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prepared by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim

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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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51b----------------------------------------51b

1) THE TEN SHULCHANOS IN THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH

QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which Rebbi Yehudah, Rebbi Meir, and Rebbi Yosi ("Yesh Omrim") argue with regard to the path the Kohen Gadol took 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'Penimi 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). 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 which were 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?

ANSWERS:

(a) The EZRAS KOHANIM (Midos 4:7) cites the YALKUT CHADASH (Erech "Beis ha'Mikdash" and Erech "David" 138, based on MIDRASH TADSHEH, ch. 2) who writes that in the times of Moshe Rabeinu the Mishkan 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 desert 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 great potential for agricultural productivity, and therefore additional blessing was necessary for the land to provide its produce. (Perhaps he added specifically ten Shulchanos to represent the portions of the ten Shevatim that received land to cultivate, excluding Levi and Shimon who received only cities and not farmland.)

The Ezras Kohanim points out that according to this reasoning, there should have been no need for ten Menoros during the times of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, when the Jewish nation did not have dominion over the seventy nations. Similarly, there should have been no need for ten Shulchanos during the times of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, because the land was not as productive as it was during the era of the first Beis ha'Mikdash (see Nechemyah 9:35-37).

(b) The SHEVET YEHUDAH, as cited by the Ezras Kohanim (ibid.), writes that Shlomo ha'Melech built ten Shulchanos to surround the Shulchan of Moshe Rabeinu and to give honor to it. (The Gemara in Berachos (51a) teaches with regard to "Itur" of a Kos Shel Berachah that one shows honor to an object by surrounding it with other similar objects.) Similarly, Shlomo ha'Melech made ten Menoros to give honor to the Menorah of Moshe Rabeinu.

According to this reason, the additional Shulchanos and Menoros should have been present in the second Beis ha'Mikdash as well, to give honor to the Shulchan and Menorah of Moshe Rabeinu. This reason, therefore, is more consistent with the Gemara here which discusses the second Beis ha'Mikdash and says that the Shulchanos of Shlomo ha'Melech were present.

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