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Steinsaltz

And if you wish, say instead: If we hold that the encircling is performed by foot, i.e., the priest walks around the inner altar, everyone agrees that we learn the method of sprinkling inside from the sprinkling outside. And here they disagree about this matter: One Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds that the priest stands in his place and sprinkles on all the corners from there, which means his encircling is performed by hand; and one Sage, Rabbi Yosei, holds that the encircling is done by foot.

And if you wish, say instead: Everyone agrees that the encircling was performed by hand, and here they disagree about this matter: One Sage, Rabbi Yosei, holds that we derive the halakhot of an encircling performed by hand from those of an encircling by foot, and therefore the ritual of the inner altar is the same as that of the outer altar. And one Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds that we do not derive the encircling performed by hand from the encircling done by foot.

§ The Gemara asks: And does Rabbi Yosei HaGelili hold that the encircling is performed by hand? But from the fact that it is taught in the latter clause of the mishna that Rabbi Eliezer says: He stood in one place and sprinkled the blood from there, it can be learned by inference that the first tanna, whom the Gemara identified as Rabbi Yosei HaGelili, does not maintain that the rite is performed in this manner. Rather, it is clear as we originally answered, that one Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds that the encircling is performed by hand; and one Sage, Rabbi Yosei, holds that the encircling is performed by foot.

And if you wish, say instead that they disagree about this matter: One Sage, Rabbi Akiva, holds that the perimeter of the inner altar is like the perimeter of the outer altar, and one Sage, Rabbi Yosei, holds that the entire inner altar stands in place of one corner of the outer altar. Since the entire inner altar is only one cubit by one cubit, like a single corner of the outer altar, the halakhot of the outer altar are not relevant to the inner altar.

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yishmael said: Two High Priests remained from the days of the First Temple. This one says: I encircled by hand and sprinkled, and I did not encircle the perimeter of the inner altar by foot. And that one says: I encircled by foot. This one gave a reason for his statement, and that one gave a reason for his statement.

The one who said that he encircled by foot gave the following reason for his statement: The perimeter of the inner altar is like the perimeter of the outer altar, which is encircled by foot for sprinkling. And the one who said that he encircled by hand gave the following reason for his statement: The entire inner altar stands in place of one corner of the outer altar. Just as for one corner of the outer altar, the priest sprinkles the blood by hand, the same applies to the entire inner altar.

§ It was taught in the mishna that Rabbi Eliezer says: He stood in one place and sprinkled the blood from there. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is the mishna? The Gemara answers: The mishna is taught in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, who explained Rabbi Eliezer’s ruling in the following manner. As it was taught in a baraita, later tanna’im disagreed with regard to the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Meir says that Rabbi Eliezer says as follows: He stood in one place and sprinkled, and on all of the corners he presented the blood from above downward, so as not to drip blood down the sleeve of his garment, except for that corner on the diagonal [alakhson] across from him. Since it was difficult for him to sprinkle on that corner from top to bottom, he sprinkled from below upward.

Conversely, Rabbi Yehuda says that Rabbi Eliezer says: He stood in one place and sprinkled, and on all of the corners he sprinkled from below upward, as it is more convenient to sprinkle in that manner, except for that one which was directly before him, on which he would present from above downward. The reason is so as not to dirty his garments with blood. If he sprinkled on the corner next to him from below upward, the blood might fall on his clothes, and he would have to change garments, as dirty priestly garments may not be worn for the Temple service.

§ The mishna taught: He sprinkled blood on the pure gold [tohoro] of the altar. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the term tohoro? Rabba bar Rav Sheila said: It means half of the altar, as people commonly say: Tehar tihara, the light of noon shines and it is the middle of the day. Here, too, tohoro of the altar means half the altar, i.e., he sprinkled on the midpoint of the altar wall.

The Gemara raises an objection: When he sprinkles on the inner altar, he sprinkles neither on top of the ash nor on top of the coals; rather, he rakes and removes the coals to both sides and sprinkles. This indicates that this sprinkling was performed on top of the altar, not on its side. Rather, Rabba bar Rav Sheila retracted his previous interpretation and said: On tohoro of the altar means on the exposed area of the altar, as it is written: “And the like of the very heaven for clearness [letohar]” (Exodus 24:10), which shows that tohar is an expression of clarity.

§ It was taught in a baraita that Ḥananya says: The priest presents seven sprinklings on the north side of the altar, and Rabbi Yosei says: He presents them on the south side. The Gemara asks: With regard to what principle do they disagree? The Gemara explains: One Sage, Ḥananya, holds that the entrance was positioned in the south, and therefore the High Priest begins the sprinklings from that side. And one Sage, Rabbi Yosei, holds that the entrance was positioned in the north, and he therefore begins to sprinkle on the altar from the north side.

The Gemara comments: Everyone agrees in any case that in the place where he finishes the presentations of the corners, that is where he places the blood on the altar’s top. They disagree only about the location of the final presentation, whether it is on the south or the north side. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this agreement? The Gemara answers that the verse states: “And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and sanctify it” (Leviticus 16:19), which indicates that the place he sanctified by sprinkling blood, the corner of the altar where he sprinkled last, there he shall also begin to cleanse and sprinkle on top.

§ The mishna taught: And he would pour the remainder of the blood on the western base of the outer altar. The Gemara explains: The reason is that the verse states with regard to the sin-offering bull of the High Priest during the rest of the year: “And he shall pour out all the blood of the bull at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting” (Leviticus 4:7), and when he goes out from the Sanctuary to pour the remainder of the blood, he first reaches that western side of the base of the altar.

§ The mishna further taught: And he would pour the remaining blood after the blood of an offering was sprinkled on the outer altar, on its southern base. The Sages taught in a baraita: “The base of the altar” (Leviticus 4:30), which is mentioned with regard to pouring the remainder of the blood of an individual offering, is the southern base. Do you say it is the southern base? Or perhaps that is not the case, but rather it is the western base?

You said: Let his descent from the ramp of the outer altar after sprinkling blood from the sin-offerings be derived from his exit from the Sanctuary with the remaining blood in his hand: Just as upon his exit from the Sanctuary he pours the remainder of the blood on the side closest to him, and which is that, it is the western base; so too, upon his descent from the ramp of the outer altar after sprinkling blood from a sin-offering, he pours the blood on the side closest to him, and which is that? It is the southern base, as when he descends from the ramp he turns to the right, i.e., the east, which means the southern base is the one closest to him.

It was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yishmael says: Both this and that, the blood of an inner sin-offering and that of an outer sin-offering, were spilled at the western base of the altar. Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai says: Both this and that blood were spilled at the southern base. The Gemara asks: Granted, Rabbi Yishmael maintains that the halakha of outer sin-offerings, which is not clarified in the Torah, is derived from the inner sin-offerings, whose halakha is explicit: Just as the remains of the inner sprinklings are poured at the western base, so too, the remains of the outer sprinklings are poured at the western base.

However, with regard to Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai, what is the reason that he holds that both sets of remainders of blood are spilled at the southern base? Rav Ashi said: Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai maintains that the entrance of the Sanctuary is positioned at the south side of the altar, i.e., the altar is not located in the middle of the courtyard but to the north. Consequently, the southern base of the altar is closest to the High Priest’s exit from the Sanctuary.

The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught a different version of his opinion, which they learned in the school of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: Both this and that, the blood of an inner sin-offering and that of an outer sin-offering, were presented at the southern base. According to this version, Rabbi Yishmael changed his opinion and agreed with Rabbi Shimon. The Gemara comments: And your mnemonic to remember the shift in opinion is: The men pulled the man, i.e., the majority overruled the individual. In this case, the numerous students of Rabbi Shimon convinced the individual Sage, Rabbi Yishmael, to accept their ruling.

§ It was taught in the mishna: These remainders of blood from the outer altar and those remainders of blood from the inner altar are mixed in the canal beneath the altar and flow out with the water used to rinse the area to the Kidron River, where they are sold to gardeners. Any blood that was not redeemed was subject to the prohibition against misuse of consecrated property. The Sages taught: One who takes these remainders without redeeming them misuses property consecrated in the Temple by unlawfully using blood, which is consecrated and is Temple property. It is prohibited to use consecrated objects for mundane purposes, and one who does so is committing the sin of misusing consecrated property. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Shimon. And the Rabbis say: One does not misuse consecrated property by benefiting from these remainders of the blood of offerings.

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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