Our Rabbis taught: All may enter the Hekal to build, to repair or to take out uncleanness. It is a
religious duty, however, that the priests should do it. If no priests are available Levites may enter.
If no Levites are available Israelites may enter. But in all these cases only levitically clean persons
may enter. Those who are levitically unclean may not.
R. Huna observed: R. Kahana lends his support to the priests, for R. Kahana learned: Since it
was said: Only he shall not go in unto the veil, it might have been assumed that priests who have a blemish must not enter between the Ulam and the altar to make the beaten plates. hence it was
explicitly stated: ‘Only’ i.e., draw a distinction: Thus the commandment is that those who are
without blemish are qualified, but if men without a blemish are unavailable those with blemishes
may enter; the commandment is that those who are levitically clean may enter, but if no men who are levitically clean are available those who are levitically unclean may enter; but in all these cases
priests only may enter but no Israelites.
The question was raised: In the case of one who is levitically unclean and another who has a
blemish, who of these is to enter? — R. Hiyya b. Ashi citing Rab replied: The levitically unclean
person shall enter, since he has been declared permitted to take part in the public Temple service.
R. Eleazar replied: The man who has the blemish shall enter, since he has been declared permitted to eat consecrated food.
R. SIMEON SAID etc. What does R. Simeon refer to? — He refers to a previous statement
where we learned: If a man was overtaken by dusk even when only One cubit outside the Sabbath
limit, he may not enter it. R. Simeon ruled: Even if he was fifteen cubits away he may enter, since
the surveyors do not measure exactly on account of those who might err. The first Tanna having
thus ruled: ‘he may not enter’, R. Simeon said to him, ‘He may enter’.
SINCE THEY HAVE ONLY PERMITTED YOU THAT WHICH IS FORBIDDEN AS SHEBUTH. What does he refer to? — He refers to another Statement29 where the first Tanna ruled that it may be tied up, in connection with which R. Simeon said to him:35 He may Only secure it with a loop; Only a loop which cannot involve one in the obligation of a sin-offering did the Rabbis permit, but a knot which might involve one in the obligation of a sin-offering the Rabbis did not permit.