Saturday, July 22, 2006

UPDATE from Friday's Daf


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld


Yoma 045: Ma'arachah for the Menorah

Avrohom Adler asked:

The Gemora states that the flame of the menorah was taken from the
mizbeach hachitzon. Tosfos asks that it should require a maaracha by
itself just like the ketores had its own maaracha? He answers that
since it was not necessary to take any coals off the mizbeach for
this (like it was required for the ketores), they only needed to
light the wicks, it is not logical for there to be an independent
maaracha just for the menorah.

The Sfas Emes suggests another answer. When Klal Yisroel merited, the
Ner Ma'aravi did not extinguish and it was never necessary to get a
flame from the Mizbe'ach (as we learned previously on daf 39),
therefore it would not be proper to set up a special maaracha for the
menorah merely for those instances when Klal Yisroel did not deserve
the miracle.

I am bothered by a question (perhaps I saw it someplace, but I cannot
locate it now) from the same Gemora on daf 39. It states there that
when they merited the miracles, the fire on the large maaracha never
diminished and there was no necessity to bring other fire to kindle
it (besides for the mitzva of the two logs of wood), and nevertheless
there was a special maaracha on the mizbeach whose sole purpose was
to be used just in case the fire went out. According to the Sfas
Emes, this is illogical and not proper?

The Kollel replies:

That is a beautiful point indeed.

Rashi DH Kiyum indeed learns that the Ma'arachah of Kiyum ha'Esh was
meant to be used for adding wood to the main Ma'arachah if the latter
was not sufficiently strong. As you wrote, this was not necessary
when the Jews were meritorious, just like the Ner Ma'aravi did not
extinguish when they were meritorious. Rashi thus could not explain
like the Sefas Emes, l'Shitaso.

The Sefas Emes must have learned that the Ma'arachah of Kiyum ha'Esh
was needed to provide a constant fire, even when the main Ma'arachah
was dismantled at the end of the day to prepare the following day's
Ma'arachah. This might be the opinion of the Rambam (Temidin
u'Musafin 2:9), who implies that the only Ma'arachah that is lit from
the Beis ha'Moked is the one for Kiyum ha'Esh, and the other
Ma'arachot are then lit from it (see Avodas ha'Korbanos, #33:6).
This was necessary even when the Jews were meritorious.

Best wishes,
M. Kornfeld


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