Time for Eating Lechem HaPanim

Menachot (2:2) | Yisrael Bankier | 8 months ago

In the first perek of menachot we return to learning about pigul. Recall that if one performs one of the avodot with the intention of either consuming that which must be consumed or offering that which must be offered after the required time, if that was the only error, the korban is rendered pigul. Eating a part of that korban would then be punishable with karet. We return to discussing pigul because menachot are different to regular korbanot. Unlike zevachim, menachot have two "matrin" – two things that must be offered in order to permit the remainder to be consumed. The Mishnah discusses this added level of complexity and how it affects the laws of pigul.

Having raised this difference, the Mishnah also discusses other korbanot that have more than one matir. One of these is the lechem ha'panim – the show bread. The lechem ha'panim consisted of twelve loaves that were placed in two columns on the Shulchan from one Shabbat to the next. The bezichin, spoons of frankincense, that were also placed on the Shulchan, acted as the matirin for the lechem ha'panim. In other words, it was only once both were burnt, that the kohanim could consume the lechem ha'panim.

The Mishnah (2:2) records the debate, that if one offered the bezichin with the intention of eating one of the columns of bread outside the allotted time, then R' Yossi maintains that that column is rendered pigul, while the Chachamim argue that all the lechem ha'panim are pigul. The Mishnah (2:5) records another debate, where only one of the spoons was burnt with the intention of eating the lechem ha'panim later. R' Meir argues that the lechem ha'panim are rendered pigul whereas the Chachamim disagree requiring this incorrect intention for the both matirin for the korban to be pigul.

What is the time for eating the lechem ha'panim? The Bartenura explains that the kohanim must eat the lechem ha'panim on the Shabbat it is removed. The Rambam explains that this is based on the pasuk, "on the day of Shabbat, on the day of Shabbat, it shall be arranged."

The Tosfot Yom Tov finds this position difficult. Firstly, the above cited pasuk relates to the placement of the lechem ha'panim on the Shulchan and not to their consumption. Furthermore, the Mishnah later (11:7) teaches that if Yom Kippur coincided with Shabbat, the lechem ha'panim was consumed that night, after Shabbat. That Mishnah is clear proof that the consumption is not limited to the day of Shabbat alone. Furthermore, the Bartenura there explains that this is because one has the day and light to consume the lechem ha'panim.

The Tosfot Yom Tov therefore argues that the time limit is Shabbat day and the following night. He suggests that this is because mincha offerings are described as "kodshei kadashim, like a chatat and asham". He explains that just as with these kodshei kadashim one has the day and night to consume them, the same applies to lechem ha'panim. (This is indeed the source the Rambam sites for the shtei ha'lechem.)

The Chidushei Mahariach, defends the Rambam's source, explaining that he cites the placement and removal of the lechem ha'panim, since once the bread is removed, it is considered as if it has been sanctified in one of the kli sharet (vessels of service). Consequently it because pasul if left over night - lina. Furthermore, when the Bartenura explains that the kohanim have that day to consume the lechem ha'panim, he is referring to the "day" in the world of kodshim, which includes the following night. Note that the Chidushei Mahariach differs greatly from the Tosfot Yom Tov. Unlike the Tosfot Yom Tov, who understand that there is a designated time limit for the lechem ha'panim which is similar to other korbanot, according to the Chidushei Mahariach, the limit is a by-product if the issue of lina.

The Chazon Nachum however understands that according to the Rambam both pesukim are needed. During most of the year, the time to consume the lechem hapanim is the daytime only. The pasuk that follows the description of its placement continues "and it shall be consumed in a holy place" connecting its removal with the consumption. The second pasuk, the refers to it as kodshei kadashim, is for when it cannot be consumed during the day, i.e. on Yom Kippur, to teach that in that case, one has motzei Shabbat. The Chazon Nachum suggest the Rambam's explanation on the later Mishnah supports this explanation: "It is known that … [the lechem ha'panim] is also eaten on Shabbat if not prevented by the fast."

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