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Synopsis of Subjects


MISHNA I. Why the high priest, before the Day of Atonement, and the priest who had to perform the ceremonies of the red cow, were removed from their houses to different chambers in the Temple, and whence we deduce it from the Scriptures. About a substitute of the high-priest. How is it known, when one person communicates something to another, that one has no right to tell it to a third without permission? How did Moses attire Aaron and his children on the days of consecration? Whether the uncleanness of the entire congregation, contracted from a corpse, is not considered, or only postponed. How were the two priests sprinkled? The number of high-priests during the first and second Temples. Why had the first Temple fallen? The second Temple, where the occupations were study of the Law, religious duties, and charity--why fell it? Which one of the Temples was better? Which of the nations are descended from Japheth? Whether the gates of the Temple needed Mezuzahs. Of what material was the girdle of the high-priest made, and whether it was the same as those of the common priests. How was the substitute of the high-priest recognized when the high-priest became unfit during the service,

MISHNA II. What kind of experience did the high-priest have during the seven days? What shall he do first-trim the lamps or prepare the incense? On what altar and what corner must the blood be sprinkled,

MISHNAS III. to V. What the elders of the Beth Din say to him. What he is free to eat during the seven days, and what on the eve of the Day of Atonement. How the priest selects the offerings he chooses. How the Beth Din left him to the elders of the priests, and what they made him swear. What a high-priest of the Sadducces had done, and what happened to him. What was done when the high-priest began to slumber. How he was occupied, and what was sung to him. How were the ashes cleared away every day and on the Day of Atonement? The miracles that occurred in the Temple. For the crowing of what cock shall one wait before going on the road any night? About the heavenly fire at the second Temple,


MISHNAS I. to V. Why the priests were selected by lot in the latter days, and not before. Why Israel must not be counted. How secure and care less should the man feel that knows that the Lord helps him. What is called revenge, and what is called bearing a grudge? The reward of him who leaves his injuries unavenged. The accident that befell two priests. For performing certain four services a layman deserves capital punishment. In what garments were the lots drawn? Were the lots drawn for each service separately? In what order the members of the sacrifice were offered. The daily sacrifices are offered by nine, ten, eleven, twelve priests. How so? A ram was offered by eleven, a bull by twenty-four,


MISHNAS I. to IV. What the Superintendent used to say to the priests, and why all this was necessary. What is said about the heat during a clouded day. Rules for entering the Temple for all. Why and where the high-priest bathed five times, and washed his hands and feet ten times. How is it known from the Holy Scriptures? How the service was. When one meets an opportunity to perform a meritorious act. If he was an aged or delicate high-priest, what was then? Concerning the garments of the high-priest and their value. What happened to Hillel, to Eliezer b. Harsum, and Joseph the Upright,

MISHNAS V. to VII. How did the high-priest confess? and what the people responded after him. Which of the officers were on his right and which were on his left during the service? What Ben Katin made for the Temple, and what his mother Queen Helen made. Concerning the house of Garmo, the house of Abtinas, and Hogros b. Levi (the preparer of shew-bread, incense, etc.). What one of the members of the house of Abtinas related to R. Ishmael. Whence is it derived from the Pentateuch that when the names of the just are mentioned they must be blessed, and, vice versa those of the wicked? When a man sanctifies himself a little here below, he is sanctified much above,


MISHNAS I. to III. Concerning the lots of the two he-goats, how they were taken from the boxes, and of what material the boxes were made. What happened when Simeon the Upright was high-priest, and after. Simeon the Upright told the sages: "This year I am going to die." "How dost thou know?" About the six times the high-priest pronounced God's name, as it is written, during the Day of Atonement. About the tongue of crimson wool which was tied to the head of the goat that was to be sent away, and for the red cow, etc. Concerning the slaughter of the red cow by a layman. What is the reason that a female may not perform the ceremony of sprinkling? The measure of the censer in which the coals for the incense were taken, and of what material it was made, and of what color it was on the Day of Atonement. There were seven kinds of gold. Whence is it deduced that a special fire was made that day,



MISHNAS I. to VI. About the two handfuls of incense for the Holy of Holies, and how it was used. What concerning the incense between the middle fingers? When he had filled his hands with incense, and suddenly died, how then? If he died while slaughtering, might the blood be sprinkled? The difference of opinion between R. Jose and the sages about the vail of the Holy of Holies. The ell of the entrance (to the Holy of Holies) was a matter of doubt to the sages. About the ark in the first and second Temples. He departed in the same manner as he had come (backwards). Whence do we deduce this? The custom of the disciples when departing from their masters. The difference of opinion between the sages about the ark: according to some it was taken into exile in Babylon, and according to others it was concealed in its place in the Temple. The world was created from the very middle, beginning with the extremities. Everything was created from Zion. How many times had he to sprinkle downwards? One and one, one. and two, etc. What was the law when the bloods of the bullock and the goat got mingled? Whence does he begin (the sprinkling)? The difference of opinion of some sages about this matter. Whether one is guilty when using the blood for his own purpose. How is the law if he performed the services in a wrong order, or in the wrong clothes? Whether the atonement for all sins includes the sin of uncleanness in the Temple or not,


MISHNAS I. to V. The equality of the two he-goats. The law if one of them dies after the lots were cast. If a substitute was selected, and then the first one was found. The expression of the high-priest at his confession on the he-goat for Azazel. How the priest delivered the he-goat to its conductor. The question which R. Eliezer was asked, and his answers. How the prominent men of Jerusalem used to accompany the messenger of the he-goat. How far was Jerusalem from the Tsuk (the rock of its destination)? What was done with the tongue of crimson wool, and its signification. About the ten booths between Jerusalem and the Tsuk, and how at each booth the messenger was offered meat and drink. Whether the high priest was told when the he-goat reached its destination, or it was made known to him by a sign,


MISHNAS I. to III. How the high-priest came to read (the Torah), and in what clothes, and what section, and who were the persons that passed the holy scrolls from one to another until it reached the high-priest. The legend of Alexander the Macedonian and the high-priest Simeon the Upright. The legends about the tempter to idolatry, how he was caught in the time of Ezra and was burned to death. Also the legend of the tempter to fornication, how he was kept prisoner, was blinded in both eyes, and then liberated. Concerning the Great Assembly which has renewed the appellations of our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible, said by Moses, and which some of the prophets left out. What the high-priest did after reading the Torah. At what time the bullock and the seven sheep of the burnt-offerings were offered. How the conductor of the he-goat informs the high-priest that he fulfilled his duty. How the Urim and Tumim were made. How they were inquired of, and to whom. What letters were, inserted in them. About the three crowns of the altar, the ark, and the table, who received them? About the priest who was anointed for war, his, garments, services, and descendants. How was the ceremony of inquiring the Urim and Tumim, and how the priest received the reply. Whence do we deduce that the inquiries are made for kings only


MISHNA I. The afflictions which are obligatory on the Day of Atonement. What were the afflictions coming from the manna written in Deuteronomy viii. 16? The visage of the Lord is not like that of a man. How the manna betrayed all the secrets of the Israelites. What is the meaning of the bread of Abirim? What R. Aqiba said, and what R. Ishmael answered him. The question why the manna did not descend for the Israelites once a year, and its answer. What R. Eliezer the Modeite had to say about the manna, which R. Ishmael called a gathering of nonsensical words. How is it known that abstaining from washing and anointing is an affliction? What is the law in regard of one being soiled in clay, etc., whether he may wash himself? When a man goes to receive his father, master, or superior, and has to wade in water reaching to his neck? About the spring that issued from the Holy of Holies. Whether a great man is permitted to decide the question of a blemish of a firstling, and what R. Tzadok b. 'Haluqah answered. Whether children are to observe the afflictions? The quantity of food and beverage prohibited from partaking on the Day of Atonement,

MISHNAS II. to V. What is the law regarding one who ate and drank through forgetfulness? At what age are children made to fast some hours on the Day of Atonement? When a pregnant woman longs for the food which she has smelled. When a man is seized with bulimy, what he may eat, etc. What happened to some rabbis who were seized with bulimy. When a man is bitten by a mad dog. The five things mentioned as symptoms of a dog's madness. What happened to R. Johanan and the matron; of Rome. How the Sabbath must be superseded when life is threatened. The question put to R. Ishmael, R. Aqiba, and R. Eliezer b. Azariah when on the road about the same, and what they answered,

MISHNA VI. For what transgressions the Day of Atonement atones. Does the Day of Atonement atone him who says: I will sin and God will forgive me? What penitence atones for? What R. Eliezer b. Azariah while in Rome, was asked by R. Mathiah b. Heresh, and what he answered What is called defamation of God. How penitence is great: it reaches the throne of His glory. How repentance is great: when an individual repents, the whole world is pardoned. Whether one who has confessed his sins on one Day of Atonement has also to confess on the next one? The sin of Moses is compared to a woman who has eaten fruit on the Sabbatical year, and David's to a woman who has really sinned. He who has provoked his neighbor, even by words, must appease him. At what place in the prayer should he confess? What the disciples of R. Ishmael taught,

APPENDIX. The letter of a Gentile who has witnessed the ceremonies of Passover, and the procession of the high-priest to and from the Temple

Sources: Biblical Texts