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Zevachim 62a - mizbeach sixty amos

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1 Zevachim 62a - mizbeach sixty amos on Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:05 pm

The gemara here says that the mizbeach could potentially be sixty amos (if needed, but in the 2nd Beis Hamikdash they only needed 32x32 - Rashi). Since it must be square ("revua") that would be 60x60.
There are a number of difficulties; it seems odd that there would be a drasha for something that was never actually needed - Yechezkel's mizbeach is also 32x32 and the Rambam Hil. Beis Habechira says that it should not be made any bigger, ever again.
It also doesn't seem to fit. According to the one who says the mizbeach needs to be in the south, there wouldn't be room for 60 amos along with a ramp. If it needs to all be in the north, there probably wouldn't be room (67.5 amos total) for the hooks and shulchanos etc. that need to be there as well.
Aside from that, since already the mizbeach bordered on the territory of Yehudah east and south, if you made it bigger it would need to be to the west and north. That can only work according to the one that the mizbeach needs to be all in the north. [I anyway wondered that the gemara said that Shlomo's Beis Hamikdash was smaller, missing the southern 4 amos - that cannot work if you hold that the mizbeach needs to be right in the middle.]
Aside from all that, if it has to expand to the west, you'll need an extra 28 amos, and you run into the ulam; I don't know if you'd be allowed to get rid of the ulam for extra room.
Also, the drasha is by comparing to the bayis, which was 60 amos long - but it wasn't sixty amos wide. The mizbeach is already too big at 32 (or exactly right if you count the ulam) if you compare to the width, and anyhow the bayis wasn't square. All of this seems very difficult.
I did see that the Sefas Emes and some others try to suggest that the mizbeach in the 2nd Beis Hamikdash and 3rd are already 60 amos - by counting the kevesh. You really get 62, so you need to explain which 2 are left out (the yesod, the soveiv, etc.) That combination doesn't need to be square so it comes out almost exactly the same as the bayis.

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