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(Menachos 94b-96b)





"k'Teivah Perutzah"

k'Teivah Perutzah (with Karnayim)
The Lechem ha'Panim, if it looked like an open box (Teivah Perutzah).

  1. The dough of the Lechem ha'Panim was rolled 10 Tefachim long and 5 wide. According to Rebbi Yehudah (Mishnah, 96a), these were also the dimensions of the surface of the Shulchan.
  2. Since the loaves were to be placed with their lengths along the width of the Shulchan, 2.5 Tefachim at either end of the dough was folded vertically, leaving a horizontal span of 5 Tefachim (the width of the Shulchan) between the vertical surfaces. These vertical surfaces were the "faces" ("Panim") of the loaves, according to one explanation in Rashi (96a, see Insights there)
  3. Two loaves, laid side by side in this manner, filled the entire surface of the Shulchan, according to Rebbi Yehudah (see depiction below, Row #2:A,B). The two frankincense spoons ("Bezichin") had to be placed on top of the upper tier of loaves, since there was no room for them on the Shulchan itself.
  4. Before the dough was folded up at the ends, 7-Etzba-long upright spikes, or horns ("Karnayim"), were added to each corner. After the ends of the dough were folded, the spikes pointed inwards, towards the opposite faces of the loaves. (According to Rashi's second explanation on 96a, these were the "Pinim," or spikes, that the Torah alludes to when it calls the loaves "Lechem ha'Panim.")

    Sources: Mishnah and Gemara 96a, and Rashi. (It is not clear why, in his work, "The Living Torah," Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan drew the Karnayim differently.)

k'Teivah Perutzah (Rambam)
The Lechem ha'Panim, if it looked like an open box (Teivah Perutzah) - Rambam's opinion.

  1. The Rambam maintains that the word "Karnayim" refers to the thickness of the loaves (which was 7 Etzba'os) and not to "horns." Thus, according to the Rambam there were no protrusions on the loaves, and the loaves were exceptionally thick.
  2. (This would seem to be contradicted by the Gemara in Pesachim 37a that sats they were a Tefach thick. (Rashi there says that this Tefach was the "Panim.") See Minchas Chinuch and Zevach Todah, who raise this contradiction to the Rambam. The Tiferes Yisrael also discusses at length whether loaves of such widths could be made from the amount of flour that was used for the Lechem ha'Panim; see his introduction to Kodshim 2:51.)
  3. The Rambam's Girsa in the Mishnah is not that the Lechem ha'Panim "has Panim," but that it "has many Panim." Based on his interpretation of Karnayim, the Rambam explains this as follows. Since the Lechem ha'Panim were so thick, they had not only tops and bottoms (like most flat loaves), but also sides. Thus, it had 6 sides, or "Panim," since it was three dimensional.

    Sources: Perush ha'Mishnayos, Hilchos Temidim u'Musafim 5:9, see Insights to 96a and Yosef Da'as.


The Senifin

The Lechem ha'Panim that looked like a Teivah Perutzah - with the Senifin
The Senifin of the Lechem ha'Panim (Rashi)

  1. According to Rashi, the Senifin were poles, each of which had five branches ("Pitzulim").
  2. The branches left the main pole horizontally, when the pole reached the top of each tier of loaves.
  3. The ends of the rods ("Kanim") that supported each tier of loaves rested on these branches, rather than on the bottom loaves alone, so that the weight of the upper tiers would not collapse the lower ones.
  4. When the Mishnah says that the Senifin were branched "me'Rosheihem" ("from their heads"), Rashi seems to interpret that to mean that they branched out at the same level as the ends of the *rods* (i.e. "me'Rosheihem" means the Roshim of the Kanim).
  5. In addition to supporting the Kanim, the Senifin kept the vertical faces of the loaves from bellying out.

    Sources: (Rashi to Shemos 25:29; Menachos 94b DH Hainu d'Samchei, DH Senifin; 95a DH k'Min, 96a DH ha'Mefutzalim).

The Lechem ha'Panim that looked like a Teivah Perutzah - with the Senifin
The Senifin of the Lechem ha'Panim (Rashi)
click for view from the other side

  1. There were four Senifin, altogether, one at either side of each of the two tiers of loaves (along the longer side of the Shulchan).
  2. Rashi's opinion is that the Senifin reached the height of the highest Kanim (i.e. the ones which lay below the top loaves of the tier), since they supported all of the Kanim.
  3. The loaves themselves seem to have lent support to the Kanim as well. Without the support of the loaves, the Kanim would crack in middle from the weight of the upper tiers.
  4. Grooves along the tops of the loaves accommodated the rods, such that they did not add to the total height of the pile of loaves.

    Sources: Mishnah 96a, Rashi 94b DH Hainu d'Yasvei, DH Senifin, Tosfos 94b DH k'Min, Rashi 96a DH Meshaka


The Senifin

The Lechem ha'Panim that looked like a Teivah Perutzah - with the Senifin (acc. to Tosfos)
The Senifin of the Lechem ha'Panim (Tosfos)
click for view from the other side

  1. According to Tosfos, the four Senifin were vertically standing, flat plates of gold, each of which was five Tefachim wide.
  2. The Senifin stood adjacent to the table, such that two Senifin covered the entire length of the table, and supported the upright faces of the Lechem ha'Panim on either side from collapsing under the weight of the upper tiers.

    Sources: Tosfos 94b DH d'Samchei

The Lechem ha'Panim that looked like a Teivah Perutzah - with the Senifin (acc. to Tosfos)
The Senifin of the Lechem ha'Panim (Tosfos)

  1. According to Tosfos, indentations in the golden Senifin supported the ends of the Kanim.
  2. The RASHASH suggests that there actually were holes in the Senifin on one side of the table, through which the Kanim could be inserted or withdrawn without removing the loaves resting on them.
  3. Tosfos suggests that the Senifin reached no higher than the top of the lowest tier of loaves. He cites support for this from Beraisos which explain that the Senifin supported "the loaf" (and not "the loaves"). It was not necessary to have supports for the Kanim and vertical faces of the loaves on the upper tiers, since the upper loaves did not carry as heavy a load on top of them. Rather, the Kanim were laid directly on the loaves of those tiers.
  4. Tosfos notes, however, that if the loaves looked like a boat, they must have had Senifin to support even the loaves of the upper tiers.

    Sources: Tosfos 94b DH d'Samchei, Rashash 96a


"ki'Sefinah Rokedes"

"Shaped like a swift boat" (Rashi)
(frontal view)
  1. The Gemara points out that there were small, flat sections in each of the uppermost loaves, in which the Bezichim were placed. (These are not depicted in our graphic, but see below Row #6, where they are depicted.)
  2. It is clear from the Gemara, that "shaped like a swift boat" means that the loaves did not have flat bottoms.
  3. In keeping with this, Rashi writes that a boat is shaped like a "V," with a long top and a narrow bottom. Our depiction is based on Tosfos' assumption that according to Rashi the edges of the "V" were parallel to the long sides of the Shulchan. (See below, Row #7, for another interpretation of Rashi.)
  4. Rashi then adds "and [a boat's] two ends are sharp, and they rise upwards at an angle such that they do not touch the water...."
  5. According to this interpretation of Rashi, Rashi is not adding that the ends of the Lechem were sloped on the other sides as well, besides the slope of the original "V" mentioned above. Rather, he means that the Lechem were similar to a boat in three different ways: (a) They had a narrow bottom and wide top, like a cross section of the width of a boat; (b) Their fronts and backs reached higher than their center, like a cross section of the length of a boat; (c) They came to a point at their fronts and backs, like the fore and aft of a boat.
  6. Thus, according to this interpretation of Rashi, the loaves were made of double triangles of dough joined at their bases and inclined away from each another.

    Sources: Rashi 94b DH k'Min, DH d'Agil, 96a DH Tefachayim, Tosfos 94b DH k'Min

"Shaped like a swift boat" (Rashi)
(side view)
  1. Tosfos questions Rashi's explanation from the Mishnah on 96a, which explains that the Lechem had 2.5-Tefach-long "faces" at either end, which were folded upwards. According to the above depiction, the entire lengths of the loaves were sloped. (See below, Row #6 for Tosfos' answer to this question, and Row #7:A:3, for Rashi's possible answer.)
  2. The SEFAS EMES (see Insights) suggests the following answer to Tosfos' question: 2.5 Tefachim was the height of the tops of the sloped faces, as measured from the Shulchan. (According to Pythagorean theorem, the width of the top of the "V" would then be 8.66 Tefachim, and the points of the loaves protruded from the edge of the Shulchan 1.83 Tefachim at each end.)
  3. Although this solves the problem of Tosfos, it raises a number of other problems: (a) Could the Shulchan be Mekadesh the Lechem if it protruded from the Shulchan? Or was it only Mekadesh what was directly above the Shulchan? (b) It would be very hard to balance the Senifin on the table in such a scenario. (c) What forced the Mishnah on 96a to assume that Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Meir (who give different lengths for the Lechem ha'Panim) argued as to how high the faces of the loaves were folded? No matter how long the loaves were, they could have been folded such that their highest point was 2.5 Tefachim above the Shulchan!
  4. We may suggest another explanation for Rashi, which will answer the question of Tosfos, as well as the above questions. Rashi may be following his own opinion elsewhere (see Insights to Eruvin 76:2:c). Rashi may have learned that the width of the top of the "V" was exactly five Tefachim -- the width of the Shulchan -- and the height was only 2.5 Tefachim. (Pythagorean theorem then dictates that the physical length of the dough used for the "V" must have been seven Tefachim.) Nevertheless, the Mishnah was justified in saying that the "Halachic" length of the dough was ten Tefachim, since the Halachic measurement of a diagonal is equal to the sum of the vertical and horizontal sides that meet the diagonal; see Insights to Eruvin there. (M. Kornfeld)

    Sources: Rashi 94b DH Makom, Mishnah 96a, Rashi there DH Tefachayim, Tosfos 94b DH k'Min


The rounded Senifin for a Sefinah Rokedes

The protrusions ("Murshei") for the Kanim (Rashi)
click for view from the other side

  1. The Gemara points out that since the tops of the loaves were pointed and not flat, three Kanim could not rest on their tips.
  2. The only way to rest three Kanim on top of the loaves was by adding protrusions (Murshei) near the tops of the loaves to support the two Kanim on either side, while the middle one rested on the tip of the loaf.
  3. Tosfos points out that although the Kanim rested on the Senifin, nevertheless it was necessary for the loaves to provide support as well, for otherwise the Kanim would break in middle due to the weight of the loaves above them.

    Sources: Rashi 94b DH Hainu, DH Mursha, Tosfos DH k'Min

Rounded Senifin for a Sefinah Rokedes (Rashi)
click for view from the other side

  1. The Gemara explains that in order to prevent the sloping faces of the Lechem ha'Panim from collapsing, the Senifin had to be "rounded" in order to match the slope of the faces of the loaves.
  2. The Senifin were not perfectly rounded. Rather they zigzagged in and out, as we have depicted. The drawing in the Gemara is very unclear and misleading.
  3. Since there was room on the table under the slope of the loaves, if they were shaped like a swift boat, the Senifin could rest directly on the Shulchan and they did not have to be standing on the floor (as in Row #2).
  4. In this manner, the Senifin supported the loaves, while the weight of the loaves supported the Senifin, and kept them from falling off the table, as the Gemara says.

    Sources: Menachos 96b, Rashi DH d'Agil, DH Ela l'Man d'Amar, DH ha'Lechem Ma'amid


"ki'Sefinah Rokedes"

Shaped like a swift boat (Tosfos)

  1. The yellow circle in one of the loaves in our depiction is the Bazich, see Row #4:b:1.
  2. Tosfos understands the Gemara as Rashi did (in Row #4). However, he is bothered by a strong question. Where are the 2.5-Tefach-tall "faces" of the loaves, mentioned in the Mishnah on 96a? The entie loaf is sloped equally! (See Row #4:B:2, and what we wrote there to answer Rashi.)
  3. An additional problem is that Rebbi Yochanan (who is himself of the opinion that the loaves were shaped like a swift boat) states on 96a that the total height of the 6 tiers of loaves was 15 Tefachim (according to Rebbi Yehudah in the Mishnah, who is the opinion on which we have based these depictions). If the loaves sloped upwards through their entire lengths, and their total width did not exceed that of the Shulchan (as we have depicted them), then their height must have been more than 2.5 Tefachim for each of the six tiers, and more than 15 Tefachim altogether! (See next column for Tosfos' solution, and for a description of the depiction above.)

    Sources: Gemara 94b, Tosfos there DH k'Min

Shaped like a swift boat (Tosfos)
(viewed from the other side)
  1. Because of the questions we listed in the previous column (6:A), Tosfos suggests that even though the loaves looked like a swift boat and were double triangles joined at their bases (see Row #4), they still had vertical sides rising 2.5 Tefachim at either end (like the Teivah Perutzah), and they were nearly flat on bottom (nearly like the Teivah Perutzah).
  2. Tosfos asserts that from their center until their vertical faces, the loaves rose only slightly off of the Shulchan (less then 1/6 Tefach), such that the rise did not add even one Tefach to the total height of the six tiers.
  3. It should be noted that according to Tosfos, the Senifin which supported the faces of the loaves indeed looked like semicircles, since they had to circle the vertical part of the loaf after starting from underneath the loaf.

    Sources: Gemara 94b, Tosfos there DH k'Min


"ki'Sefinah Rokedes"
(Tosfos' alternate interpretation of Rashi)

"ki'Sefinah Rokedes" -an alternate reading of Rashi
click for view from other side

  1. Tosfos points out that there is another way to read the words of Rashi (see above, Row # 4:A:2). When Rashi DH k'Min adds "and [a boat's] two ends are sharp, and they rise upwards at an angle such that they do not touch the water....", he means not just that a boat looks like that, but that the Lechem ha'Panim looked exactly like that as well.
  2. In other words, the "V" drawn by Rashi is a diagram of the *width* of the Lechem ha'Panim, and the edges of the "V" are parallel to the narrow edges of the Shulchan. Besides the slope of this "V," the Lechem also sloped on the other side, parallel to the long sides of the Shulchan. Thus, the Lechem ha'Panim indeed looked exactly like a boat, sloping up on all sides away from the center.
  3. This interpretation of Rashi is more consistent with the wording of Rashi in our Sugya and on 96a. It also answers the questions of Tosfos we mentioned above (Row #6:A:2-3), as explained in the next column.

    Sources: Gemara 94b, Rashi DH k'Min and Tosfos DH k'Min, Rashi 96a DH Tefachayim u'Machatzah

"ki'Sefinah Rokedes" -an alternate reading of Rashi
How the Snifin sat
(click for rear view)
  1. Tosfos alludes that this interpretation of Rashi will answer his question regarding the 2.5-Tefach-high "faces" of the loaves. (See above Row #6:A:2). According to this explanation, it is easy to see how it is possible on the one hand that only the ends of the loaves were folded up (2.5 Tefachim), yet on the other hand there was no flat part on bottom of the loaf (as the Gemara on 94b makes it clear). The solution to the riddle is that the loaves sloped in the middle section in the other direction, i.e. the sloped edges were parallel to the narrow edge of the Shulchan. At the ends of the loaves, though, the edges of the loaves parallel to the long side of the Shulchan began to slope up!
  2. This also solves the riddle of how the six tiers added up to exactly 15 Tefachim, if the loaves looked like boats. It is possible that the outer faces of the loaves began to slope before they reached the edge of the Shulchan. Thus, even though the loaves rose at an incline (and not vertically), as the Gemara implies (since the Senifin had to be rounded to accommodate them), nevertheless, there was enough sloped loaves to reach a height of 2.5 Tefachim. (The questions we asked on the answer of the Sefas Emes, Row #4:B:3, will apply here as well, however.)
  3. Note as well that the there is now more place for the Senifin to sit on the Shulchan. Since the edges along the width of the loaves were raised from the Shulchan, the Senifin may have extended into that area, lending them more support. (See also Row #8:A.)

    Sources: Tosfos 94b DH k'Min, Rashi 96a DH Tefachayim u'Machatzah


"ki'Sefinah Rokedes"
(Tosfos citing "Yesh Meforshim")

"ki'Sefinah Rokedes" -according to Yesh Meforshim
an alternate depiction of this opinion

(with a flat edge on top; see column B for an explanation)

  1. The depiction above is basically identical to the depiction of Rashi's opinion in Row #7. The only difference is that the ends of the "boat" are now vertical, and not sloping. Although Tosfos does not say outright that this is the intention of the Yesh Meforshim that he cites, we might suggest that this is their intention, as we shall explain.
  2. As we mentioned above (Row #7:B:1), Tosfos implies this opinion (and the opinion in Row #7) will solve his question regarding the 2.5 -Tefach vertical faces of the Lechem ha'Panim. According to this opinion, the "faces" at the ends of the loaves may indeed have been vertical, and may have been folded up exactly 2.5 Tefachim from the Shulchan, just like the opinion that maintains "k'Teivah Perutzah."
  3. The only question on this scenario is that the Gemara says the Senifin had to be "rounded" to accommodate the Lechem that jutted out. Our picture does not have the Lechem jutting out at all! However, the Senifin also had to support the sides of the Lechem, which were indeed sloped. The "rounding out" of the Senifin may have been to provide support to these sides; the Senifin were rounded sideways around the Lechem!
  4. Even though there is no room to place Senifin on the edge of the table, according to this depiction, the Senifin may have rested on the Shulchan between the loaves (in a line parallel to the narrow edge of the Shulchan), as we depicted in Row #7:B:3.

    Sources: Tosfos 94b DH k'Min

"ki'Sefinah Rokedes" -according to Yesh Meforshim
Tosfos' objection
  1. Why does Tosfos not accept this approach, if it solves his questions so simply?
  2. Tosfos explains that this depiction is not consistent with the Gemara's question regarding the Kanim, which the Gemara asked according to the opinion that the Lechem looked like a boat. The Gemara asked, "If the Lechem looked like a boat, where did the Kanim sit [on the loaves]?" The Gemara's intention is that a boat is pointed at its ends, and only a single Kaneh can rest on a point, as Rashi explains. Tosfos' question is, if the Lechem looked exactly like a boat (which has a sharp bottom), why does the Gemara not ask a more pressing question: How can Kanim support the next tier of loaves? Since the loaves were pointed on bottom, they could only rest on a *single* Kaneh (see depiction above), and not on three Kanim!
  3. Tosfos cites the Yesh Meforshim's answer that the Gemara indeed intends to ask this question. The Gemara's answer is that there were protrusions from the bottoms of the boats, to rest on the Kanim beneath. According to this interpretation, the upper edges at the ends of the "boats" must have been flat, so that three Kanim could rest upon them (see depiction here). (Tosfos objects that this explanation is rather forced in the wording of the Gemara.)
  4. Although Rashi clearly does not learn this way, he may have answered Tosfos' question somewhat differently. Although the Gemara did not ask what the bottoms of the boats on the second tier rested upon, its answer does answer the question. The protrusions ("Mursha") at the sides of the tips of the boats may have reached higher than the tip of the boat, so that the Kanim resting upon them were able to support the "boat-loavess" in the tier above them from their sides, and not from their bottom edge. (M. Kornfeld)

    Sources: Rashi 94b DH Ela l'Man d'Amar, Tosfos DH k'Min

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