Question:

I was wondering how we understand whether during the First or Second Temple what was going on in Yerushalayim at the time of Pesach. Let’s assume there were half a million people or more coming in. Where was there sufficient locations for each separate chabura of 30 people to be together to eat a kezayis? Second, when the korban was being cooked, there would therefore have to be about 15,000 or more fires burning smoke in the air, which would create a lot of discomfort. And third, how were there sufficient toilet and mikveh facilities to accommodate so many people, especially if they were all crowded in the streets or yards etc.? Thanks.

Answer:

Your question is very correct. When we look at it in a realistic fashion, it appears that everyone had a very hard time with major overcrowding with everything that they did when they were oleh regel. However the Mishna ( Avot 5-5) says that this was one of the 10 miracles that transpired in the Bais Hamikdash on a regular basis, “M’olam lo amar adam tzar li hamakom b’Yerushalayim”, that it never happened that someone should say that they felt crowded or cramped in Yerushalayim, even though there were millions of people there. As a side point aside from the fact that it was a nes, it could be that everyone’s concentration was on the awesomeness or being in the shechinas presences, and therefore their physical comfort and convenience played much less of a role. Nevertheless, the Mishna does say that it was indeed a nes.

Best Wishes

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2 Responses to “Pesach in time of Beis Hamikdash”

  1. Thank you, I am aware of the statement about the miracle, which I assume applies to the first and second temple. Yet, how do we understand that there were that many fires burning, that so many people needed mikvehs and toilets, and running drinking water, and locations where 30 people at a time would be eating their meal and the korban? At least we know from Chazal that in the Midbar their clothes did not wear out and they didn’t have to go to the bathroom or take a bath. But this is not stated regarding the situation at the Beis Hamikdash.

    • My understanding of the word “tzar”, that no one said that he felt stifled or infringed upon, would include all inconveniences. Meaning that they all felt that they had all of their needs, and were not lacking

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