ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Menachos 97
MENACHOS 96-99 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs.
Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the fourth Yahrzeit of her father, Reb
Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner), who passed away 18 Teves 5760. May the
merit of supporting and advancing Talmud study during the week of his
Yahrzeit serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah.
(a) Resh Lakish asked Rebbi Yochanan two She'eilos regarding the Mishnah in
Keilim ('ha'Shulchan ve'ha'Dulbeki'): Whether the overlaying needs to be of
a permanent nature or not - and whether the rim needs to be overlaid too, or
(b) To which Rebbi Yochanan replied - that the Mishnah speaks even if the
nature of the overlaying is temporary, and even if the rim is not overlaid.
(c) So the Kashya remains why the Shulchan was not Tamei under all
circumstances. We attempt to answer the Kashya - by focusing on the fact
that it was made out of acacia wood, which is precious (and therefore does
not become nullified by the gold with which it is overlaid, as other
(d) Resh Lakish does indeed draw such a distinction - when he restricts the
Mishnah in Keilim to 'K'lei Achsalgus' (a cheaper kind of wood), but
precludes 'K'lei Masmes' (one that is more expensive).
(a) In spite of Resh Lakish however, we cannot accept this answer - because
Rebbi Yochanan disagrees, establishing the Mishnah even by 'K'lei Masmes'.
(b) Ultimately, we answer the Kashya, based on the Pasuk "ha'Mizbe'ach Eitz,
Shalosh Amos Gavohah ... " - which, as we see from the conclusion ("Vayomer
Eilai, Zeh ha'Shulchan Asher Lifnei Hashem") is referring (not to the
Mizbe'ach, but) to the Shulchan. From there we see that the 'Torah' refers
to the Mizbe'ach as being made of wood (in which case the gold does not
(c) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar learn from the fact that the Pasuk
begins with Mizbe'ach and ends with Shulchan - that nowadays, when there is
no Mizbe'ach, one's table atones for one's sins in its place.
(d) This means that having guests at table atones for our sins (as Tosfos
explains) just as the Shulchan did.
(a) The Pasuk in Terumah lists the accessories of the Shulchan. Rav Ketina
1. ... "Ke'arosav" as - the baking-molds.
(b) "Kesosav" he translates as the S'nifin, and "Menakiyosav" as - the
2. ... "Kaposav" as - the Bazichin.
(c) "Asher Yisach Bahein" means - that they (the Kanim) covered the loaves.
(a) Rava, quoting our Mishnah ('Lo Netilasan ... Dochos es ha'Shabbos'),
queries Rav Ketina's translation of "Menakiyosav". He asks - that if, as the
latter explains, the Kanim were actually Torah-ordained, then how could they
be dispensed with on Shabbos?
(b) He retracts however, based on Rebbi's principle (also cited there) -
that whatever can be performed before Shabbos (i.e. can be dispensed with on
Shabbos) does not override Shabbos, in which case, the Kanim could
comfortably be dispensed with, because the short time that the loaves were
without them was not sufficient for them to become moldy.
(c) In fact, the Lechem ha'Panim remained without the Kanim - for
approximately half a day (because it was in the early afternoon that last
week's loaves were removed, and that this week's replaced them.
(d) The Beraisa (quoted by Rava) describes how, on Motza'ei Shabbos - the
Kohanim would lift up one loaf at a time, and put the Kanim in place.
(a) According to the Tana, each of the four middle loaves were 'covered' by
three Kanim, whereas the fifth one required only two - because the weight on
it was minimal (though it is unclear why, according to Rashi, there was any
weight at all, seeing as the Kanim themselves rested on the grooves in the
(b) The Beraisa states that ...
1. ... the top Chalah - required no Kanim at all (though this is so obvious
that the Beraisa only intimates it by omission).
2. ... the bottom Chalah - required no Kanim either, because it rested on
the Shulchan, which was cold (see also Shitah Mekubetzes 7).
(a) In a Mishnah in Keilim, Rebbi Meir states that all the measurements
(except for ... ) in the Beis-Hamikdash were 'Benoniyos' - by which he means
a six-Tefachim Amah (as will be explained later).
(b) The only Keili that was measured by an Amah of five Tefachim was - the
(c) The three accessories of the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah that fell into the same
category were - the Keranos, the Sovev and the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach
ha'Olah, all of which measured one Amah. Indeed, the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav too,
was one Amah square.
(d) According to Rebbi Yehudah, the measurements of the Keilim were made in
Amos of five Tefachim (as we have already learned). However, he concedes to
Rebbi Meir - that the measurements of the Binyan were made in Amos of six
(e) ... incorporating the walls of the Beis-Hamikdash as well as those of
the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan explains that both Tana'im derive their opinions from the
same Pasuk in Yechezkel. When the Pasuk writes "ve'Eileh Midos ha'Mizbe'ach
be'Amos Amah, Amah va'Tefach" it means - that the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah was
measured in Amos, each of which consisted of an Amah which, plus a Tefach,
made up an Amah Beinonis of six Tefachim (in other words, Amos of five
(b) "ve'Zeh Gav ha'Mizbe'ach", with which the Pasuk concludes, is speaking
about the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav.
1. "ve'Cheik ha'Amah" refers - to the Yesod of the Mizbe'ach ha'Olah ...
(c) The last statement means - that from the center of the Keren it measured
a Zeres (half an Amah) in all four directions.
2. ... "ve'Amah Rochav" - to the Sovev ...
3. ... and "u'Gevulah el Sefasah Saviv Zeres ha'Echad" - to the Keranos.
(d) Rebbi Meir extrapolates from "*ve'Zeh* Cheik ha'Amah ... " 'Zehu be'Amah
bas Chamishah, Ha Kol Amos ha'Keilim be'Amah bas Shishah'. Rebbi Yehudah
Darshens - 'ka'Zeh Yih'yu Kol Amos ha'Keilim'.
(a) Initially, we try to amalgamate the first two Pesukim "ve'Cheik ha'Amah
... ve'Amah Rochav". The Pasuk would then mean - that the Amos of the
lower half of the Mizbe'ach from the Yesod to the Sovev consisted of
(b) There were ...
1. ... six Amos from the ground until the Sovev.
(c) Bearing in mind the fact that we currently understand the lower 'half'
of the Mizbe'ach to have comprised Amos of five Tefachim, and the upper
'half', Amos of six - the Mizbe'ach's total height would have been
fifty-four Tefachim (thirty, the lower half, and twenty-four, the upper
2. ... four Amos from the Sovev until the top of the Keranos.
(d) Which means - that the Sovev (thirty Tefachim from the floor) would have
been three Tefachim higher than the Chut ha'Sikra, which marked the half-way
mark (at twenty-seven Tefachim).
(a) The Beraisa describes the Avodah of the Olas ha'Of which the Kohen
performed - whilst standing on the Sovev.
(b) After the Melikah - he performed the Mitzuy (the Shechting of the two
pipes causing the blood to squirt on to the wall of the Mizbe'ach).
(c) The lowest point on the wall of the Mizbe'ach at which the Tana permits
the Mitzuy to be performed is - one Amah below his feet.
(d) The problem with this is - that one Amah below his feet will be at least
two Tefachim below the Chut ha'Sikra (when in fact, the Mitzuy of the Olas
ha'Of must be performed on the upper half of the Mizbe'ach).
(a) This forces us to retract from our previous explanation. Consequently,
we explain "ve'Cheik ha'Amah" and "ve'Amah Rochav" independently (i.e. just
the Yesod and the Sovev were measured in Amos comprising five Tefachim); the
walls of the Mizbe'ach in between the two, comprised Amos of six Tefachim.
(b) In fact, the Mizbe'ach measured sixty Tefachim (thirty-six plus
twenty-four), and at the Chut ha'Sikra, thirty.
(c) And the real distance from the Sovev to the Chut ha'Sikra was - six
(a) According to what we just learned, the five-Tefachim Amah of the Yesod,
the Sovev and the Keranos - refer, not to the height of the Mizbe'ach, but
to the length and the breadth.
(b) The Mishnah in Midos describes the shape of the Mizbe'ach. It measured
thirty-two Amos square at its base, above ...
1. ... the Yesod - thirty, and above ...
(c) The problem, according to the current explanation, that the Amah ...
2. ... the Sovev - twenty-eight.
1. ... Yesod consisted of five Tefachim is - that the Tana should then have
given the measurement of the Mizbe'ach at that point as thirty and
two-fifths square (and not just thirty).
2. ... Sovev did too - is that similarly, the Tana should have given the
measurement from above the Sovev, not as twenty-eight Amos square, but
twenty-eight and four fifths.
(d) We attempt to ascribe to apparent error to the fact that the Tana is not
concerned with fractions of an Amah. Consequently - since in both cases, the
excess is less than an Amah, he doesn't bother to mention it.
(a) According to the continuation of the Mishnah however, which gives the
1. ... distance between two adjacent Keranos as twenty-six Amos, the problem
remains - that the Tana ought to have given the figure as twenty-seven, and
(b) The width of the Makom Hiluch ha'Kohanim - was one Amah consisting of
2. ... the measurement of the Makom ha'Ma'arachah (from the inner edge of
the Hiluch ha'Kohanim) as twenty-four square Amos, should have been given as
(c) We try to answer the first Kashya - with 'Lo Dak' (the Tana does not
bother to give an accurate measurement).
(a) We reject the same answer with regard to the second Kashya however, from
a Pasuk in Yechezkel. Had the Navi written "ve'ha'Ariel Sh'teim-Esrei
Orech ... Ravu'a" - the measurement of the Ariel (another name for the
Mizbe'ach) would have been twelve Amos by twelve Amos.
(b) Now that he adds the words "al Arba'as Reva'av" - they are twenty-four
Amos by twenty-four Amos (twelve Amos in all four directions from the
(c) We can ...
1. ... no longer answer 'Lo Dak' - because it is not feasible to say that
about a Pasuk.
2. ... not answer that when the Pasuk gives the dimensions of the Mizbe'ach
as thirty-two by thirty-two Amos, it is combining Amos of six Tefachim and
five Tefachim - because then the Mishnah in Midos (that we are about to
discuss) should have added an extra Amah on to the Azarah (in order to make
up for the missing Amah of the Mizbe'ach), seeing as in terms of six
Tefachim Amos, the Mizbe'ach really measured thirty-one Amos squared.
(a) The Azarah was a hundred and thirty-five Amos wide (from north to
south), and, beginning from the Ezras Yisrael) - a hundred and eighty seven
Amos long (from east to west).
(b) The length of Ezras Yisrael was eleven Amos - and so was the Ezras
(c) The Mizbe'ach was thirty-two Amos, and 'Achorei Beis-ha'Kapores' eleven.
1. ... 'Bein ha'Ulam ve'la'Mizbe'ach' was - twenty-two Amos, whist ...
(d) We therefore conclude that "Cheik ha'Amah" refers to the height of the
Yesod. The width of the Yesod consisted of six Tefachim.
2. ... the Heichal was - one hundred Amos long.
(a) The Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Amah Rochav" pertains - to the width of the Sovev?
(b) We know that the distinction between that we just drew between the Yesod
and the Sovev is correct - because of the Pasuk's switch in Lashon from
"Cheik ha'Amah" to "ve'Amah Rochav" (which serve as the source for the two
2. ... "u'Gevulah el Sefasah Saviv" - could pertain to either the width or
(c) We now answer the Kashya why the Tana gives the measurements between
two adjacent Keranos as twenty-six Amos, and not more - because at most, it
would measure twenty-six and four fifths Amos (in any event, less than
(d) Now that all the Amos except for those of the Yesod and the Keren
consisted of six Tefachim, the height of ...
1. ... the Mizbe'ach was - fifty-eight Tefachim, and of ...
(e) Six Tefachim - now divided the Sovev from the Chut ha'Sikra
2. ... the Sovev - thirty-five.