Menahot, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Six

 

Introduction

This mishnah continues to deal with the table upon which was placed the showbread.

 

Mishnah Six

1)      There were there four golden props [at the corners of] the table, each split at the top, which supported the cakes, two for the one row and two for the other row.

2)      And there were twenty-eight rods, each [shaped] like the half of a hollow reed, fourteen for the one row and fourteen for the other row.

3)      Neither the placing of the rods nor their removal overrode the Shabbat, but [a priest] used to enter on the day before Shabbat, pull out the rods, and place them parallel with the length of the table.  

4)      Every article that stood in the Temple was placed with its length parallel with the length of the House.

 

Explanation

Section one:  On the table were four props, one at each corner, whose heads were split into two. Each row had two split props to support it on each side.

Section two: The bottom hallah was placed directly on the table. The next four hallot were each placed on three rods and the top hallah was placed on two rods. It needed less support because it was on top.

Section three: Setting up the rods and removing them from the old bread does not override the Shabbat. Rather, a priest would pull out the old rods on the day before the Shabbat and place them on the table. On Shabbat, when the new loaves were put out, they were placed directly on the table. They were only put onto the rods when Shabbat was over.

Section four: Everything in the Temple had its length go from east to west, as was the length of the Temple. This line was brought here in this mishnah to teach that the length of the table was also east-west.  

 

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