Menahot, Chapter Thirteen, Mishnah Three


Mishnah Three

1)      [If one said,] “I take upon myself to bring [pieces of] wood,” he must bring not less than two logs.

2)      “Frankincense,” he must bring not less than a handful.

3)      There are five cases of [not less than] a handful:

i)        One who says, “I take upon myself to bring frankincense,” he must bring not less than a handful.

ii)       One who voluntarily offered a minhah must bring a handful of frankincense with it.

iii)     One who offered up the handful outside [the Temp] is liable.  

iv)     The two dishes [of frankincense] require two handfuls.



Section one: If one volunteers to bring wood to use on the altar, he must bring two logs. This is the amount of wood they put on the altar at one time.

Section two: If one volunteers to bring frankincense he must bring at least a handful of frankincense.

Section three: The mishnah now lists five cases where the minimum amount is a handful. The first is the case we just encountered in section two. The second case is one who volunteers to offer a minhah. He must bring with the minhah a handful of frankincense, the amount that always accompanies the minhah. The third case is who offers up a handful of incense outside of the Temple. Since a handful is an amount of significance within the Temple, one who offers up this amount outside of the Tempe is liable. The fourth and fifth handfuls are those that accompany the showbread (see above 11:5). Each row of the showbread had a dish of frankincense into which was put a handful of frankincense.