Megillah, Chapter One, Mishnah Eleven

 

Introduction

The final mishnah of this series continues to deal with differences between places in which sacrifices can be offered.

 

Mishnah Eleven

1)      There is no difference between Shiloh and Jerusalem except that in Shiloh sacrifices of lesser sanctity and second tithe could be eaten anywhere within sight [of the town], whereas in Jerusalem [they had to be eaten] within the walls.

2)      In both places the most holy sacrifices were eaten within the curtains.   

3)      After the sanctification of Shiloh there is permission [for altars], but after the sanctification of Jerusalem there is no such permission.

 

Explanation

Section one:  During the time of Samuel the ark was at Shiloh (see I Samuel 3-4).  Since the ark had a permanent home, it was prohibited to offer sacrifices at local altars, just as it was prohibited to offer sacrifices when the Temple stood in Jerusalem.  There is only one difference between Shiloh and Jerusalem, and that is with regard to where certain sacrifices and second tithe could be eaten.  When Shiloh was the center of worship, these could be eaten in any place within sight of Shiloh.  In Jerusalem they had to be eaten within the city walls.

Section two:  In both Shiloh and Jerusalem most holy sacrifices, such as sin and guilt offerings, had to be eaten within the Temple/Tabernacle (Mishkan) precincts. 

Section three: When Shiloh was destroyed, it again became permitted to offer sacrifices at other communal and personal altars but when the two Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed there was no such permission and it continued to be forbidden to offer sacrifices at other altars.  Put another way, when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed it became forbidden to offer sacrifices elsewhere and after the destruction of the Second Temple it remained forbidden until the Temple will be rebuilt.  

 

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