THE NUMBER OF MISHMAROS
The Mishnah said that the function of Ma'amados is that the Torah tells everyone to bring Korbanos, but they cannot be brought in the absence of their owners.
The Nevi'im therefore decreed that there be twenty-four Mishmaros of Kohanim, paralleled by twenty-four Ma'amados of Kohanim, Levi'im and Yisraelim.
(Beraisa): There were twenty-four Mishmaros in Eretz Yisrael and twelve in Yericho.
Question: That totals thirty-six, twelve too many!?
Answer: It means that twelve of the twenty-four were in Yericho.
Each Mishmar, when its turn came, would split up; half went to Yerushalayim, and half went to Yericho to arrange food and water for them.
(R. Yehudah citing Shmuel): Kohanim, Levi'im and Yisraelim must be present in Yerushalayim for the Korban to be valid.
(R Shimon b. Elazar): Kohanim, Levi'im and musical instruments must be present.
The dispute revolves around whether it is voices or instruments which are essential for song.
(R. Chama bar Guria citing Rav): Moshe established eight Mishmaros, four from Elazar and four from Isamar.
Shmuel expanded them to sixteen, and David expanded them to twenty-four.
Question: A Beraisa states that David and Shmuel jointly expanded them to twenty-four!?
Answer: It means that from Shmuel's expansion to sixteen, David enlarged it to twenty-four.
(Beraisa): Moshe established sixteen Mishmaros, eight from Elazar and eight from Isamar.
When Elazar's desendants became more numerous, he divided them into twenty-four.
The Pasuk states that he divided Elazar's descendants into sixteen Mishmaros.
Another Pasuk states that Elazar doubled and Isamar remained the same.
The second Pasuk is brought in case one thought that Isamara had also doubled in size.
Question: This Beraisa contradicts R. Chama bar Guria!?
Answer: It is a Machlokes Tana'im, and R. Chama bar Guria holds like the Tana who says that Moshe made eight Mishmaros.
(Beraisa): Four Mishmaros returned from Bavel, and the Nevi'im divided them into twenty-four.
They then mixed lots for the twenty-four, and the four drew six each.
Even if Yehoyariv (the first of the Mishmaros) would have arrived from Bavel after that, they would have had to wait until after the entire group of Yedayah had served.
KORBANOS KEEP THE WORLD GOING
Question: The Mishnah said that the Yisraelim would gather and read from Ma'ase Bereishis - how do we know this?
Answer: Were it not for the Ma'amados, the world could not exist.
Avraham asked Hash-m how he could be sure that his descendants would inherit the land - perhaps they would sin and be eradicated.
Hash-m told him to perform the Bris Bein ha'B'sarim i.e. Korbanos.
When Avraham asked what would be when there is no Beis ha'Mikdash, Hash-m said that reciting the order of Korbanos would be considered as bringing them and would earn forgiveness.
THE PRAYERS OF THE MA'AMAD
(Beraisa): The men of the Mishmar would pray that the Korbanos should be accepted in good will.
The men of the Ma'amad would go to Shul and fast four times:
On Monday, for those sailing in boats;
On Tuesday, for those travelling in the wilderness;
On Wednesday, that children should not contract croup;
On Thursday, that pregnant women should not miscarry and nursing mothers should be able to nurse.
On Friday, they would not fast, out of respect for Shabbos; and all the more so on Shabbos itself.
Question: Why did not they fast on Sunday?
Answer #1 (R. Yochanan): Because it is a Christian holiday.
Answer #2 ( R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): Because it is the third day from man's creation (when he is weak).
Answer #3 (Resh Lakish): Because the extra Neshamah which was given to man on Evev Shabbos has been removed, and he is weak.
THE TORAH PORTIONS READ DURING THE MA'AMAD
The Mishnah said that on Sunday they would read from Bereishis and Yehi Rakiya.
Bereishis would be read by two people, Yehi Rakiya by one.
Question: Yehi Rakiya was read by one as it is only three Pesukim; but how could Bereishis be read by two - it is only five Pesukim, and each must read at least three?
Answer #1 (Rav): The second person repeats the third Pasuk of the first person.
Answer #2 (Shmuel): The third Pasuk is split into two.
Question: Why did not Rav say like Shmuel?
Answer: He held that we cannot divide a Pasuk that Moshe did not divide.
Question: How could Shmuel say that we split it up; R. Chanina with great difficulty received permission to do so only with schoolchildren?
Answer: Shmuel would hold that just as permission was given in that case because there was no other solution, here too there is no other solution and permission would be given.
Question: Why doesn't Shmuel hold that the second person repeats the third Pasuk of the first person?
Answer: It is forbidden, in order to prevent problems of latecomers thinking that the first person only read two Pesukim, or early leavers thinking that the second person will only read two Pesukim.
Question: We find in a Beraisa that neither Rav nor Shmuel's suggestion is given:
(During a regular reading): a section of six Pesukim is read by two people, a section of five by one.
If one person read three Pesukim of the five-Pasuk section, the second reads the last two Pesukim plus one Pasuk of the next section.
Some say they he should read three Pesukim of the next section, as no less than three Pesukim should be read from any section.
Answer: Other solutions were given in that case because it was possible to read also from the following section.