Saturday, July 29, 2006

Amah Traksin by Rafi G.

On Daf 51-52 we find the issue of "Amah Traksin" There was one amah of space designated between the heichal and the kodesh kodoshim. The space was delinieated by a wall/curtain in the first beis hamikdash and in the second Beis Hamikdash it has to be separated by two curtains (or one, depending on a machlokes, but we hold 2). The gemarrah discusses in great detail why the amah had to be separated the way it was, and which side it was similar to for kedusha (the kodesh kodoshim or the heichal), etc.

The thought struck me: Why do we need to know so much detail about this one amah? There was only one person who approached and entered that amah and that was only once a year as it is on yom kippur, and it was only a passage to the room beyond it, so why does it make such a big difference to us that the gemarrah needs to dedicate a whole amud to delineating this amah and discussing its purpose? Mah Nafka Minah?

It is important for us to delineate the amah because we need to know our limits. It does not matter whether or not you will actually get close to those limits or not, but our lives are limited by our limitations and we have to be aware of what those are. For us to function properly, those limits are important.

Psychologists always tell us about children that they misbehave because they are testing the limits and parents who do not delineate a childs borders are negligent as that is the cause of many problems.

We need to know our borders and our limits. It provides for a healthy attitude and a healthy approach to life. Without limits, we are living a life of chaos.


Anonymous said...

Aren't there many gemoras especially in yuma that are not relevant except to the kohen gadol?

ma haraash?

Rafi G. said...

no raash. who said anythign about raash?

All of Torah is there to teach us lessons and how to live. This is the lesson I learned from this issue of amah traksin. You are welcome to learn a different lesson (and post it with the permission of the owners of this blog site, or open your own), and you are welcome to learn lessons from the other drashas relevant to the kohen gadol.

Anonymous said...

I believe it is incorrect to say that the Kohen Gadol only entered the Kodosh Kedoshim once a year! The kohen Gadol could if he wished to enter when ever he wanted, however - he needed to follow the identical procedure outlined in our gemara with regard to the yom kippur avodah (ex. immersion, proper vestments etc..)

Avromi said...

Reb (Abba?) it is a machlokes if every kohen gadol or only Aharon was allowed to go in whenever they wanted.

Avromi said...

rafi, i agree with you on taking things out of the gemora. perhaps, sammy meant in response to your question as to why spend an amud on it?
also, it can be relevant during the year - in regards to seeing the kodesh kodoshim if it is opened. That would depend on a Rosh and others if the opening was always there or just on Yom Kippur.

Rafi G. said...

it still seems to me disproportionate though to spend an amud on the one amah space that was basically sectioned off as a hallway of sorts. True, it needs to be explained and detailed, as we need to know everything about the beis hamikdash, for the knowledge and for the ability to build the third beis hamikdash (yes, I know it might come down from shamayim as some say, but the Rambam clearly says it is a mitzva upon us to physically build the beis hamikdash (like any other mitzva we have).

However it still seems like it was begging for us to take a lesson from it...