- Miracles In the Beis HaMikdash

Miracles In the Beis HaMikdash

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Miracles In the Beis HaMikdash

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The Miracles/ נסים In the Beis HaMikdash

by Esther Livingstone

* The Beis HaMikdash, the Dwelling Place of Hashem, was not governed according to the rules of nature as we know it. This is, in fact, similar to what will be in the times of Mashiach! (Ya’avetz)

* The miracles enumerated below, stated in Pirkei Avos 5:5, were not active miracles or “extraordinary events” which occurred.  Rather, these were events which were extraordinary in that they did not occur! - and over a very extended period of time.  Due to these נסים, a person could not claim that poor conditions or other impediments made it impossible for him to go to the Beis HaMikdash and fulfil HKB”H’s will.

* These נסים show the special protection and care shown us by HKB”H to enable the avodah/Divine service and spiritual expression of Am Yisrael to continue  unimpeded at all times, in a dignified, clean and comfortable manner.

 (Code: R- Rashi / RY- Rabbeinu Yonah / TY- Tiferes Yisroel / B-(R.O.) Bartenura


  1. How many נסים /miracles occurred in the Beis HaMikdash?

  2. What is the נס that is associated with rain?

  3. What is the נס that is associated with wind?

  4. What is the נס associated with flies?

  5. What is the נס associated with snakes and scorpions?

  6. What is the נס associated with the aroma of the sacred meat?

  7. What is the נס associated with the sacred meat itself?

  8. What is the נס associated with the Omer, the Two Loaves and the Lechem Hapanim?

  9.  What is the נס associated with the Kohen Gadol?

  10.   What is the נס associated with space in the azarah?

  11.   What is the נס associated with space in the city of Yerushalayim as a whole?




  1. Ten נסים occurred in the Beis HaMikdash. (Pirkei Avos  5:5) Two of them, though, occurred more specifically in the city of Yerushalayim.

  2. That the rain never extinguished the fire that was on the  מערכה /wood-pile on the mizbe’ach.  Explanation: Even though the altar was outside and exposed to the heavens, the rain never extinguished this fire.

  3. The wind never overcame the smoke column arising from the altar. Explanation:  The winds never disturbed the smoke from rising straight upward like a pillar. (Rambam, B)

  4. That no fly was ever seen in the slaughter house. Explanation:  In this chamber, the limbs of the sacrifices were laid out on marble tables and washed off.  Meat was constantly there, and flies are naturally attracted to meat, yet no fly was ever found there!  (If they were around in the slaughterhouse, this would have caused discomfort to the Kohanim who served there. (TY))

  5. That no snake or scorpion ever inflicted harm on anyone in Yerushalayim.  Explanation:  No person ever died as a result of being bitten by a serpent or scorpion. (R)  Even though they were abundant in Yerushalayim, the snakes and scorpions never harmed anyone. (TY, Meiri)

  6. That no woman ever miscarried due to the aroma of the sacred meat cooking or roasting.  Explanation:  When a pregnant woman has an unusually strong craving for something, it is given to her so that she shouldn’t become upset and miscarry.  If the aroma of a korban  being cooked, which was a constant in the Beis HaMikdash, would have caused a craving in a woman, she would not have been permitted to eat it -as it was sacred- and this could have resulted in a miscarriage.  Thus Hashem caused a נס, and the aroma never caused a pregnant woman to crave the meat of a sacrifice. (R, RY, Rambam).

  7. That the sacred meat never spoiled. Explanation: The meat of קדשׁי קלים /minor sacrifices was permitted to be eaten over a period of 2 days and 1 night, yet the meat never spoiled, even in the hot summer days! (RY, TY).   Also, sometimes the burning of the limbs of the עוֹלה /burnt offering was delayed for several days, yet the meat never spoiled. (R)

  8. That never was a disqualifying defect found in any of these 3 holy offerings.  Explanation: a. The Omer, the barley offering brought on the 16th of Nissan, released the new crop for eating. If a defect occurred, they wouldn’t be able to bring the offering on that day and the new crop would have remained forbidden for the entire year! (R, RY, B, TY)

b. The Two Loaves were brought on Shavuos, but had to be baked before the holiday. If a defect were found in the loaves, we would have been unable to bring this offering, and would then have been unable to use the new wheat crop -חדשׁ- for  מְנַחוֹת on the mizbe’ach.(R,RY,TY, B)  c. The 12 loaves of the Lechem HaPanim were baked before Shabbos, but set on the Shulchan on Shabbos.  If a defect were found on Shabbos, no new loaves would have been able to be set on the Shulchan until the following week.  (R, RY, TY, B)


  1. That no unclean accident ever happened to the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur.  Explanation:  Should the Kohen Gadol become defiled though an unclean accident on the night of Yom Kippur, he would have been unable to do the avodah, and would also suffer embarrassment as well.  Yet, a נס occurred and this never happened.  (An alternative Kohan Gadol was nevertheless held in readiness on Yom Kippur each year. This  because once can’t rely on miracles, and also because other kinds of impurities/ tum’ah could have become attached to the Kohen Gadol, and once this did happen- see Yoma 12a) (RY)

  2.   That the people stood closely, pressed together, yet had ample room to bow down.  Explanation: When the multitudes of people came up to the Beis HaMikdash on the festivals, they were pressed together very tightly in the azarah, and some say that their feet could not even touch the ground! (B)  Yet, when they prostrated themselves a נס happened, and each person was separated from the next person by 4 cubits, to insure privacy while confessing sins. (R,B)

  3.   In Pirkei Avos 5:5  it says:  ולֹא אמר אדם לחברוֹ׃ צַר לִי הַמָקוֹם שֶׁאַלִין בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם-   That no man ever said to his friend “there is no room for me  to lodge overnight in Yerushalayim.” Explanation: 1. This Mishna refers to the שׁלשׁ רגלים / the Three Foot Festivals, when all of Bnei Yisroel gathered in Yerushalayim.  The crowds were enormous, yet everyone found a place to lodge, and no one ever complained about the overcrowded conditions.  (צַר  =narrow, tight). (RY, TY, B)  2. Even though the city was really not large enough, no one felt in distress, due to their great love for HKB”H and the Beis HaMikdash, as well as each man towards his fellow man.  (צַר =distress, trouble). (Likutei Beter Likutei)   

3. This Mishnah refers to those who lived in Yerushalayim.  No man ever said “I am pressed for time because I don’t have sufficient means of support to live in Yerushalayim.”  Hashem provided a livelihood for all who lived in Yerushalayim, so that they never had to leave because of insufficient means. (R, B).


  1. מסכת אבוֹת – by פּנחס קהתי – Keter Pub- 1976

  2. As A Tree By The Waters- By Rabbi Reuven P Bulka, Feldheim Pub- 1980

  3. Pirkei Avos-By Rabbi Avrohom Davis, Metzudah Pub- 1978


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