Saturday, February 25, 2017

An Important Note for Those that Want to Understand the Letter to Theodore

The priests (הכהנים) stood watch (שומרים) in three places in the Temple: in the Chamber of Avtinas [name of a family], in the Chamber of Nitsots [spark] , and in the Chamber of Fire. The Avtinas and Nitsots chambers were elevated and the youths would stand watch there (והרובים שומרים שם).

The Chamber of Fire was a domed structure, surrounded by benches of stone. The elders of the ministering priestly family would sleep there and the keys to the courtyard were in their hands. The young priests (פרחי כהונה) would sleep in their clothes on the ground. They did not sleep in their holy clothes but would take them off, fold them, put them under their heads and sleep wearing their own clothing.

If one had a seminal emission, he would exit and walk down a circular [staircase] that led under the Temple where candles were burning on both sides [to give light] until he got to the Room of Immersion. There was a bonfire and a restroom there. This was the respectfulness: If he found it locked, he would know that there was somebody there. If it was open, he would know that there was nobody there, he would go down and immerse himself, come up and dry off and warm himself by the bonfire. He would go [to the Chamber of Fire] and sit with the other priests until the gates opened and leave and go on his way.

Anybody [of the priests] who wishes to remove [the ashes] from the altar must rise early and immerse himself [in the mikva] as long as the supervising priest hasn't yet arrived. When did the supervising priest arrive? There is no set time; sometimes he comes when the rooster crows, or close to it, sometimes before, sometimes after. The supervisor would knock on them [the doors to the Temple] and they [the priests] would open [the doors] for him. He would say to them, "Whoever has immersed, come and participate in the lottery." They would perform the lottery and whoever won, won.

He [the supervising priest] took the key and opened the small door [located in the Chamber of Fire] and entered from the Chamber of Fire to the Courtyard. And they [the other priests] entered after him with two torches of fire were in their hands. They would split into two groups. [One group] walked under the portico [surrounding the Courtyard] towards the east and [the other group] walked under the portico towards the west. They would check [the temple vessels] and walk until they reached the place where the Chavitim [loaves of bread brought as meal offering] are made. They [the two groups] met each other and would say, "It is fine, all is fine," [the vessels are in order]. They would appoint [from their group] makers of the Chavitim to make the Chavitim.

The one who won the right to remove the ashes from the altar, would remove [the ashes] and they [the other priests] say to him, "Be careful to not touch the utensil [the shovel] until you have sanctified your hands and feet from the laver." And [they would continue saying],"Look, the shovel is placed in the corner between the ramp [of the altar] and the altar, on the west of the ramp." No one would enter [the area between the altar and the antechamber] with him, and he didn't have a candle in his hand, rather he would walk by the light of the altar's pyre. They [the other priests] would not see him and would not hear him until they heard the sound of the wood that Ben Kitin made [into] a wheel for the laver [being turned], and they would say, "The time has come to sanctify your hands and feet from the laver." He would take the silver shovel and go up to the top of the altar and stir the coals from side to side, and then scoop from the inner consumed [coals]. He then went back down. When he reached the floor, he would turn his face to the north [and] walk along the eastern side of the ramp for about ten amot [cubits]. He piled the coals on the floor three tefachim [hand-breadths] from the ramp, the [same] place where they would put the crop of the bird [ of a burnt offering ] and the ashes from the [golden] inner altar and the ashes of the menora.

His brothers (אחיו = the other priests) saw him go down [from the altar] and they would run; they hurried and sanctified their hands and feet from the laver [and] took the shovels [used to scoop ash] and the forks [used for moving sacrificial parts] and go up to the top of the altar. The limbs and the fats that weren't consumed [by the fire] the previous evening, would be moved to the sides of the altar. If the sides of the altar could not hold them, they would arrange them around the altar [on the ledge surrounding it].

They [the priests] began heaping the ash onto the Tapuach [heap of ashes on the top of the altar in the Temple courtyard] The Tapuach was in the middle of the top of the altar. Sometimes there was approximately three hundred kor [measurement of volume] on it. During pilgrimage festivals, they would not remove its ash, because it was a decoration for the altar [to show that it was being used frequently]. During the days [of the Temple], the priests were never lazy about removing the ash [when there was too much].

They [the priests] began transferring the [wood] logs to arrange the pyre [on the altar]. But are all [types of] wood valid the pyre? Yes, all [types of] wood are valid for the pyre, except wood from an olive [tree] and from a vine. It was [the wood] of these [trees] they was commonly used, branches of a fig tree, walnut [tree] or an oil [tree].

He [the priest] arranged the large pyre towards the east [side of the altar], and it "looked" [small openings] towards the east [side] and the ends of the inner logs would touch the Tapuach. There was space between the logs from where they would ignite the twigs.

They would select [from the stockpile] nice [logs] of fig wood to arrange the secondary pyre [used for] incense. [It was] opposite the south western corner [of the altar], pulled in from the corner four amot [cubits] towards the north. [They placed enough wood] that by their estimation[ would produce] five Se'ah [Mishnaic volume] of coals and on Shabbat [they would place on this pyre enough wood] that they esimated [would produce] eight Se'ah of coals, for that was where they would placed the two spoonfull of frankincense of the Lechem HaPanim [show breads placed on the table in the Temple]. The limbs and the fats that were not consumed [by the primary fire] the previous evening [and had been temporarily placed on the sides of the altar] they [the priests] would return them to the pyre. They ignited the pyres with fire and went down [from the altar] and went to the Chamber of Hewn Stone.

The appointed [priest] said to them: Come and draw lots [to determine] who will slaughter [the daily Tamid offering], who will throw the blood [of the offering on the altar], who will remove the ash from the inner altar, who will remove the ash from the Menora who will take the limbs [of the Tamid offering] up the ramp [of the altar]. [Specifically who will transport] the head, the right hind leg, the two forelegs, the tail, the left hind leg, the chest, the neck, the two sides, the intestines, the fine flour [for the meal offering, offered daily along with the tamid], the Chavitim [the Kohen Gadol's daily meal offering of flour and oil baked in a pan] loaves and the wine [for libation]. They would draw lots, and whoever won, won. 2 אמר להם הממונה צאו וראו אם הגיע זמן השחיטה. אם הגיע הרואה אומר ברקאי. מתיא בן שמואל אומר האיר פני כל המזרח עד שהוא בחברון והוא אומר הין: The appointed [priest] said to them: Go out and see if the time of slaughtering [the Tamid] has arrived. If it [the time] has arrived, the watchman would say, "It [the eastern sky] is shining [it is dawn]." Masya ben Shmuel says: [the priest would then ask] "Has the eastern sky is lit up until Chevron?" and he [the watchman] would say "Yes!" 3 אמר להם צאו והביאו טלה מלשכת הטלאים. והרי לשכת הטלאים היתה במקצוע צפונית מערבית וארבע לשכות היו שם. אחת לשכת הטלאים. ואחת לשכת החותמות ואחת לשכת בית המוקד. ואחת לשכת שהיו עושין בה לחם הפנים. He [The appointed priest] said to them: Go out and bring a lamb from the Chamber of Lambs. Now, the Chamber of Lambs was in the north-western corner [of the Chamber of Fire]. There were four chambers there: one was the chamber of lambs, one was the Chamber of Seals, [where one could buy tokens marked with the appropriate meal offering], one was the Chamber of Fire, and one was the chamber where they would make the Lechem HaPanim. 4 נכנסו ללשכת הכלים והוציאו משם תשעים ושלשה כלי כסף וכלי זהב. השקו את התמיד בכוס של זהב. אף על פי שהוא מבוקר מבערב מבקרין אותו לאור האבוקות: They [the priests] then went to the Chamber of Vessels and took out from there ninety three silver vessels and golden utensils. They would give the [lamb to be] the Tamid [offering] to drink from a golden cup. Even though it had been checked [for blemishes] the previous evening, they would check it [now] by the light of a torch. 5 מי שזכה בתמיד מושכו והולך לבית המטבחים. ומי שזכה באיברים הולכין אחריו. בית המטבחים היה לצפונו של מזבח. ועליו שמונה עמודים ננסין ורביעית של ארז על גביהן ואונקליות של ברזל היו קבועין בהן ושלשה סדרים היה לכל אחד ואחד. שבהן תולין ומפשיטין על שלחנות של שיש שבין העמודים: The one who won [the right to slaughter] the tamid [offering], would drag it and go to the House of Slaughtering [the area where the offerings were slaughtered] and the ones who won [the right to place] the limbs would walk with him. The House of Slaughtering was to the north of the altar and near it there were eight short pillars and squares of cedar wood were [each] of them and iron hooks were inserted into them [the squares]; there were three sets [of hooks] for each one [block], upon which they would hang [the slaughtered animal]. The [animal] would be skinned on marble tables that were between the pillars. 6 מי שזכה בדישון מזבח הפנימי והמנורה. היו מקדימין וארבעה כלים בידם. הטני. והכוז. ושתי מפתחות. הטני דומה לתרקב גדול של זהב מחזיק קבין וחצי. והכוז דומה לקתון גדול של זהב. ושתי מפתחות אחד יורד לאמת השחי ואחד פותח כיון: The one who won [the right to remove] the ash from the inner altar and [the one who won that right] for the Menora would go ahead and had four vessels were in their hands: [they were] the basket [to hold the ash from the inner altar] and the jug [to hold the ash from the Menora] and two keys. The basket was similar [approximately] to a tarkav [measurement of volume]of [made of] gold that could hold two and a half kav [measurement of volume]. The jug was similar to a large pitcher [made of] of gold. And the two keys, one [was to unlock the door from the inside] he put [his hand through a small opening] up to the armpit, and one [was for a lock] that could be opened quickly. 7 בא לו לפשפש הצפוני. ושני פשפשין היו לו לשער הגדול אחד בצפון ואחד בדרום. שבדרום לא נכנס בו אדם מעולם. ועליו הוא מפורש על ידי יחזקאל (יחזקאל מד, ב) ויאמר אלי ה' השער הזה סגור יהיה לא יפתח ואיש לא יבא בו כי ה' אלהי ישראל בא בו והיה סגור. נטל את המפתח ופתח את הפשפש נכנס לתא ומן התא אל ההיכל עד שהוא מגיע לשער הגדול. הגיע לשער הגדול העביר את הנגר ואת הפותחות ופתחו. לא היה שוחט השוחט עד ששומע קול שער הגדול שנפתח: He came to the northern small opening. There were two small openings in the Great Gate, one in the north [side of the gate] and one in the south [side]. The one in the south, no one ever entered through it, and about it Yechezkel explained and said, "And the LORD said unto me: 'This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, neither shall any man enter in by it, for the LORD, the G-d of Israel, hath entered in by it; therefore it shall be shut." (Ezekiel 44:2) He took the key and opened the small opening. He entered the cell and from the cell to the sanctuary until he reached the Great Gate. [When] he reached the Great Gate he removed the bolt and the locks and opened it. The one who was slaughtering [the tamid offering] would not slaughter until he heard the sound of the Great Gate was opened. 8 מיריחו היו שומעין קול שער הגדול שנפתח. מיריחו היו שומעין קול המגריפה. מיריחו היו שומעין קול העץ שעשה בן קטין מוכני לכיור. מיריחו היו שומעין קול גביני כרוז. מיריחו היו שומעין קול החליל. מיריחו היו שומעין קול הצלצל. מיריחו היו שומעין קול השיר. מיריחו היו שומעים קול השופר. ויש אומרים אף קול של כהן גדול בשעה שהוא מזכיר את השם ביום הכפורים מיריחו היו מריחים ריח פטום הקטרת. אמר רבי אליעזר בן דגלאי עזים היו לבית אבא בהר מכוור. והיו מתעטשות מריח פטום הקטורת: From Jericho they would hear the sound of the Great Gate being opened. From Jericho they would hear the sound of the Magrefa [lit. shovel, a musical instrument with holes in it ] From Jericho they would hear the sound of the wood that ben Katin made for the wheel of the laver. From Jericho they would hear the sound of Gevini the Announcer [that the priests should begin their service]. From Jericho they would hear the sound of the flute. From Jericho they would hear the sound of the cymbal. From Jericho they would hear the sound of the [daily] song [of the Levites]. From Jericho they would hear the sound of the shofar [sounded daily]. There are those that say [they even heard] the sound of the Kohen Gadol [the High Priest] at the time when he would mention the name [of G-d] on Yom Kippur. From Jericho they would smell the aroma of the compounding of the incense. Rabbi Eliezer ben Daglai said: [My] father had goats on the mountains of Michvar and they would sneeze from the smell of the compounding of the incense. 9 מי שזכה בדשון מזבח הפנימי. נכנס ונטל הטני. והניחו לפניו. והיה חופן ונותן לתוכו. ובאחרונה כיבד את השאר לתוכו והניחו ויצא. מי שזכה בדישון המנורה נכנס ומצא שתי נרות מזרחיות דולקים מדשן את השאר. ומניח את אלו דולקים במקומן. מצאן שכבו. מדשנן ומדליקן מן הדולק. ואחר כך מדשן את השאר. ואבן היתה לפני המנורה ובה שלש מעלות שעליה הכהן עומד ומטיב את הנרות והניח את הכוז על מעלה שניה ויצא: The one who won [the right] to remove the ash from the inner altar, went in and took the basket [used to collect the ash] and placed it in front of him, and he would scoop [the ashes] and put them inside it [the basket], and in the end, he swept the rest into it [the basket] and he would leave it [in the sanctuary] there and leave. The one who won [the right] to remove the ashes from the Menora , would enter [the sanctuary], [if] he found the two eastern lamps [still] lit, he would remove the ash from the other [lamps] ned leave the ones burning in their place. If he found them extinguished, he would remove the ashes from them and re-kindle them from the ones that were still lit and then remove the ashes from the rest. There was a stone in front of the Menora which had three steps that on them the priest would stand and prepare the lamps. He would leave the jug on the second step and leave. 4 1 לא היו כופתין את הטלה אלא מעקדין אותו. מי שזכו באברים אוחזים בו. וכך היתה עקידתו ראשו לדרום. ופניו למערב. השוחט עומד במזרח ופניו למערב. של שחר היה נשחט על קרן צפונית מערבית על טבעת שניה. של בין הערבים היה נשחט על קרן מזרחית צפונית על טבעת שניה. שחט השוחט וקבל המקבל. בא לו לקרן מזרחית צפונית. ונותן מזרחה צפונה. מערבית דרומית. ונותן מערבה דרומה. שירי הדם היה שופך על יסוד דרומית: They would not tie the lamb up [for slaughtering, as was normally done], but would bind it [right forelimb to right hind limb and left forelimb to left hind limb]. The ones who won [the right] to [carry] the limbs would hold it [as it was being slaughtered]. This is how they would bind it: its head would face south and its face turned [to face]to the west. The one slaughtering it stood to the east [of the lamb] with his face to the west. [The Tamid offering] of the morning was slaughtered on the north western corner [of the altar], on the second ring. The [Tamid offering] of the evening was slaughtered on the north eastern corner on the second ring. The slaughterer would slaughter and the one who [was designated] to receive [the blood] would receive it and go to the north eastern corner [of the altar] and tossed it to the east and north. [Then he went to] the south western [corner] and tossed it to the west and south. The rest of the blood was poured on the southern base [of the altar]. 2 לא היה שיבר בו את הרגל אלא נוקבו מתוך ערכובו ותולה בו. היה מפשיט ויורד עד שהוא מגיע לחזה. הגיע לחזה. חתך את הראש. ונתנו למי שזכה בו. חתך את הכרעים. ונתנן למי שזכה בהן. מירק את ההפשט. קרע את הלב והוציא את דמו. חתך את הידים. ונתנן למי שזכה בהן. עלה לרגל הימנית. חתכה ונתנה למי שזכה בה. ושתי ביצים עמה. קרעו ונמצא כולו גלוי לפניו. נטל את הפדר. ונתנו על בית שחיטת הראש מלמעלן. נטל את הקרביים ונתנן למי שזכה בהם להדיחן. והכרס מדיחין אותה בבית מדיחין. כל צרכה. והקרבים מדיחין אותן שלשה פעמים במיעוטה. על שולחנות של שיש שבין העמודים: [The one who hung the Tamid and cut it apart] would not break its leg [as butchers do], rather he would make a hole in it through its knee and hang it [from the hole]. He would skin it and go downward until he reached the chest. [When] he reached the chest, he would cut the head and give it the one who won [the right] to [carry] it. He would cut the feet [lower end near the hoof] and give them to the one who won [the right] to [carry] them. He would then finish the skinning. [Then] he would rip [out] the heart and remove its blood. He would cut [off] the front [upper] legs and give them to the one who won [the right] to [carry] them. He went up to the right hind [upper] leg and cut it off and give it to the one who won [the right] to [carry] and the two testicles were [attached] to it. He would tear apart [the rest of the lamb] and [the body cavity] would be exposed before him. He would take the fat and put it over [cover] the place of slaughter of the head, on top of it. He would take the intestines and give them to the one who won [the right] to them to rinse them. And the rumen, they would rinse in the rinsing chamber. They would rinse it as much as necessary. The intestines, were rinsed at least three time on the tables of marble that were between the pillars. 3 נטל את הסכין. והפריש את הריאה מן הכבד. ואצבע הכבד מן הכבד. ולא היה מזיזה ממקומה. נקב את החזה ונתנו למי שזכה בו. עלה לדופן הימנית. היה חותך ויורד עד השדרה. ולא היה נוגע בשדרה. עד שהוא מגיע לשתי צלעות רכות. חתכה ונתנה למי שזכה בה. והכבד תלויה בה. בא לו לגרה והניח בה שתי צלעות מכאן. ושתי צלעות מכאן. חתכה ונתנה למי שזכה בה והקנה והלב והריאה תלוים בה. בא לו לדופן השמאלית. והניח בה שתי צלעות רכות מלמעלן. ושתי צלעות רכות מלמטן. וכך היה מניח בחברתה. נמצא. מניח בשתיהן שתים שתים מלמעלן. ושתים שתים מלמטן. חתכה ונתנה למי שזכה בה. והשדרה עמה. והטחול תלוי בה. והיא היתה גדולה. אלא של ימין קורין גדולה. שהכבד תלויה בה. בא לו לעוקץ חותכו ונתנו למי שזכה בו. ואליה ואצבע הכבד ושתי כליות עמו. נטל רגל השמאלי. ונתנה למי שזכה בה. נמצא כולן עומדין בשורה. והאברים בידם. הראשון. בראש וברגל. הראש בימינו. וחוטמו כלפי זרועו. וקרניו בין אצבעותיו. ובית שחיטתו מלמעלן. והפדר נתון עליה. והרגל של ימין בשמאלו. ובית עורו לחוץ. השני. בשתי ידים של ימין בימינו. של שמאל בשמאלו. ובית עורן לחוץ. השלישי. בעוקץ וברגל. העוקץ בימינו והאליה מדולדלת בין אצבעותיו. ואצבע הכבד ושתי הכליות עמו. הרגל של שמאל בשמאלו. ובית עורו לחוץ. הרביעי. בחזה ובגרה. החזה בימינו והגרה בשמאלו. וצלעותיה בין אצבעותיו. החמישי. בשתי דפנות. של ימין בימינו. ושל שמאל בשמאלו. ובית עורן לחוץ. הששי. בקרבים הנתונים בבזך. וכרעים על גביהם מלמעלה. השביעי. בסלת. השמיני. בחביתין. התשיעי. ביין. הלכו ונתנום מחצי הכבש ולמטה במערבו. ומלחום. וירדו ובאו להם ללשכת הגזית. לקרות את שמע. He [the priest] took the knife and separated the lung from the liver and the finger [lobe] from the liver but he would not move it from its place. He would puncture the chest [to remove it] and give it to the one who won [the right] to it. He went up to the right flank and he would cut downward until the spine but he would not touch the spine until he reached the two soft ribs [near the neck]. He would cut [the right flank] and give it to the one who won [the right] to it and the liver would [remain] hanging from it. He came to the neck and left on it the two ribs on this side and two ribs on this side. He cut it [the neck] and give it to the one who won [the right] to it. The trachea and the heart and the lungs [were left] hanging from it. He came to the left flank and left on it two soft ribs [that were] above it [near the tail] and two soft ribs below it [near the neck]. He left the same on its opposite side [the right flank]. Thus, he left two [ribs] on the right and two [ribs] on the left above, and two [ribs] on the right and two [ribs] on the left below. He would cut it [the left flank] and give it to the one who won [the right] to it and the spine with it and the spleen was hanging from it. And [the left flank] was bigger [than the right because it had the spine] yet the right was called "the larger one" because the liver was hanging from it. He went to the back part [of the spine]. He cut it off and give it to the one who won [the right] to it. The tail and the finger [lobe] of the liver and the two kidneys were with it. He took the left rear leg and give it to the one who won [the right] to it. Thus, all of them [the priests] were standing in a line and the limbs were in their hands. The first [priest stood] with the head and the [right] rear leg. The head was in his right hand and its snout was towards his arm and its horns were between his fingers and the place of slaughter was facing up and the fat was placed on it. The right rear leg was in his left hand and the place where the [side] the skin [used to be] was facing outwards. The second [priest stood] with the two front legs. The right one in his right hand and the left one in his left hand and the [side] where the skin [used to be] was facing outwards. The third [priest stood] with the hind part and the rear [left] leg. The hind part was in his right hand and the tail was dangling between his fingers. The fourth [priest stood], with the chest and the neck. The chest in his right hand and the neck in his left hand with its ribs between his fingers. The fifth [priest stood], with the two flanks. The right one in his right hand and the left one in his left hand with the side where the skin [used to be] was facing outwards. The sixth [priests stood], with the intesines placed in a golden bowl and the feet were on top of them. The seventh [priest stood] with the [meal offering] of fine flour. The eighth [priest stood] with the chavitin. The ninth [priest stood] with the wine [for the wine libation]. They [the first six priests] went and put them from the mid-point of the ramp [to the altar] and downwards, on the west side, and they would salt them [there]. They then went down from there to the Chamber of Hewn Stone to recite the Shema. 5 1 אמר להם הממונה. ברכו ברכה אחת והן ברכו. קראו עשרת הדברים. שמע. והיה אם שמוע. ויאמר. ברכו את העם שלש ברכות אמת ויציב. ועבודה. וברכות כהנים. ובשבת מוסיפין ברכה אחת למשמר היוצא: The appointed [priest] said to them: “Say one blessing” [one right before the Shema], and they blessed. They then recited the Ten Commandments, 'Shema', 'Vehaya im Shamoa' and 'Vayomer' [the three paragraphs of the Shema]. They also blessed the people with these three blessings: Emet Veyatsiv [the blessing that follows the Shema in the morning prayer], Avodah [the blessing in Shemoneh Esreh calling for G-D to accept the Temple service], and the Birkat Kohanim [the Priestly Blessing]. On Shabbat, they added a blessing for the watch that was leaving. 2 אמר להם חדשים לקטרת באו והפיסו. הפיסו זכה מי שזכה. חדשים עם ישנים בואו והפיסו. מי מעלה אברים מן הכבש למזבח. רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אומר המעלה אברים לכבש. הוא מעלה אותן על גבי המזבח: He [the appointed priest] said to them: The new [priests who have never offered] the incense, come and draw lots. They drew lots and the one who won, won. He said to them: The new and the old [priests], come and draw lots [to determine] who will bring up the limbs from the ramp to the altar. Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov says: The one who would bring up the limbs to the ramp, he would be the one who would bring them up to the top of the altar. 3 מסרום לחזנים היו מפשיטין אותם את בגדיהם. לא היו מניחין עליהם אלא מכנסים בלבד. וחלונות היו שם. וכתוב עליהם תשמישי הכלים: They [the ones who lost the lottery] were given over to the caretakers. They would remove their [priestly] garments and would not leave anything on except for their pants. And there were cubicles [in the wall, used for storage of the clothing] and on each [cubicle] was written what garment was put there. 4 מי שזכה בקטרת היה נוטל את הכף. והכף דומה לתרקב גדול של זהב. מחזיק שלשת קבים. והבזך היה בתוכו מלא וגדוש קטרת. וכסוי היה לו. וכמין מטוטלת היה עליו מלמעלן: The one who won [the right] to [offer] the incense would take the spoon. The spoon was similar to a large gold Tarkav [measurement of volume] that could hold three kav [measurement of volume] and in it there was a censer filled and piled with incense. There was a cover [on the spoon] with a cloth attached to it from above. 5 מי שזכה במחתה. נטל מחתת הכסף ועלה לראש המזבח. ופנה את הגחלים הילך והילך וחתה. ירד ועירן לתוך של זהב. נתפזר ממנו כקב גחלים. והיה מכבדן לאמה. ובשבת היה כופה עליהן פסכתר. ופסכתר היתה כלי גדול מחזקת לתך. ושתי שרשרות היו בה אחת שהוא מושך בה ויורד. ואחת שהיא אוחז בה מלמעלן בשביל שלא תתגלגל. ושלשה דברים היתה משמשת כופין אותה על גב גחלים ועל השרץ בשבת. ומורידין בה את הדשן מעל גבי המזבח: The one who won [the right] to [do] the shovel [service] took the silver shovel and went to the top of the [copper] altar and pushed the coals to this side and that side and scooped [some coals]. He went down and poured it onto a [shovel of] gold. Approximately one kav [measurement of volume] of coals would scatter [when the coals were transferred], and he [another kohen] would sweep them to the ditch [that ran though the Temple Courtyard]. And on Shabbat [when he could not sweep the coals] he would cover them with a psakhter [a copper pot]. The copper pot was a large vessel that could hold a letekh [a measurement of volume] and there were two chains [attached] to it, one that he would use to pull on [when lowering the ash] and the pot would come down [the altar's ramp] and one that he [another kohen] would grab from on top it in order to prevent it from rolling [off the altar's ramp]. It [the copper pot] had three functions: they would cover the coals [that spilled on Shabbat] or [to cover] a [dead] rodent [found in the Temple courtyard on Shabbat], and they would lower the ash from on top of the altar [into it].

They [the two priests designated to bring the incense and the coals] arrived at the area between the vestibule [of the sanctuary] and the [copper] altar and one took the Magrefa [a shovel-shaped instrument that makes loud sound when thrown] and threw it between the vestibule and the altar. No one could hear the sound of his friend in Jerusalem [when it was thrown] because of the [loud] sound of the Magrefa. And [the trowing] served three functions: A kohen [standing outside] who heard its sound knew that his brothers, the priests were [currently] entering [the sanctuary] to bow down and he would run and go [to join them]. A Levi that heard its sound knew that his brother Levites were entering to sing the [daily] song and he would run [to join them]. And the head of the Ma'amad [one of 24 regions, each of which sent in turn a delegation to the Temple to be present and represent the entire people at the public sacrifices] would gather the impure people at the eastern gate [of the Temple Mount].

They [the two priests] began to ascend the steps of the vestibule. Those who had won the right to remove the ashes from the inner altar and from the Menorah went before them. The one who won the right to remove the ashes from the inner altar went in and took the basket and bowed down and went out again. The one who had won the right to remove the ashes from the Menorah went in, and if he found the two eastern lamps still burning he would remove the ash from the eastern one and left the western one burning, since from it he [the priest] lit the Menorah in the evening. If he found that this one [the western one] had gone out, he removed the ash and lit it [in the evening] from the burnt-offering altar. He then took the jug from the second step and bowed down and went out.

The one who had won the right to do the firepan [service], made a heap of coals on the top of the [inner] altar and then spreading them out with the bottom of the firepan and bowed down and went out.

The one who had won the right to the incense [service] took the censer from the spoon and gave it [the censer] to his friend or his relative [of his choice]. If some of it spilled into the spoon, he [the friend or relative] would give it to him [the priest] and put it into his hands. They would instruct him: Be careful not to begin [by dropping the incense] in front of you or else you may burn yourself. He then began spreading the incense and then went out. The one who burned the incense did not do so until the appointed one said to him,"Burn the incense." If it [the one offering] was the Kohen Gadol he would say to him:"Master Kohen Gadol, burn the incense." The people went out and he [the priest] burned the incense, he bowed down and went out.

When the Kohen Gadol entered [the sanctuary] to bow, three [other priests] would hold him, one on his right side, one on his left side and one held on to the precious stones [on the vestments of the Kohen Gadol]. As soon as the appointed priest heard the steps of the Kohen Gadol as he was leaving [the sanctuary], he lifted the curtain [to the vestibule of the sanctuary], entered, bowed and left, and [only then] did the rest of his brothers, the priests, enter, bow and leave.

They [the three priests who did the incense service] would come and stand on the steps of the vestibule. The first [the two who removed the ashes] stood to the south of their colleagues the priests [who did the incense service] and had five utensils in their hands, the basket in the hand of one of them, the jug in the hand of one of them, the firepan in the hand of one of them, the censer in the hand of one of them, and the spoon and its cover in the hand of the other one. And they [all the priests] blessed the nation with one blessing, which in the [outer] districts [outside the temple] are said as three blessings, but in the temple as one blessing. In the temple they would say the [G-d's] name as it is written but outside the temple they would use a pseudonym. Outside the temple the priests lifted their hands [when reciting the blessing] up to their shoulders, but in the temple [they would lift them] above their heads except for the Kohen Gadol who would not lift his hands above the forehead plate [worn by the Kohen Gadol]. Rabbi Yehuda says, even the Kohen Gadol lifts his hands above the forehead plate, as it says, "And Aaron raised his hands towards the people and blessed them."(Leviticus 9:22)

Whenever the Kohen Gadol wanted to offer the incense [instead of the priest who won the lottery], he would go up the ramp with his assitant on his right side. When he reached half-way up the ramp, the assistant would hold his right hand and helped him go up. The first [priest] passed him [the Kohen Gadol] the head and rear [right] leg [of the Tamid] and he [the Kohen Gadol] would lean his hands on them and then throw them [on the fire]. The second one passed to the first one the two front legs who would then give them to the Kohen Gadol, who would then lean on them and throw them [onto the fire]. When second one would then go away. And so they would pass him the rest of the limbs and he would lean on them and throw them. And whenever [the Kohen Gadol] wanted, he would [only] lean on them and others would throw them. He then went around [full circle] the altar. From where would he start [his circle]? From the southeastern corner [to] the northeast [corner then to] the northwest [corner then to] southwest [corner]. They gave him the wine to pour [for the libation]. The assistant stood on the horn [of the altar] with two flags in his hand. Two Kohanim stood in the table of [used for] fats and twotumpets were in gtheir hands. They blew a teki'ah [long steady sound], then a teruah [a series of very short sounds] and then again a teki'ah. They came and stood next to ben Arza [the one who played the cymbal], one on his right and one on his left.When he [the Kohen Gadol] bent and to pour [the wine], the assistant waved the flags and ben Arza swung the cymbals and the Levites began to sing. When they [the Levites] reached [the end of] a chapter [of Psalms], they would blow [a set of blasts; teki'ah, teruah and a teki'ah] and the people [that were looking on] would bow down. At the end of every chapter, they would blow a [set of blasts; teki'ah, teruah and a teki'ah]. After each set of blasts, they [the people] would bow. This is the order of the Tamid offering for the service of the House of G-d, May it be His will that it be built speedily in our days. Amen.

 On Sunday they would say, "To Hashem is the world and that which fills it, the inhabited land and its inhabitants." (Psalms 24) On Monday they would say, "Great is Hashem and very praised, in the city of G-d, His Mountain of Holiness." (Psalms 48) On Tuesday they would say, "G-d stands in the divine, in the midst of the judges He judges." (Psalms 82) On Wednesday they would say, "G-d of vengeance, Hashem G-dof vengeance appear." (Psalms 94) On Thursday they would say , "Sing for joy to G-d our strength, shout out loud to the G-d of Yaakov." (Psalms 81) On Friday they would say, "Hashem has reigned, he wears his splendor etc." On Shabbat they would say (Psalms 92), "A Psalm, a Song for the sabbath day."(Psalms 93) [The latter song] is a psalm for the future, for the day that is completely Shabbat [tranquil] for all eternity.

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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