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Mishna, Tamid chapter 3, in a loose translation:

Those who merited removing the ashes from the inner altar and the candelabrum would precede. They had four tools in their hands: the basket, the pitcher, and two keys.… [They used the keys to open the doors of the main room of the Temple, and entered. Then] the one who merited removing the ashes from the inner altar entered, took the basket, put it before him, and would take handfuls and place them in it; at the end, he swept the rest into it. He left it there and exited. [And the candelabrum person did his job with the pitcher.]

On "he swept the rest into it", Tif'eres Yisrael (73) says:

… he swept the ashes into the basket with a broom.

Where'd he get the broom from?

I can think of a few possibilities, and wonder which of them is true if any, or what the true explanation is:

  1. He carried it in with him, but it was unimportant and so unlisted among the tools brought in.
  2. He carried it in with him, but in the basket rather than directly in his hand, so it was unlisted among the tools brought in "in their hands".
  3. It was stored near the altar.
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  • I do not find nothing!
    – kouty
    May 15, 2016 at 14:25
  • 2
    You could also ask where his buddy got the wicks from for the menorah. Fascinating question. Feb 22, 2018 at 12:29
  • 2
    Note that the Mishna and the Rambam do not mention anything about a broom... where did the Tif'eres Yisrael get that from? Maybe from the word מְכַבֵּד Feb 22, 2018 at 12:34
  • 2
    If he's scooping ashes off the altar with his hands, he's probably also sweeping with hands. Someone is probably holding the basket against the altar and he pushes the ashes over the edge. Perhaps it is a flat edged basket for this purpose. He's probably going to get some on the floor but they clean the floors outside of the service. Nov 22, 2023 at 3:26
  • If he's leaving the basket there, probably someone will come later and remove it, and sweep it properly. Nov 22, 2023 at 3:33

1 Answer 1

-1

It sounds to me from “and the candelabrum person did his job with the pitcher” that candelabrum cleaner and ash cleaners did not carry the tool that wasn’t relevant to their task

Candelabrum-Cleaner

  1. the pitcher
  2. the basket
  3. key 1
  4. Key 2

Alter-Ash-Cleaner:

  1. the brush
  2. the basket
  3. key 1
  4. Key 2

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