The Temple Institute: A Day in the Life of the Holy Temple: The High Priest's Meal-Offering

The High Priest's Meal-Offering

The eighth priest, who is the twelfth in the lottery, merits to bring the High Priest's personal meal-offering up to the altar. This meal-offering consisted of 1/10 of an efah (app. 2 quarts) of flour mingled with oil in a pan and baked into 12 loaves. Although this was the High Priest's own, it is considered in many ways like a congregational offering. It was brought to the altar every day - half in the morning, and the remaining half in the evening. Some say that this means 6 loaves were offered in morning, and 6 in the evening; other scholars opine that the loaves were broken in half, with the first half being offered in the morning and the remaining half in the evening. Incidentally, this offering is also brought by every priest who begins to officiate in the Temple, on the first day of his service, as part of his inauguration ceremony. The ordinary, or lay priests, only brought it on the day they took office, but the High Priest would bring this offering every day. It is described in Lev. Chapter 6, where we read:

"And the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying: This is the offering that Aaron and his descendants must bring on the day that any one of them is anointed... it shall consist of 1/10 an ephah of wheat meal, and it shall be a daily meal-offering, with one half in the morning, and one half in the evening... "

Like every meal-offering brought by a priest, this was required to be completely burned on the altar, and not eaten (ibid. v. 15-16).

Once all the parts of the sacrifice, and the meal-offering, have been placed on the altar, they are salted... as G-d commanded, "You shall offer salt on all of your sacrifices" (Lev. 2:13).

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