Talmud Navigator

For the week ending 29 March 2014 / 27 Adar II 5774

Succah 55 Beitza 6

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

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  • The Psalms that were sung by Levites in Beit Hamikdash
  • Division of the Succot sacrifices between the kohanim
  • Festival arrangement of kohanim rights
  • Order of the kiddush blessings on Succot
  • Division of the lechem hapanim showbreads
  • Why the Bilgah family was penalized
  • The egg laid on Yom Tov and the nature of the mother hen
  • The concepts of muktza and hachana
  • Comparing the egg to fruit from a tree or to juice from fruit
  • The forbidden egg that got mixed up with permitted ones
  • When the law of bitul does not apply
  • When Shabbat and Yom Tov follow each other
  • Branches that fall off the tree into the oven on Yom Tov
  • Two days of Yom Tov outside Eretz Yisrael and two days of Rosh Hashana everywhere
  • When can a rabbinical decree be annulled
  • Return to family life at Sinai and Rabbi Eliezer’s vineyard
  • Burial on Yom Tov and on Rosh Hashana
  • The chick and the calf born on Yom Tov
  • When a chick is capable of hatching others

Praying for Mankind

  • Succah 55b

“Woe to the nations of the world who lost something and are unaware of what they lost. In the time of the Beit Hamikdash the altar helped achieve atonement for them but now who will atone for them?”

This statement of Rabbi Yochanan was a follow-up to what Rabbi Elazar said about the seventy bullocks offered as sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash throughout Succot relating to the seventy nations of the world. Since Succot is the time when Heaven determines how much rain will fall during the year, the sacrifices offered by the Jewish People achieved atonement for the sins of the seventy nations to make them deserving of sufficient rainfall.

This idea of the Beit Hamikdash serving as a source of blessing for the non-Jewish world is also mentioned in the dialogue between Shimon Hatzadik and Alexander the Great (Yoma 69a). This kohen gadol countered the slander perpetuated by the Kuttites that the Temple in Jerusalem was the source of rebellion against the Macedonian Empire and deserved to be destroyed by pointing out that it was in that Temple that Jews prayed for the welfare of the king and his kingdom.

Maharsha writes that this is a reference to the prayer of King Shlomo (Melachim I 8:40-43) at the inauguration of the Beit Hamikdash that G-d accept the prayers of the gentile who directs his prayers toward His House. Perhaps Shimon Hatzadik was, in some manner, also referring to the sacrifices brought on their behalf on Succot.

What the Sages Say

“Bilgah, the father of Miriam, was penalized for the disrespect he showed to the Beit Hamikdash altar because there is a folk saying that the language used by a child in the street was learned from either its mother or father.”

  • The Sage Abaye - Succah 56b

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