Shekalim 8:4-5

Shekalim 8:4

If one of the Temple curtains were rendered ritually unclean by a second-degree form of impurity, they would immerse it in a mikvah and it could be returned to its place immediately (rather than waiting until nightfall. This is because this form of uncleanliness only affects utensils by rabbinic decree). If it became ritually unclean by a primary form of impurity, they would immerse it in a mikvah and then spread it out on the cheil (the name of a certain raised area) until nightfall. If it was a new curtain, they would spread it on the roof of the portico so that people could admire the beautiful new addition to the Temple.

Shekalim 8:5

Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel said in the name of Rabbi Shimon, son of the deputy High Priest, that the paroches (the curtain of the Holy of Holies) was a handbreadth thick (about three inches) and woven of 72 strands, each of which was made of 24 threads. It was 40 cubits long (about 60’) and 20 cubits wide (about 30’). It was made of 820,000. (“82 ribo” presumably means 82 x 10,000. This could refer to the thread count or to the price. Alternately, “82 ribo” might mean that it was made by 82 girls.) They would make two of these curtains every year and 300 kohanim would immerse it in a mikvah (because it was very heavy. “300” is not specific; this is the standard Talmudic shorthand meaning “a lot” – see Bartinuro).
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