With over 600,000 male Israelites required to offer sacrifices at the Tabernacle, how many males came at one time? This seems to comprise an enormous logistical difficulty.

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    Why do you think they all had to come all the time or at the same time? Maybe they went years without offering something.
    – Double AA
    Oct 30, 2017 at 19:34
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    @DoubleAA - Don't be so hard on him. It's a nice question.
    – ezra
    Oct 30, 2017 at 20:53
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    Pirkei Avot 5:5 (text and translation from Sefaria) " עֲשָׂרָה נִסִּים נַעֲשׂוּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. ... עוֹמְדִים צְפוּפִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים רְוָחִים" = "Ten miracles were performed for our forefathers in the Temple ... They would stand up crowded and bow down with [enough] space." The Beit Hamikdash (Temple) was a miraculous place. I'm not sure logistics were such an issue for anything involved with the service there.
    – user15842
    Oct 30, 2017 at 21:03
  • @ezra I don't understand what was so hard. Do you see what is the enormous logistical difficulty that he refers to? Maybe you can enlighten me.
    – Double AA
    Oct 30, 2017 at 21:03
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    @ezra But that doesn't seem like a good assumption. A question based on a not good assumption isn't good. That's why I asked him why he thought that assumption was worth assuming.
    – Double AA
    Oct 31, 2017 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


I can think of 2 cases when everybody had to bring a sacrifice: Pessach and Festivals.

For Korban Pessach they had more than 1 person per animal - usually a family (or more) per animal. But even then they divided the crowd into 3 - and they sacrificed the Pessach in 3 groups.

They had an entire procedure as described in the Mishna in Pesachim to make the process efficient.

The Chagigah and Re'iya that had to be brought at each of the 3 festivals, one had 7 days (8 on Sukkoth) to bring them - so that would have alleviated the rush somewhat.

There's a Mishna that says that the Temple Courtyard was filled to capacity before dawn with people lining up to bring their sacrifices - so I guess it was simply done on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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    I don't think Re'iya applied in the Mishkan? The OP seems to ask about the Mishkan only; not the later Mikdash. Oct 31, 2017 at 15:08
  • The Mishna about the courtyard being filled to capacity is in Yoma IIRC
    – DonielF
    Oct 31, 2017 at 17:55
  • @DavidKenner - can you source that? (Re'iya didn't apply in the Mishkan) Nov 1, 2017 at 12:00

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