We all know the importance of backups. Many Temple tools were [seemingly] crucial for everyday tasks: Menorah, Table, Gold Altar, Ash of the Red Heifer, etc.

It would take (probably) days to replace it and therefore would lead to canceling or endangering the availability of important Mitzvos (please add examples).

Did [some of ] the tools of the Temple have backups ready?

  • Actually, a better question would be: Since it's obvious they had backups (like any sensible project, and as documented clearly in a Mishna) from what were they made in the desert, since every penny was accounted for - and that only included the bare minimum. Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Mishnah Chagigah 3:8:

כָּל הַכֵּלִים שֶׁהָיוּ בַמִּקְדָּשׁ, יֵשׁ לָהֶם שְׁנִיִּים וּשְׁלִישִׁים, שֶׁאִם נִטְמְאוּ הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, יָבִיאוּ שְׁנִיִּים תַּחְתֵּיהֶן.

All the vessels that were in the Temple had seconds and thirds for if the first became impure they would bring the second in its place.

  • That's a good start. Just to Makeh Bepatish - do you know what tools specifically - it appears that the Mishnah speaks of simple tools like knives, bowls etc, but not Menorah and the Gold Altar. 2. Why does it translate "vessels"?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 13:01
  • Maybe not the Mizbeach according to those who say it couldn't become Tamei? But why not everything else? Why do you think there wasn't a second menorah?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 13:05
  • יכין adds "אפי' שולחן, מדאפשר שיטמא:" What about Menorah?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 13:08
  • @AlBerko menorah is seemingly included in "all vessels"
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 14:25
  • 1
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 20:04

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