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דף כו,א משנה
down the stairway that passed beneath the Birah And lamps illuminated it from here and from here i.e., on both sides of the passage until he arrived at the House of Immersion i.e., the mikveh And a bonfire was there, and a "house of the chair" i.e., an outhouse of "honor" This was its "honor": If he found it locked, he knew there was a person there if it was open, he would know there was no person there. He descended and immersed He ascended and dried off and warmed up opposite the bonfire He arrived and sat himself down beside his brother priests until it was that the gates would be opened; then he would exit and walk. Whoever wanted to remove the ashes of the altar would arise early and immerse, as long as the supervisor had not yet arrived. And at what hour did the supervisor arrive? Not on all occasions did he arrive at the equivalent time. For he came at the calling of the rooster, Or near that time just before it or after it. The supervisor came and knocked on them the gates and they would open the gates for him. He said to them: Whoever has immersed, come ye and draw lots. They drew lots; whoever was determined by Heaven to be worthy of the honor, the honor was his.
דף כו,א גמרא
From where in Tanach do we know this? Abayye said: Scripture states: (in Numbers 3) "And those that were to pitch tents before the Tabernacle (Mishkan) to the east before the Tent of Meeting towards the sunrising were Moses and Aharon and his Aharon's sons; they were standing watch; watching the sanctuary to guard it on behalf of the Children of Israel...." We say: Yes! "Standing watch" in reality it requires kohanim and leviim That is "Standing watch." But in our mishna, it is taught: "In three places the kohanim stand watch in the Beit ha-Mikdash" And the Leviim in twenty-and-one places And whereas we read in scripture both Kohanim and Leviim i.e., Moses is listed with Aharon and his sons "In this place and that place" is what is written. We say: here is what it says: "And those that were to pitch tents before the Tabernacle (Mishkan) to the east before the Tent of Meeting towards the sunrising: Moses..." and then, separately, i.e., in addition to Moses pitching the tent, we had "... Aharon and his sons were standing watch; watching the sanctuary." Aharon in one place and his sons in two places From where can you derive this? From the fact that it is written first "And those that were to pitch tents" and then it is written "they stood watch" from which we deduce the tent-pitchers were by themselves and the watchers were each by themselves. Perhaps I could say All of them the watchers were in a single place, together. Don't let it enter your mind! Just as Moshe was in one place, by himself, So too, Aharon and his sons were each in one place, individually. Rav Ashi said: From the end of what is in scripture: (in Numbers 3) "they were standing watch; watching it ... to watch it" By Rav Ashi's interpretation, the repetition of mishmeret indicates that there were multiple instances of a watcher watching, each on his own.
דף כו,ב גמרא
The House of Avtinas, and the House of the Spark --- it was asked about them: Were the "upstairs" areas actually that way, or, perhaps, they were as high as the height of "upstairs" but without an actual "downstairs"? Come and hear: For it was taught in a baraita that in the north was the Gate of the Spark; it was built like an /aksandra/ a kind of open-sided porch and an upper level was built on its height where the kohanim stood watch from above and the leviim from below and it had a door to the non-sacred area From where do we derive this? For the Rabbis taught (in Numbers 18) "... that the leviim join with you and assist in your service." is what the scripture says. You say "in your i.e., Aaron's service" meaning standing watch is what the scripture says. Or perhaps, rather, in *their* service is what it means: i.e., the service that the other kohanim performed with the sacred vessels. For as it says: (in Numbers 18) "And they shall be joined with you and they will stand watch for all the vessels and for all your service..." "your" in this case being singular Behold! it says "in *their* service"! So how am I to resolve that "... that the leviim join with you and assist in your service." is what the scripture says. How so? The kohanim watching from above and the leviim from beneath. Our Mishna continued: The House of Fire had a vaulted root and it was a large chamber. But only a single watch was there in the House of Fire! We challenge that from the following baraita Two gates were there in the House of Fire: One was open to the /chel/ and one was open to the courtyard R' Yehudah said: In this one, that they user to enter the courtyard, there was a small inner gate in it that they used to enter to inspect the courtyard. The implication is that, if there were two gates, there were two watches. Abayye said: because the gates were adjacent it was enough to have a single watchman he would glance to here and he would glance to here. i.e., he'd glance from one gate to the other, and watch both. Our mishna taught that it was surrounded by projections of stone. These projections: what were they? They were the hewn "fingers" ??? that one could climb on them to the next higher "fingers" ??? And who was it who was cleaving stones? For it is written (in I Kings 6) "And the House, in its construction, used completed stone" Abayye said: For they were brought, already properly sized: stones that were small and stones that were large, as it is written (in I Kings 7) "Stones of ten cubits and stones of eight cubits" Our mishna said: "The elders of the House of the Father slept there." And why not on beds? Abayye said: It would not arrange respect to carry beds into the Beit ha-Mikdash Our mishna continues: The "flowers of the priesthood" i.e., the newest priests Each man with his pillow on the ground. Why is it: There, they are called "young ones" Here, they are called continued
Copyright © 2012 Andrew Marc Greene. All rights reserved.