IMMERSING IN THE MIKDASH AT NIGHT
(Continuation of Mishnah): If one of the Kohanim saw Keri (had a seminal emission, making him Tamei), he would go through tunnels to the Mikveh; there were lamps illuminating the tunnels.
There was a big fire near the Mikveh, and a bathroom of honor;
If someone was inside, it was locked. If it was empty, it was open.
He would immerse, dry himself and warm himself by the fire. He would return to the other Kohanim until the gates were opened in the morning, and then he would leave.
Whoever wanted to (be in the lottery to) do the Terumas ha'Deshen (taking the ashes off the Mizbe'ach) would rise early and immerse before the appointee (over the lottery) came;
The appointee did not come at a fixed time. It could be a little before or after Keros ha'Gever (when a certain man would yell to wake the Kohanim, shortly before dawn. Alternatively, it is when roosters crow. This was a third of the night after midnight (Mefaresh. Leket Yosher 1:148b says that the Mefaresh is the Rashbam. A Hagahah there derives from Tosfos Yoma 16b DH Min that the Mefaresh is Ri bar Baruch).)
The appointee would knock on the gates, and they would open them. He would say "Whoever immersed may participate in the lottery";
He conducted the lottery, and someone won.
THE SOURCE THAT KOHANIM GUARD
(Gemara) Question: What is the source (that Kohanim must guard in the Mikdash)?
Answer (Abaye): "Veha'Chonim Lifnei ha'Mishkan Kedmah Lifnei Ohel Mo'ed Moshe v'Aharon u'Vanav Shomrim Mishmeres ha'Mikdash l'Mishmeres Bnei Yisrael."
Clarification of question: A Mishnah (in Midos) teaches that Kohanim guarded in three places (by themselves), and Leviyim in 21 places. The verse puts the Kohanim and Leviyim (Moshe) together!
Answer: (There is a break in the verse. It says) "veha'Chonim Lifnei ha'Mishkan... Moshe), and (separately) "v'Aharon u'Vanav Shomrim... ";
Aharon was in one place, and his sons were in two other places.
Question: How do we know to break up the verse like this? Perhaps they (Leviyim and Kohanim) guarded together!
Answer: The verse changes from "Chonim" to "Shomrim" to teach that they are separate.
Question: Perhaps all Kohanim guarded together!
Answer #1: The verse equates Moshe and the Kohanim. Just like Moshe guarded by himself, also Aharon u'Vanav.
Answer #2 (Rav Ashi): "Shomrim Mishmeres (ha'Mikdash) l'Mishmeres" connotes three places.
Question: Were the "Aliyos" of Beis Avtinas and Beis ha'Nitzutz truly upper stories, or merely tall, like Aliyos (Rosh - built on top of mounds)?
Answer (Mishnah): In the north, Beis ha'Nitzotz was like an Achsadra (a room open on one side), and an Aliyah was built on top of it;
Kohanim guarded from above, and Leviyim guarded below. It had an opening to Chol (a place without Kedushas Mikdash).
Question: What is the source that Kohanim guard above and Leviyim below?
Answer (Beraisa): "V'Yilavu Alecha vi'Sharasucha" -- they (the Leviyim) will accompany (and be subordinate to) you (Kohanim) -- in your Avodah.
Version #1 (Rosh) Question: Perhaps they will do their Avodah (guard the places incumbent on them), and you will guard other places!
Version #2 (Mefaresh) Question: Perhaps they will do their Avodah (sing and carry the Mishkan in the desert), and you will do the Avodah of the Mizbe'ach!
Answer: "V'Nilvu Alecha v'Shomru Es Mishmeres Ohel Mo'ed l'Chol Avodas ha'Ohel" refers to their Avodah. Therefore, "v'Yilavu Alecha vi'Sharasucha" teaches that they will assist (and be subordinate) in your Avodah;
The Kohanim guard above, and the Leviyim below.
(Mishnah): Beis ha'Moked was a dome. It was a big house.
Question: Was there was one guarding there?!
Contradiction (Beraisa): There were two gates in Beis ha'Moked. One was open to the Cheil (the area surrounding the Azarah and Ezras Nashim), and the other was open to the Azarah;
R. Yehudah says, the gate to the Azarah was only a small opening from which they would enter to check if all the Kelim were there (R. Gershom; Rosh - to check if any of the Shomrim were sleeping. Mefaresh - they would wash the Azarah from there.)
Answer (Abaye): Since the gates were near each other, one person could guard both. He could see them at the same time.
WHERE THE KOHANIM SLEPT
(Mishnah): Stone "Rovdim" jutted out all around.
Question: What are Rovdim?
Answer: They are ledges sticking out. One could climb from one ledge to the next.
Question: We cannot cut stones to make ledges -- "veha'Bayis b'Hibanoso Even Shelemah"!
Answer (Abaye): They would cut the stones to the accurate sizes (to make ledges) outside the Azarah (it is permitted to cut there) -- "Avnei Eser Amos v'Avnei Shemoneh Amos."
(Mishnah): The elders of the Beis Av would sleep there...
Question: Why didn't they bring beds there?
Answer (Abaye): It is not proper to bring beds into the Mikdash.
(Mishnah): Pirchei (young) Kohanim would sleep on the floor. Each left his garment on the floor.
Question: Why are they called Rovim above, and here Pirchei Kohanim?
Answer: "Rovim" refers to minors. They may not do Avodah;
"Pirchei Kehunah" refers to young adults. They may do Avodah. (Rosh - they would sleep at night in order to have strength for the Avodah the next day.)