סקר
עם סיום מסכת עירובין






 

Steinsaltz

to enter directly, as it is more appropriate for the High Priest to approach the Holy of Holies somewhat circuitously. And in response to this Rabbi Yosei could have said to you: The Jewish people are beloved by God, as the Torah did not require them to make use of an agent, e.g., an angel, to intercede on their behalf. Instead, God hears the nation’s prayers directly. Consequently, the High Priest, who represents the people on Yom Kippur, need not approach in a roundabout fashion.

The Gemara asks: But if an indirect approach is a mark of respect, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, too, let the High Priest enter indirectly between the candelabrum and the wall. The Gemara answers: If the High Priest walks by that route, he might blacken his clothes through the soot left on the wall by the candelabrum.

Rabbi Natan said: With regard to the one-cubit partition, the Sages did not determine its status, whether it was part of the inside of the Holy of Holies or part of the outside area of the Sanctuary.

Ravina strongly objects to this opinion: What is the reason for this uncertainty? If we say it is because it is written: “And the House that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits in length, and its width was twenty cubits, and its height was thirty cubits” (I Kings 6:2), and it is written: “And the House, that is, the Sanctuary, was forty cubits long” (I Kings 6:17), and it is written: “And before the partition twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height” (I Kings 6:20), and therefore we do not know whether the one-cubit partition was part of these twenty cubits of the Holy of Holies or part of these forty cubits of the Sanctuary, then this problem can be resolved.

Ravina explains the resolution of the problem: But perhaps it was not part of these twenty cubits nor part of these forty cubits, as in establishing the measurements the verse counts the space but does not count the walls themselves, i.e., the cubit of the wall is not included in either measurement. Know that it is so, as anywhere that the verse counts the area of the walls in addition to the spaces they contain, it also counts the one-cubit partition.

Ravina cites a proof for the previous claim. As we learned in a mishna: The Sanctuary was one hundred cubits by one hundred cubits, with a height of one hundred cubits. From east to west, the hundred cubits were divided as follows: The wall of the Entrance Hall was five cubits; and the Entrance Hall itself was eleven cubits; the wall of the Sanctuary was six cubits; the length of the Sanctuary itself was forty cubits; and there was the one-cubit partition; the Hall of the Holy of Holies was another twenty cubits; the outer wall of the Sanctuary was six cubits; and the chamber behind it was six cubits; and the wall of the chamber was five cubits. This mishna proves that when the walls are counted in addition to the spaces, the one-cubit partition is included in the calculation.

Rather, the uncertainty does not concern the location of the one-cubit partition, which was certainly positioned between the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies. Instead, the issue is its sanctity, whether it was considered like the inside of the Holy of Holies or like the outside area of the Sanctuary. Since there was no such wall in the Second Temple, the Sages were uncertain with regard to the status of the extra cubit.

§ And this is what Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Yosef of Hutzal raised a dilemma with regard to the verse: “And he prepared a partition in the midst of the House within to set there the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord” (I Kings 6:19). This was his dilemma that was raised before the Sages: With regard to what case is the verse speaking?

The Gemara explains the dilemma. Should it be read: And Solomon prepared a partition in the midst of the House within to set there, meaning that he placed the partition within the Temple and behind it he prepared a space to place the Ark, and the partition itself did not possess the sanctity of the Holy of Holies? Or perhaps this is what the verse states: A partition in the midst of the House within, i.e., the verse ends there, while the rest of the text forms a new verse. According to this interpretation, the place of the partition itself was part of the Holy of Holies, and that was where Solomon prepared a place for the Ark.

The Gemara is surprised at this explanation: And was Yosef of Hutzal really uncertain how to punctuate this verse? But wasn’t it taught in a baraita that Isi ben Yehuda says: There are five verses in the Torah whose meaning cannot be decided, i.e., it is unclear from the text how the verses should be read.

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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