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This is a matter of dispute between the Rishonim. The Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna (Rosh Hashana 1, 3) wrote that the people observed the fast of Tisha b'Av even during the period of the second temple. http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=37942&st=&pgnum=202 However Rabbi Shimon ben Tzemach Duran (Shut Tashbetz 2, 271) wrote that ...


Yes, they had five years of lessons. See Rambam Klei Mikdosh chapter 3 halacha 7 from Chulin 24a. http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1008228/jewish/Kli-Hamikdash-Chapter-3.htm From the next halacha there, based off the same gemara, we see they lost their singing positions when their voices went bad. See also Sota 12b where we see that having a ...

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