Lechem HaPanim for more than a week

Menachot (11:8) | Yisrael Bankier | 8 years ago

The Lechem HaPanim were the twelve loaves that were that were placed on the shulchan on Shabbat along with the two bezichin (spoons of frankincense), staying there for a week. The next Shabbat they were removed and after the bezikin were burnt, the loaves were shared by the two mishmarot – the group of kohanim that had just served and the kohanim that would be serving in the coming week.

The Mishnah (11:8) deals with a number of cases. If the bezichin were placed on the shulchan a day late and burnt the next Shabbat, the korban is pasul since it must be on the shulchan for a full week. If the bezichin were placed on the shulchan on time, but burnt a day late, the korban is also pasul. The Tifferet Yisrael explains that this is because the bazichin would be pasul due to lina – being left over beyond the allotted time.

The Mishnah continues that if both the lechem hapanim and the bezichin were placed on the shulchan a day late – on Sunday – and the bezichin were burnt the next Shabbat then the korban is pasul. What is the solution? The Mishnah continues that they can be left on he shulchan till the following Shabbat – fourteen days after they were initially placed on the Shulchan. The Bartenura explains that the Shulchan only sanctifies the lechem hapanim on that first Shabbat. Therefore they would not be pasul that motzei Shabbat despite having been on the shulchan for over six days.

How do we understand the solution of the Mishnah? Rashi (90a) explains that the solution is for both the lechem and the bezichin. In other words, the Mishnah is teaching that the bezichin should not be burnt and both should be delayed till the second Shabbat. If however the bezichin were burnt on the first Shabbat then the korban is pasul. This also appears to be the opinion of the Rambam.

The Tosfot first explains like Rashi does. In their second answer however they understand the Mishnah is asking how to deal with the lechem hapanim after the bezichin have already been offered incorrectly on that first Shabbat. In other words, despite the bezichin being offered only after having been on the shulchan for six days and their offering being invalid, the lechem hapanim can still be valid if left till the next Shabbat. In this manner, Rashi in Yoma (29b) has a different reading of the Mishnah that does not include the text that the korban is pasul, which aligns with this answer of the Tosfot. The Chazon Ish (24:5) explains that since the lechem hapanim and bezichin were not placed on the shulchan at the correct time, they are not paired together. Other bezichin can be placed on the shulchan with the bread till the next Shabbat.

The Chazon Ish adds that according to the Rambam once the first Shabbat arrives, they bezichin and lechem hapanim are connected and the offering of the invalid offering of the bezichin on that first Shabbat would affect the Lechem Hapanim as well.

The Chazon Ish continues that Rashi in Yoma might agree that if the bezichin and lechem hapanim were initially placed on the shulchan on Shabbat they would be connected together. Burning the bezichin immediately would indeed invalidate the korban. If however they were placed on the shulchan on Sunday as in our case, to use the language of the Gemara, it is as if a monkey placed them on the shulchan. Their placement has no legal significance and they are not connected. The arrival of the first Shabbat and their presence on the table is not significant. According to Rashi, they would need to removed them from the shulchan and place them again on the first Shabbat.


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