The Most Difficult Task of All

Once the High Priest put down the shovel, he must then return the fine incense powder from the spoon and back into his palms - for when he places the incense on the coals, it must be directly from his palms, the "double handful." This was the most difficult task ever done by one person in the Holy Temple; it required great expertise. It would appear to be a nearly impossible feat for someone who had not practiced and been totally prepared. It was done in the following manner: The High Priest takes the spoon full of incense and slowly pulls it with his two thumbs against his arms and body, with the handle resting against him (some maintain that he actually held the top of the handle in his teeth). He balances the body of the spoon itself until it is level with his hands. Then he gently leans the spoon into his palms, turning and rocking it back and forth so that the contents are emptied into his palms.



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