Maneh (approximately 212 kilograms) of KIDAH, either a) cassia, the bark of a tree that grows in China; or b) costus (Kosht), the root of a herb that grows in Kashmir.

(b)The total weight of these dry ingredients is 1500 Maneh (approximately 636 kilograms or 1400 pounds). According to the Talmud Bavli, the total weight was 1750 Maneh (approximately 743 kilograms or 1635 pounds). These ingredients were mixed with one Hin (12 Log, approximately 3.6, 4.14 or 7.2 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) of olive oil.

28)[line 23] MAKLO SHEL AHARON

(a)Following the downfall of Korach and the dissolution of his rebellion, HaSh-m commanded Moshe to place Aharon's staff, along with the staffs of the princes of the other tribes, in the ground before the Aron. HaSh-m intended to clearly demonstrate his choice of Aharon of Shevet Levi as High Priest. The staff of Aharon - and only his staff - flowered and bore almonds. This staff was retained as a reminder to future generations, in case one should think to complain about or vie for the priesthood (Bamidbar 17:16-26).

29)[line 24]SHKEIDEHA- its almonds

30)[line 24]PERACHEHA- its flowers


(a)At the end of the era of the Shofet Eli ha'Kohen, the Pelishtim waged war against Bnei Yisrael. The Aron ha'Kodesh was taken to the battlefield in order to sway the outcome of the war. However, due to the sins of the nation, the war effort was unsuccessful, and the Pelishtim captured the Aron ha'Kodesh (Shmuel I 4:1-11; see Background to 15:99).

(b)HaSh-m afflicted the Pelishtim with unusual diseases during the seven months in which they held the Aron. As a result, they decided to return the Aron, along with special gifts to the G-d of Yisrael. One of these gifts was a Argaz (box), which became a permanent addition to the Aron ha'Kodesh (Shmuel I 6:8). According to Rebbi Yehudah, the Sefer Torah of Moshe Rabeinu was placed in this Argaz (see 16b, and Bava Basra 14).

32)[line 25]" , , ""... (U'CHLEI) [V'ES KLEI] HA'ZAHAV... V'HALACH"- "... and the golden vessels that you are sending as an Asham (guilt-offering) place in the box to its side, and send it on its way" (Shmuel I 6:8).

33)[line 28]YOSHIYAHU- see below, entry #33

34)[line 29]" ' , , ; , ""YOLEICH HASH-M OSECHA..."- "HaSh-m will lead you together with the king whom you shall raise over yourselves to a nation that you did not know, neither you nor your fathers..." (Devarim 28:36). This Pasuk is part of the Tochachah (rebuke).

35)[line 30]" () ', , ; ' -, ""VA'YOMER LA'LEVIYIM..." - "And he said to the Leviyim (the Kohanim) who taught Torah to Yisrael... Place the Aron ha'Kodesh in the house that Shlomo son of David ... built, for you no longer need to carry it on your shoulders. Now go and serve HaSh-m your G-d and His people" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 35:3) (THE KORBAN PESACH OF YOSHIYAHU / YOSHIYAHU HIDES THE ARON HA'KODESH)

(a)Amon, king of Yehudah, continued in the idol-worshipping ways of his father Menasheh, and hid all Sifrei Torah that he could find. When his eight-year old Yoshiyahu inherited the throne, Torah was all but forgotten from Yisrael.

(b)Eight years later, when Yoshiyahu was a mere sixteen, he began to follow the path trodden by his great predecessor David. Four years after that, at the age of twenty, he cleared Yehudah and Yerushalayim of idolatry, and took the initiative of cleansing and preparing the Beis ha'Mikdash for the Avodah.

(c)After a Sefer Torah written by Moshe Rabeinu was found in the Beis ha'Mikdash, Yoshiyahu increased his efforts to serve HaSh-m with all of his heart. He then arranged for the whole of Yisrael to offer a Korban Pesach, entirely according to the Halachic requirements. He personally donated tens of thousands of animals for the occasion; lambs and goats for the Pesach offering, and bulls for the Korban Chagigah.

(d)Yoshiyah offered words of encouragement to the Leviyim and Kohanim, who were about to bring a Korban Pesach "the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Shmuel ha'Navi" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 35:18 [see Rashi there]).

(e)Our Gemara cites this Pasuk as a source that Yoshiyahu took the Aron ha'Kodesh from its position in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim and hid it, in order to prevent it from being taken into exile. The Gemara interprets his statement to the Kohanim of "you no longer need to carry it on your shoulders" as a result of that which Yoshiyahu took it to hide. Alternatively, the placement Yoshiyahu referred to was the hiding of the Aron. This is apparent from that which he commanded the Leviyim to place it in the Beis ha'Mikdash, even though it was already there (RASHI).

36a)[line 35] "" ""ASYA "SHAMAH" "SHAMAH"- [that which the Tzintzenes ha'Man was hidden away with the Aron] is learned through a Gezeirah Shavah of "Shamah" "Shamah" [from the Aron]

b)[line 35] "" ""ASYA "DOROS" "DOROS"- [that which the Tzelochis Shemen ha'Mishchah was hidden away with the Aron] is learned through a Gezeirah Shavah of "Doros" "Doros" [from the Tzintzenes ha'Man]

c)[line 35] "" ""ASYA "MISHMERES" "MISHMERES"- [that which the staff of Aharon was hidden away with the Aron] is learned through a Gezeirah Shavah of "Mishmeres" "Mishmeres" [from the Tzintzenes ha'Man]

37)[line 40] K'MAN D'AMAR TZOVRAH- according to the opinion that maintains that [the Ketores] was heaped high [upon the coals] (see 49b)

38)[line 40] TZOVRAH PENIMAH SHE'HI CHUTZAH LO- a) [the Kohen Gadol begins to] heap [the Ketores] on the side closest to the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, which is farthest from him (RASHI); b) [the Kohen Gadol begins to] heap [the Ketores] on the side farthest from the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, which is closest from him (RAMBAM)

b)[line 41] TZOVRAH CHUTZAH SHE'HI PENIMAH LO- [the Kohen Gadol begins to] heap [the Ketores] on the side farthest from the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, which is closest from him (RASHI); b) [the Kohen Gadol begins to] heap [the Ketores] on the side closest to the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, which is farthest from him (RAMBAM)

39a)[last line]HIZAHER SHE'LO TASCHIL MI'PANECHA- be careful not to begin from in front of you