סקר
כמה לומדי דף יומי יש במשפחתך הקרובה?






 

Steinsaltz

The Gemara asks: How is that possible? It is a wooden vessel designated to rest in a fixed place and not to be moved. And it was taught: Any wooden vessel designated to rest in a fixed place is not susceptible to ritual impurity, and it serves as a barrier before impurity, preventing its transmission. Rather, the fact that the table is described as pure teaches that the priests lift it in order to display the shewbread to the Festival pilgrims, and they say to them: See how beloved you are before the Omnipresent, as the bread is as hot at its removal on Shabbat, after a week on the table, as it was at its arrangement, as it is stated: “To put out hot bread on the day it was taken away” (I Samuel 21:7). Since the table was moved on occasion, it was not considered a wooden vessel designated to rest and was therefore susceptible to impurity. At the same time, it is clear that the miracle of the shewbread was a miracle performed outside the Sanctuary, as it was visible to all.

The Gemara asks: And are there no more miracles performed in the Temple? But didn’t Rav Oshaya say: When Solomon built the Temple he planted all sorts of precious golden fruits there, and these brought forth their fruit in their appointed season like other trees, and when the wind blew them the fruit would fall, as it is stated: “May his fruits rustle like Lebanon” (Psalms 72:16). This indicates that fruits grew in Lebanon, which the Sages interpreted as a reference to the Temple, which was built with cedar trees from Lebanon. And when the gentiles entered the Sanctuary the golden tree withered, as it stated: “And the blossoms of Lebanon wither” (Nahum 1:4). And the Holy One, Blessed be He, will restore the miraculous trees to Israel in the future, as it is stated: “It shall blossom abundantly, it shall also rejoice and shout, the glory of Lebanon will be given to it” (Isaiah 35:2). Apparently, there were additional miracles in the Temple.

The Gemara responds: The tanna does not count perpetual miracles on the list. The Gemara comments: Now that you have arrived at this solution, it can resolve an earlier difficulty as well: The Ark and the cherubs are also not counted, since they too were perpetual miracles.

§ The Master said in listing the miracles that even strong winds were unable to displace the smoke of the arrangement of wood. The Gemara asks: And did smoke rise from the arrangement of wood on the altar? But wasn’t it taught in a baraita: There were five matters stated with regard to the fire of the arrangement of wood: It crouched above the wood like a lion; and it was as clear as the light of the sun; and it had substance to the extent that it could be felt; it was powerful enough to consume wet wood like dry wood; and it did not raise smoke.

The Gemara answers: When we said that the smoke was not displaced, indicating that the wood produced smoke, that was in reference to the fire brought by a person, as it was taught in a baraita: “And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar” (Leviticus 1:7), indicating that even though fire descends from the heavens, still there is a special mitzva to bring fire by a person. The fire that the priests brought produced smoke, and the miracle related to that smoke.

The Gemara asks: And was the altar’s fire crouched like a lion? But wasn’t it taught in a baraita: Rabbi Ḥanina, the deputy High Priest, said: I saw the fire in the Temple and it was crouched like a dog and not a lion? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. Here, where the baraita stated that the fire resembled a lion, it refers to the fire in the First Temple; there, where Rabbi Ḥanina, the deputy High Priest, said that the fire resembled a dog, it refers to the fire in the Second Temple.

The Gemara asks: And was there fire that descended from the heavens in the Second Temple? Didn’t Rav Shmuel bar Inya say: What is the meaning of that which is written with regard to the Second Temple: “Go up to the hills and get wood and build the house; and I will look on it favorably and I will be glorified [ve’ekkaved], said the Lord” (Haggai 1:8)? Even though it is written ve’ekkaved, we read it ve’ikkavda, with an added letter heh. The Gemara explains: What is different that the word is missing the letter heh? This represents five, the numerological value of heh, phenomena that constituted the difference between the First Temple and the Second Temple, in that they were not in the Second Temple. And these are: The Ark of the Covenant, and the Ark cover upon it, and the cherubs that were on the Ark cover; fire; and the Divine Presence; and the Divine Spirit; and the Urim VeTummim. Apparently, there was no fire from heaven in the Second Temple. The Sages say in response: Yes, there was fire from heaven in the Second Temple; however, it did not assist in burning the offerings but was merely visible above the wood.

Apropos the fire on the altar, the Gemara cites a related baraita. The Sages taught that there are six kinds of fire: There is fire that consumes solids and does not consume liquids; and there is fire that consumes liquids and does not consume solids; and there is fire that consumes solids and consumes liquids; and there is fire that consumes wet objects like dry objects; and there is fire that repels other fire; and there is fire that consumes other fire.

The Gemara elaborates: There is fire that consumes solids and does not consume liquids; that is our standard fire that consumes dry items but does not dry liquids.
Fire that consumes liquids and does not consume solids is the fever of the sick that dehydrates the body but does not consume the flesh.
Fire that consumes solids and consumes liquids is the fire of Elijah the Prophet, as it is written: “And fire fell from the sky and consumed the offering and the wood and the stones and the earth, and it licked up the water that was in the trench” (I Kings 18:38).
Fire that consumes wet objects like dry objects is the fire of the arrangement of wood.
There is fire that repels other fire; that is the fire of the angel Gabriel. The book of Daniel relates that Gabriel was an angel of fire who descended to the fiery furnace, repelled the fire, and rescued Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who had been cast inside.
And there is fire that consumes other fire; that is the fire of the Divine Presence, as the Master said in another context: The Holy One, Blessed be He, extended His finger between the angels, who are also made of fire, and burned them. The fire of the Divine Presence consumed the fire of the angels.

§ The Gemara asks: And with regard to the smoke of the arrangement, is it so that even if all the winds in the world come and blow it, they do not move it from its place and it rises directly heavenward? Didn’t Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Avdimi say: At the conclusion of the final day of the festival of Sukkot, everyone looks to the smoke of the arrangement of wood; if the wind blew from the south and the smoke tends toward the north, the poor were glad and the homeowners were sad. This is because it was a sign that the year’s rains would be plentiful, producing an abundant crop on the one hand, but on the other hand, the fruit would rot due to the humidity, rendering it impossible to store the abundant harvest. This forced the landowners to sell quickly at a lower price. And if a northern wind caused the smoke to tend toward the south, the poor were sad and the homeowners were glad, because it was an indication that the year’s rains would be sparse. The yield would be low, and it would be easy to store the fruit and sell it at a higher price.

If a western wind caused the smoke to tend to the east, that was an indication that there would be sufficient rainfall to ensure a substantial crop, and at the same time, it would be possible to store the fruit, and everyone was glad. If an eastern wind caused the smoke to tend to the west that was an indication that there would be a drought because eastern winds do not bring rain, and everyone was sad. Apparently, wind causes the smoke rising from the arrangement of wood to move. The Gemara responds: The smoke comes and goes like a palm tree, swaying in the wind, but it did not disperse.

The Master said: If a western wind caused the pillar of smoke to tend to the east everyone is glad; if an eastern wind caused the smoke to tend to the west everyone was sad. And the Gemara raised a contradiction, as the Sages said: An eastern wind is always good; a western wind is always bad; a northern wind is good for wheat when it has reached one-third of its potential growth, and bad for olives when they are ripening; a southern wind is bad for wheat when it has reached one-third of its potential growth, and good for olives when they are ripening.

And Rav Yosef said, and some say it was Mar Zutra who said it: And your mnemonic for which is good for wheat and which for olives is that in the Temple the table was in the north and the candelabrum was in the south of the Sanctuary. Bread made out of wheat was placed on the table, and oil made out of olives was burned in the candelabrum. The wind coming from this side, the north, increased its own component, wheat; and the wind coming from this side, the south, increased its own component, olives. In any event, there are contradictory opinions with regard to the effect of western and eastern winds.

The Gemara responds: This is not difficult: This opinion that a wind from the east is good is for us, in Babylonia. Babylonia is a land whose water is plentiful, and a dry east wind will not harm the crop at all. This opinion that a wind from the east is harmful is for them, in Eretz Yisrael. That is a land where water is sparse, and the dry east wind will dry the land and ruin the crops.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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