THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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MENACHOS 94 - has been dedicated to the memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben
Shlomo ha'Levi) Turkel, by his children Eddie and Lawrence, and his wife
Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz. Max was a warm and loving husband and father and he
is sorely missed by his family.
1) KNEADING EACH LOAF SEPARATELY
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that each loaf of the Shtei ha'lechem and the
Lechem ha'Panim must be kneaded separately. The Gemara says that this
requirement is learned from the verse, "Shnei Esronim Yiheyeh ha'Chalah
ha'Echas" -- "Each individual loaf shall be two Esronim" (Vayikra 24:5).
2) BAKING EACH LOAF SEPARATELY
Why, though, does the Torah require that each loaf be kneaded separately?
Why may we not knead all of the dough together, and then separate the
kneaded dough into loaves? If the act of kneading would be an Avodah, then
we would understand that the Torah requires that every Avodah of each loaf
be done separately. However, the kneading of the dough is not an Avodah
(and, according to one opinion, the kneading is done even before the dough
has been sanctified).
ANSWER: The CHAZON ISH (Menachos 66:4) explains the reason for this
requirement as follows. The loaves of the Shtei ha'Lechem must each be
comprised of a specific quantity of flour, two Esronim. When the loaves are
kneaded separately, we can be sure that each loaf has the correct amount of
flour that it needs, because when we separate the flour into two parts, we
can measure the exact amount for each loaf. However, if we separate the
flour after the dough has been kneaded, then it will be impossible to
measure accurately, since the flour has turned into dough and the dough
cannot be accurately measured. One part of the dough might be thicker and
contain more flour than the other part. Therefore, since the Torah tells us
to use two Esronim for each loaf, we must knead each loaf separately in
order to be able to measure the exact amount of flour necessary for each
The Chazon Ish adds that not all Menachos that are brought as loaves of
Chalos need to be separated before the kneading. The Gemara earlier (87b)
asks how the flour of the Minchas Chavitin of the Kohen Gadol was divided
into twelve parts (see TOSFOS there, DH ba'Meh), implying that the loaves of
other Menachos were kneaded together, and it was not necessary to separate
the flour into different parts (add oil to and knead them).
The reason for this difference between the Menachos is that wherever the
Torah commands that the Minchah be divided into parts (such as the Shtei
ha'Lechem, Lechem ha'Panim, and Minchas Chavitin which is learned from
Lechem ha'Panim), the Torah requires that each part have a specific,
accurate measure of flour. Therefore, each loaf is an independently-measured
part of the Minchah, and each loaf must be kneaded separately. Other
Menachos need to be divided into loaves only l'Chatchilah, and they are
still valid if they were not divided. For other Menachos, dividing the
Minchah into loaves is merely the specific way in which the Minchah is to be
brought, and there is no requirement that the quantity of flour in each loaf
be exact. For this reason, there is no requirement, even l'Chatchilah, to
knead the loaves of other Menachos separately.
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that the loaves of the Shtei ha'lechem are
baked individually, one at a time. In contrast, the loaves of the Lechem
ha'Panim are baked two at a time.
This requirement is difficult to understand. The Gemara in a number of
places (see 95b) says that the oven in which the Shtei ha'Lechem and Lechem
ha'Panim are baked is Mekadesh them. If the Torah requires that only one
loaf of the Shtei ha'Lechem be baked at a time, and that only two loaves of
the Lechem ha'Panim be baked at a time, then how can the oven be Mekadesh
them? There is a Halachah that a Kli Shares cannot be Mekadesh a partial
amount of the full amount needed for the Minchah ("Ein Kli Shares Mekadesh
l'Chatza'in"). A Kli Shares can be Mekadesh only the full amount together.
How, then, can the oven be Mekadesh only part of the Shtei ha'Lechem, and
part of the Lechem ha'Panim, at a time?
(a) The KEREN ORAH answers that the Mishnah means that each loaf should be
*placed into* the oven separately (or two at a time). The baking of the
loaves, however, is done at one time, with all of the loaves being baked in
the oven together.
The Keren Orah infers this from the verse that the Gemara cites, "v'Samta
Osam" -- "You shall place them" (Vayikra 24:6), which implies that the
*placing* of the loaves must be done in the prescribed manner, but the
baking is done with all of the loaves together.
Although the wording of the Mishnah is that the loaves "are *baked* one at a
time," the Keren Orah understands that this refers to the general Avodah of
the preparation of the loaves, and not to the specific act of baking. It is
referring to the act that the Kohen does -- the act of placing the loaves
into the oven. The Kohen himself does not bake the loaves; the oven bakes
them. The Mishnah is saying that the act that the Kohen does (placing the
loaves into the oven in order to be baked) is done by placing one loaf at a
The MAR'EH YECHEZKEL questions the approach of the Keren Orah from the words
of TOSFOS who says that the oven used for the Shtei ha'Lechem had room for
only one loaf! It is clear that the actual baking was itself done with one
loaf at a time.
(b) The CHAZON ISH (Menachos 66:3) answers differently. The Chazon Ish
explains that by commanding us to bake each loaf separately, the Torah is
teaching a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv that in the case of the Shtei ha'Lechem, each
loaf indeed becomes Kadosh in the oven individually, and it is not necessary
to bake all of the loaves together in order to be Mekadesh them.
Similarly, with regard to the Lechem ha'Panim, the Torah teaches that the
oven is Mekadesh two loaves at a time, and it is not necessary to bake all
of the loaves together in order to be Mekadesh them.
However, this answer is also problematic. The Torah says with regard to the
Lechem ha'Panim, "v'Samta Osam" -- "You shall place them" (Vayikra 24:6),
from which the Gemara derives that two loaves are to be baked together.
According to the Chazon Ish, the Torah is teaching that one does not need to
bake all twelve loaves together, but that it suffices to bake two together.
How, though, is this implied by the words, "v'Samta Osam"? If, without the
verse, we would require all twelve to be baked together, how does "v'Samta
Osam" tell us that two may be baked together? Perhaps it means that all
twelve must be baked together!
(c) Perhaps we may answer as follows. The Torah teaches that two loaves are
required for the Shtei ha'Lechem, and twelve for the Lechem ha'Panim. Each
loaf is an independent entity, with its own Shi'ur. Accordingly, each loaf
can become Kadosh by itself. The Shtei ha'Lechem and the Lechem ha'Panim are
not like other Menachos, where the prescribed Shi'ur is a Shi'ur for the
Minchah in its entirety, and when the Minchah is lacking its Shi'ur, no part
of it can become Kadosh.
Accordingly, we do not need a verse to teach that each loaf of the Shtei
ha'Lechem and Lechem ha'Panim can become Kadosh by itself. The verse is
teaching a new law pertaining to the baking of the loaves. The Torah is
teaching that the loaves of the Shtei ha'Lechem are to be baked one at a
time, and that the loaves of the Lechem ha'Panim are to be baked in pairs
[at least]. (This is similar to the concept we discussed in the Gemara
earlier (12b; see Insights there), where we explained that when a Minchah is
lacking part of its Shi'ur, all parts of the Minchah become Pasul because of
"Chaser." In contrast, when one of the Lechem ha'Panim becomes Chaser, only
that loaf becomes Pasul because of Chaser. The remaining eleven loaves are
not Pasul because each one is considered Chaser, but rather they are Pasul
because there are not twelve valid loaves. Only the loaf that is lacking its
Shi'ur is Pasul because of Chaser. The other loaves are not missing their
Shi'ur, and thus they are not Pasul because of Chaser.)
This explains why each loaf can become Kadosh by itself. Since each one has
its own, independent Shi'ur, each one can become Kadosh by itself and it is
not necessary to be Mekadesh all of the loaves together. The verse is
teaching us a Halachah in the baking of the loaves, telling us how many
loaves should be baked at a time. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)
3) THE "KANIM" ATOP THE "LECHEM HA'PANIM"
QUESTION: Rebbi Chanina and Rebbi Yochanan argue about the form in which the
Lechem ha'Panim are made. Rebbi Chanina says that they are made in the form
of a "Teivah Perutzah." Rebbi Yochanan says that they are made in the form
of a "Sefinah Rokedes." The Gemara asks a number of questions on the opinion
of Rebbi Yochanan. One of the questions is that the Mishnah later (96a)
teaches that three golden, half-tube rods were placed atop each loaf of the
Lechem ha'Panim. These rods supported the loaf that was placed on top of
them, and they made a space between the loaves, allowing air to circulate
between them. The Gemara asks that if the loaves were shaped like a "Sefinah
Rokedes," then how could three rods be placed on each one? The shape of the
bread does not allow for more than one rod to be placed on the loaf! (See
Row #4 in Graphic #6, "The Lechem ha'Panim.")
4) WHAT DO THE "SENIFIN" SUPPORT
It is evident from the Gemara that the Kanim were supported by the bread.
This is also evident from the Gemara later (97a) which teaches that only two
Kanim were placed below the highest tier of loaves, while three Kanim were
placed beneath the other tiers. The Gemara there says that the reason for
this difference is that the highest tier was supporting much less weight,
and thus two Kanim sufficed. It is clear from that statement that the Kanim
between the lower tiers supported not only the loaves immediately above
them, but also all of the tiers of loaves above that tier. Accordingly, the
Kanim between the loaves must have been supported by the loaves themselves,
and not by any other support that was not resting on the loaves.
How can this be reconciled with the Mishnah and Gemara later (96a) that
state that there were golden Senifin, panels, that were "branched at their
heads" which served to support the loaves? This implies that the Kanim that
supported each loaf rested on the Senifin, and not on the loaves! (TOSFOS DH
(a) TOSFOS (DH d'Samchei) suggests that the Senifin did not support the
Kanim at all. When the Mishnah says that they supported the loaves, this
means that they only provided support to the sides of the loaves to prevent
them from being crushed under the weight of the upper loaves. The Kanim
between the tiers, though, were supported by the loaves alone. What does the
Mishnah mean when it says that the Kanim were "Mefutzalim k'Min Dukranim,"
branched like bamboo shoots? Tosfos explains that the word "Mefutzalim" does
not mean "branched," as it means in other places (Yoma 29a, Chulin 59b).
Rather, it means "indented" or "peeled" (see RASHI to Bereishis 30:37).
Tosfos explains that the Senifin covered the entire face of the bread on
each side of the Shulchan (see Row #3 in Graphic #6). The Kanim that
protruded from between the loaves prevented the Senifin from touching the
faces of the loaves. In order to accommodate the Kanim, grooves were made on
the inner side of the Senifin into which the Kanim protruded, while the
remainder of the Senifin pressed directly against the loaves.
According to Tosfos, the grooves which accommodated the Kanim apparently did
not provide support for the Kanim (that is, the weight of the Kanim did not
rest on them), and thus the Kanim had to rest on the loaves. Why, though,
were the Kanim not placed to rest on the Senifin, if doing so would give
more support to the loaves?
Tosfos writes that it is possible that the Senifin did not reach past the
top of the first tier of loaves (see following Insight.) Perhaps the lowest
Kanim *did* rest on the Senifin (in the grooves, or "Pitzulim"). However,
the upper Kanim had to rest on the loaves, since the Senifin did not reach
that high. (See also Tosfos to 96b, DH Misgarto.)
(b) However, RASHI (here, 96a, and in Shemos 25:29) writes that the Kanim
indeed rested on the Senifin. This is also the opinion of RABEINU GERSHOM
(here, and 97a, DH Mefutzalim). This is also the opinion of the RASH and
RA'AVAD (Toras Kohanim, Parshas Emor, 18:4). Why, then, was it necessary for
the loaves on bottom to support to the Kanim?
TOSFOS (DH k'Min) explains that even according to Rashi, who says that the
Kanim were supported at their ends by the Senifin, it was also necessary to
provide support in the middle of each Kaneh in order to prevent it from
cracking in the middle. Thus, the ends of each Kaneh rested on the Senifin,
while the center of each Kaneh rested on the loaf.
If the loaves supported the center of the Kanim, then why was it necessary
for the Senifin to support the ends? The loaves should support the entire
weight of the Kanim! The answer seems to be that the weight of the upper
tiers would have crushed the lower loaves had the Senifin not given partial
support to the Kanim. Thus, the Senifin alleviated the burden on the lower
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that teaches that if the loaves of the
Lechem ha'Panim were shaped like a "Sefinah Rokedes," then "the Lechem
supported the Senifin, and the Senifin supported the Lechem." The Beraisa
uses the singular term when referring to the loaves ("Lechem"), even though
it uses the plural term when referring to the "Senifin." We find a similar
expression in the Beraisa later (95a) that says that "the Senifin supported
the Lechem." Why does the Beraisa use the singular term when referring to
(a) The simple answer is that the word "Lechem" is short for "Lechem
ha'Panim," which refers to all of the loaves and not to just a single loaf.
This seems to be the approach of Rashi and many other Rishonim who do not
differentiate between one loaf and the others with regard to which loaves
were supported by the Senifin.
However, the Tosefta (11:3, cited by Tosfos here) writes that the Senifin
supported the "Chalah," and not the "Lechem." The singular term "Chalah"
certainly implies that the Senifin supported a singular Chalah, rather than
all of the Chalos.
(b) TOSFOS explains that, indeed, each set of Senifin supported only a
single Chalah -- the lowest one, which rested directly on the Shulchan. The
upper loaves did not support as much weight and did not need the extra
support of the Senifin. Aside from the Tosefta, clear support for this can
be found in the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabah 4:14), which says that the Senifin
supported the lowest loaf.
Tosfos adds (in the end of his comments) that this would be impossible
according to the opinion that the loaves were shaped like a Sefinah Rokedes.
It seems that this is because it was necessary for the Senifin to support
each "boat" from toppling over onto its side, since its base was pointed (as
the Gemara explains).
Strong support for the thesis of Tosfos can be found in the MIDRASH RABAH
(Bamidbar Rabah 4:14). The Midrash teaches that the Senifin were used to
support the "bottom Chalah" of the Lechem ha'Panim. (The Bamidbar Rabah is a
relatively late Midrash, and it is generally not quoted by any of the
Rishonim.) However, the Midrash also explains that the Lechem looked like a
"Sefinah Rokedes" (which it translates as a "wobbly boat" -- see also our
Girsa in the Tosefta, Menachos 11:3). Thus, it is evident from the Midrash
that even if the Lechem ha'Panim looked like a Sefinah, no Senifin were
necessary for the upper tiers. As the commentaries there explain, the Kanim
on which the upper tiers rested were apparently bent, to conform to the
shape of the sides of the Lechem ha'Panim. Each loaf sat *inside* the loaf
above it, and was prevented from toppling over by the Senifin of the
*bottom* loaf. (This is not the opinion of our Gemara, 96a, in which Rebbi
Yochanan, who maintains that the loaves were shaped like a Sefinah, teaches
that since 2.5 Tefachim of each loaf was folded up, the uppermost loaf
reached a height of 15 Tefachim from the top of the Shulchan.)
(c) The RA'AVAD (Toras Kohanim, Parshas Emor, 18:4) explains that the "loaf"
to which the Gemara is referring is not the bottom loaf, but the *top* one.
He explains that the weight of the top loaf, when added to the weight of the
tiers of loaves below it, would have been too much for the bottom loaf to
carry. Therefore, even though the Kanim of the second, third, fourth, and
fifth tiers rested directly on the loaves below them, the Kanim of the sixth
tier were supported by the Senifin. Apparently, he understands that this is
why the Gemara says that the Senifin supported the "loaf."