Meilah - Kinim - Tamid 22-28
The Seven Sounds
While the ram is alive, points out Rabbi Yehoshua, it emits only a single sound. When it is dead its bodily parts can be utilized for instruments that can produce seven sounds.
Two of those instruments which were made from the horns were the trumpets blown in the Beit Hamikdash.
This raises a problem because G-d commanded Moshe "Make for yourself two trumpets of silver" (Bamidbar 10:2) and we find in Mesechta Menachot (28a) that they can be made only from silver. How then can the horns of the ram qualify?
A number of resolutions are offered by the commentaries:
- The trumpets mentioned in the Torah refer to those which were used by Moshe to assemble the people for their travels in the wilderness. Only those had to be made strictly from silver, a limitation which did not apply to the trumpets used in later generations in the Sanctuary.
- There were two sets of trumpets. Those used by the kohanim had to be of silver, while those used by the leviim to serenade the offering of the sacrifices could be made of ram horns as well.
- The trumpet mentioned here is actually the shofar which was blown on Rosh Hashana and had to be from the horn of an animal. It is called a trumpet because the gemara elsewhere (Succah 34a) points out that people became accustomed to calling a "trumpet" a "shofar".
Honor Guards of the Holy Palace
The kohanim and the leviim had a very special responsibility in the Beit Hamikdash, which is the subject of the first part of this mesechta. In addition to their duties such as offering sacrifices and playing music they had to serve as guards.
"And they will join you," said G-d to Aharon, about the members of his tribe, "and they shall stand guard at the Sanctuary." (Bamidbar 18:4)
What were they guarding against?
Sefer Hachinuch explains that they were not guarding against any enemy threat. Their mission was to add dignity to the Beit Hamikdash. Reiterating a concept on which he elaborated in his discussion of the mitzvah of building a Sanctuary, the author stresses the impact which this House of G-d would have on a Jew who enters it if it is guarded in the manner that the palace of an earthly king is guarded. Here is how he puts it:
"When we enter it to pray and beg for forgiveness from the Master of All, our hearts will quickly be tempered towards repentance."
He also quotes the words of our Talmudic Sages in explaining the role of honor guards not concerned about an invading enemy.
"A palace without guards cannot be compared to a palace with guards."