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Yoma 51

YOMA 51 - Dedicated by Dovid and Zahava Rubner of Petach Tikva. May Hashem grant them and their children joy, fulfillment, and all that they need!


QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which Rebbi Yehudah, Rebbi Meir, and Rebbi Yosi (the "Yesh Omrim") argue concerning the path taken by the Kohen Gadol as he walked from the entrance of the Heichal to the entrance of the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim. Rebbi Yehudah says that he walked between the Mizbe'ach ha'Pnimi and the Menorah (at a south-westerly angle). Rebbi Meir says that he walked between the Mizbe'ach and the Shulchan (at a north- westerly angle), and Rebbi Yosi says that he walked along the northern wall, between the wall and the Shulchan. The Gemara explains that Rebbi Meir agrees with Rebbi Yosi that the entrance to the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim was on the north side of the Heichal, but he maintains that it was not possible to walk along the northern side between the wall and the Shulchan because the Shulchanos of Shlomo ha'Melech blocked the way.

RASHI (DH Shulchanos) quotes the verse in Divrei ha'Yamim II (4:8) which relates that Shlomo ha'Melech made ten additional Shulchanos to be placed in the Heichal, five to each side of the original Shulchan. Similarly, the verse (ibid. 4:7) relates that Shlomo ha'Melech made ten additional Menoros which were placed to the sides of the original Menorah.

If one Shulchan and one Menorah sufficed for the Mishkan of Moshe Rabeinu, why did Shlomo ha'Melech make ten Shulchanos and ten Menoros?


(a) As cited by the Ezras Kohanim (Midos 4:7), the YALKUT CHADASH (Erech Beis ha'Mikdash and Erech David 138, based on MIDRASH TADSHEH ch. 2) writes that the Mishkan in the times of Moshe Rabeinu had one Menorah with seven candles, because Moshe Rabeinu led the nation to Eretz Yisrael where they conquered seven nations, bringing the light of the Torah (symbolized by the Menorah) to the land of the seven nations. Shlomo ha'Melech, on the other hand, conquered all seventy nations (Megilah 11a). Therefore, he added an additional ten Menoros, with seventy candles, to show that he had brought the light of Torah to all seventy nations.

We know that the Shulchan -- which held the Lechem ha'Panim -- represented sustenance, Parnasah. Since Moshe Rabeinu led the people through the Midbar where very little agricultural activity was conducted, one Shulchan sufficed to bring the blessing of Parnasah. Shlomo ha'Melech, though, ruled over the people in Eretz Yisrael, the fertile land which had potential for much agricultural productivity, and therefore additional blessing was necessary for the land to provide its produce. (Perhaps specifically ten Shulchanos were added to represent the portions of the ten Shevatim that received land to cultivate, excluding Levi and Shimon who received only cities and not farmland.)

According to these reasons, Ezras Kohanim points out, it should not have been necessary to have ten Menoros during the time of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, when the Jewish nation did not rule over seventy nations. It should also not have been necessary to have ten Shulchanos during the time of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, because the land was not as productive as it was during the first Beis ha'Mikdash (Nechemiah 9:35-37).

(b) The SHEVET YEHUDAH, as cited by the Ezras Kohanim (ibid.), writes that Shlomo ha'Melech built ten Shulchanos in order to give honor to the Shulchan of Moshe Rabeinu by surrounding it. (We find in Berachos (51a) regarding "Itur" that surrounding one object with other, similar objects is a show of honor for that object.) For that purpose he also made ten Menoros to give honor to the Menorah of Moshe Rabeinu by surrounding it. According to this reason, the additional Shulchanos and Menoros should also have been present in the second Beis ha'Mikdash, to accord honor to the Shulchan and Menorah of Moshe Rabeinu. This reason is, therefore, more consistent with our Gemara which is discussing the second Beis ha'Mikdash and says that the Shulchanos of Shlomo were present.

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