TalmuDigest

For the week ending 1 January 2011 / 24 Tevet 5771

Zevachim 51 - 57

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Where remains of sacrificial blood are poured at the altar base
  • In regard to which sacrifice is proper disposal of remaining blood indispensable
  • Application of blood of sin offering to the altar
  • The red band around the altar
  • How olah sacrifice was offered
  • Why the southeast corner of the altar was different from the others
  • How the altar was constructed
  • How the location of the Beit Hamikdash was determined
  • The six asham sin offerings
  • The todah (thanksgiving) and nazarite sacrifices
  • The shlamim sacrifice procedure and who may consume its flesh
  • The time and place for the slaughter of the shlamim sacrifice
  • The remaining categories of sacrifices

The Name and the Place

  • Zevachim 54b

Deciding where the Beit Hamikdash should be built based on hints in the Torah and Prophets was no simple matter. In addition, the deliberations concerning the location took place at a time when one of the deciders was fleeing for his life.

When King Shaul sent agents to capture David, whom he viewed as a threat to his throne and therefore deserved to be killed, they failed to find him, for he had fled to the home of the Prophet Shmuel. While he was there, he and Shmuel studied the sources, which enabled them to determine where G-d wanted the Beit Hamikdash to be built.

Where is it indicated in the account of David's arrival at Shmuel's home that they dealt with the issue of Beit Hamikdashlocation?

Maharsha explains that the passage relating to this meeting calls Shmuel's city Nayot (Shmuel I, 19:18), although whenever Shmuel's city is mentioned it is always identified as Rama. This was seen by our Sages as an indication that they were actually in Rama but were discussing the Beit Hamikdash, which is the “Naveh” – the Divine dwelling place.

The exact location of where the Beit Hamkdash stood is not known today, which explains why halacha forbids going up on the Temple Mount for fear that a ritually impure (because of contact with the dead) Jew may enter the sacred area forbidden to him.

What the Sages Say

"The Beit Hamikdashis higher than all of Eretz Yisrael, which is higher than all other lands."

  • The Sage Rava - Zevachim 54b

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