Rashi (Shemos 26:6, 26) counts out the number of poles for the chatzer (courtyard of the Tabernacle) on each side in parshas Terumah. He seems to ignore what is called the Fencepost Problem. The same problem exists for the 20 amah enclosure on the East side. Do any of the commentators address this?

  • 4
    You could improve this question by expanding on what Rashi says and how you see it as problematic.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 20, 2012 at 13:55
  • I don't have time to look into it at the moment, but my instinctive response is to ask you if he makes up for it on the perpendicular sides. If he is short one on each of the long sides, for example, is the missing post accounted for on the short sides?
    – Seth J
    Sep 20, 2012 at 16:06
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    I think it's unfortunate that this question has a bounty. It is entirely unclear, at least to me, what the question is, and I think it should probably be closed. @rikitikitembo, if you have a good idea of what's being asked here, please edit the post to be much more clear.
    – Isaac Moses
    Dec 22, 2014 at 14:50
  • @IsaacMoses Does pinging a bountier work?
    – MTL
    Dec 22, 2014 at 16:20
  • @Shokhet I don't know. It didn't come up as a command-completion. I assume that a bountier would check in on bountied questions from time to time.
    – Isaac Moses
    Dec 22, 2014 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


If I understand correctly, you are referring to the brichim, the horizontal poles that were slipped through rings on the boards -- and through holes within the boards -- to hold them in place. The math is straightforward: There were 20 boards of 1.5 amos on the north and south, thus requiring the poles to span 30 amos (the top and bottom poles were 2 x 15 amos, and the middle pole 1 x 30 amos). On the west was 8 boards of 1.5 amos, which required the poles to span 12 amos (again, top and bottom 2 x 6, middle 1 x 12).

Now, the 8 boards on the west overlapped one amah of the ones on the north and south. But evidently the poles on the N and S sides did not extend over the thickness of the western boards. So the math works out perfectly.

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