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Mishnayos Shekalim Perek 6 Mishnah 4

שקלים פרק ו׳ משנה ד׳


This mishna details the exact location and purpose of the thirteen tables in the Temple. There were thirteen tables in the Temple. Eight of them were made of marble and were located in the slaughtering area, north of the altar, where the priests would slaughter the offerings of the most sacred order. Upon these tables they would wash the innards of the offerings, as the marble was cool and preserved the freshness of the meat. And there were two more tables on the western side of the ramp, south of the altar, one of marble and one of silver.On the table of marble they would place the limbs before they were sacrificed, and from there the priests would bring them up to the altar. On the table made of silver they would place the ninety-three sacred vessels brought out from the Chamber of Vessels each morning for the services of that day. And there were two tables in the Entrance Hall to the Sanctuary, on the inside of the Entrance Hall, near the opening to the Temple, one of marble and one of gold. On the table of marble they would put the shewbread before its entrance to the Sanctuary after it was baked on the eve of Shabbat. And they would place the old shewbread on the table of gold upon its exit from the Sanctuary, to be divided among the priests. The reason the shewbread was placed on a marble table before being brought into the Sanctuary and on a golden one upon when removed from there is that one elevates to a higher level in matters of sanctity and one does not downgrade. Since it had been placed on the golden Shewbread table all week inside the Sanctuary, upon its removal it could not be derogated to a marble table and so was placed on a different golden table in the Entrance Hall. Finally, there was one table of gold inside the Sanctuary, i.e. the Shewbread table, upon which the shewbread was placed always.

שְׁלשָׁה עָשָׂר שֻׁלְחָנוֹת הָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ, שְׁמוֹנֶה שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ בְּבֵית הַמִּטְבְּחַיִם, שֶׁעֲלֵיהֶן מְדִיחִין אֶת הַקְּרָבַיִם. וּשְׁנַיִם בְּמַעֲרַב הַכֶּבֶשׁ, אֶחָד שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ וְאֶחָד שֶׁל כֶּסֶף עַל שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ הָיוּ נוֹתְנִים אֶת הָאֵבָרִים, עַל שֶׁל כֶּסֶף כְּלֵי שָׁרֵת. וּשְׁנַיִם בָּאוּלָם מִבִּפְנִים עַל פֶּתַח הַבַּיִת, אֶחָד שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ וְאֶחָד שֶׁל זָהָב, עַל שֶׁל שַׁיִשׁ נוֹתְנִין לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים בִּכְנִיסָתוֹ, וְעַל שֶׁל זָהָב בִּיצִיאָתוֹ, שֶׁמַּעֲלִין בַּקֹּדֶשׁ וְלֹא מוֹרִידִין. וְאֶחָד שֶׁל זָהָב מִבִּפְנִים, שֶׁעָלָיו לֶחֶם הַפָּנִים תָּמִיד:


אך של שיש מניחי את האברים – after the dissection, they arrange them (i.e., the parts of the offering – the limbs) on the table until the Kohanim would bring them up, but they did not make them (i.e., the tables) of silver or gold for there is no poverty in the place of wealth, since the gold and the silver cause them (i.e., the parts of the offerings) to get hot and smell badly, whereas the marble cools them off and preserves them so that they do not smell badly, but they would not rely on a miracle that the holy meat never smelled badly (see Tractate Avot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 5, - "ולא הסריחהתליע בשר הקדש מעולם" ).

ועל של כסף כלי שרת – that they would remove each morning ninety-three service vessels, as is taught in the Mishnah [of Tractate] Tamid (Chapter 3, Mishnah 4).

נותנים לחם הפנים בכניסתו – after it was baked until they would set it up on the table.

ועל של זהב ביציאתו – and it would be placed there until the time of its division [among the priests].

שמעלין בקודש ולא מורידין – for since they removed it from on top of the golden table, and they don’t lower it to place it on one of silver.

על של שיש מניחין את האברים. אחר הנתוח מסדרין אותן על השלחן עד שיעלום הכהנים. ולא עשאום של כסף או של זהב דהא אין עניות במקום עשירות, לפי שהזהב והכסף מרתיחים ומסריחים והשיש מצנן ושומר הבשר שלא יסריח, ולא היו סומכין על הנס שלא הסריח בשר הקודש מעולם:

ועל של כסף כלי שרת. שמוציאין בכל בוקר צ״ג כלי שרת, כדתנן במסכת תמיד:

נותנים לחם הפנים בכניסתו. אחר שנאפה, עד שיסדרוהו על השלחן:

ועל של זהב ביציאתו. והיה מונח שם עד זמן חלוקו:

שמעלין בקדש ולא מורידין. דכיון שסלקוהו מעל השלחן של זהב אין מורידין אותו להניחו בשל כסף: