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According to the discussion by Chazal (mYoma 3:11, bYoma 38a) it would seem that there was a preference or benefit to the fact that the smoke from the burning of the ketoret (incense) in the Beit HaMikdash went up in a straight column. I would like to understand why this is considered preferable. Is it a beautification of the mitzvah? Does it have a symbolic meaning? Something else?

  • It is going straight up to Shamayim. – ezra May 16 '18 at 16:56
  • I'm alluding to something that I think is mentioned in Pirkei Avot. Wasn't that one of the ten miracles that occurred in the Bet Hamikdash? If so, then, it seems that no one would have made that happen that way. – DanF May 16 '18 at 20:23
  • @DanF I believe that was the fire from the animal sacrifices – rikitikitembo May 16 '18 at 22:48
  • maybe it would helpe the people present not smell the ketores and have hanaah from doing so? – Dude May 17 '18 at 0:37
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    I think you're referring to the Ma'aleh Ashan herb that caused the smoke to go up to the ceiling (not Shamayim @ezra), and then fill the room from the roof down, and the entire Jerusalem could smell it, Dude. And this was not a mircale, DanF, but a physical attribute of the Maale Ashan, DanF. (And I know you can't @ more than 1 person, but I want the record set straight.) – Danny Schoemann May 17 '18 at 9:39
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According to the the explanation of the Sulam on the Zohar the smoke rising in a straight pillar allowed the Kohen to apprehend some sort of mystical vision.

בקטרת ההיא, כשהיה עולה העשן כעמוד, היה רואה הכהן אותיות של סוד השם הקדוש פורחות באויר ועולות למעלה כעמוד, לאחר כך, כמה מרכבות קדושות מסבבות אותה מכל הצדדים, עד שעולה באורה ושמחה ומשמח למי שמשמח, וקושרת קשרים דהיינו שמיחדת יחודים, למעלה ולמטה, ליחד הכל. וכבר העמידוהו. וזה מכפר על יצר הרע ועל עכו"ם שהוא סטרא אחרא, וכבר העמידוהו

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