QUESTION: The Gemara says that the box that was used for the lots of the two
Se'irim on Yom Kipur was not made out of gold and made into a Kli Shares,
because of the principle that "the Torah takes care [not to overburden] the
money of Yisrael" ("ha'Torah Chasah Al Mamonam Shel Yisrael").
We learned earlier (37a) that ben Gamla made the lots out of gold in place
of wood. Why did he do this if the Torah teaches us *not* to spend money
ANSWER: The RITVA answers that the use of a box for the lots is not required
mid'Oraisa. Furthermore, even when it is used, it is only used once a year.
Also, it is not a real Avodah. Therefore, there is no Hidur in making it out
of gold. The lots themselves, though, are part of an Avodah d'Oraisa.
Furthermore, on one of them is written the Shem Hashem, and thus it is a
Hidur to make them out of gold.
The same applies to the handles of the vessels of Yom Kipur which Munbaz
made out of gold. Even though their use is not d'Oraisa, since they are used
for Avodos, it is a Hidur to make them out of gold.
The Gemara relates, "All the days of Shimon ha'Tzadik, the Lechem ha'Panim
and Shtei ha'Lechem were blessed and each Kohen received a k'Zayis. Some ate
and were satisfied, others even left some over. When Shimon ha'Tzadik passed
away this blessing stopped and each Kohen managed to get only the size of a
*bean*. The modest Kohanim refrained from taking at all, while the gluttons
would grab. It happened once that a Kohen grabbed his portion and his
friend's portion. From then on he was called 'ben Chamtzan.'"
The term "Chamtzan" is an unfamiliar term. Rashi, based on the Gemara
following this incident, explains that its root is "Chamotz," which he
connects to "Chamas" or "thievery" (in fact, Rabeinu Chananel appears to
have had the Girsa, "*Chamsan*").
RAV REUVEN MARGULIOS (Cheker l'Shemos v'Kinuyim b'Talmud) points out that
the Yerushalmi (Yoma 6:3) relates a similar story, but it concludes that the
Kohen who grabbed was called thereafter "ben ha'Afun" ("son of the bean").
"Chimtzah" also means "bean" (Yevamos 63a), so it is probable that the two
stories are referring to the same incident and to the same nickname, which
alluded to the size of the portions of Lechem ha'Panim that each Kohen was
supposed to take (the size of a "Pul," or bean).
The Latin term for bean is "faba." In Pesachim (57a), Aba Shaul ben Bitnis
said in the name of Aba Yosef ben Chanin of the children of Yishmael ben
*Fiabi*, "Woe unto me from the family of Yishmael ben Fiabi, woe unto me
from their fists, for they are Kohanim Gedolim, their children are
treasurers, their sons-in-law are the ones who give all the orders, and
their servants smite the people with their clubs!" It could be that the
Kohen who grabbed was a descendant of Yishmael ben Fiabi. As we have seen,
Yishmael's descendants ruled with arrogance and took what was not theirs. In
a play on words, instead of calling this person ben Fiabi, he was called
"ben Faba" or "ben ha'Afun" (or "ben Chimtzah," all of which means "bean"),
to allude to his improper conduct with regard to the Lechem ha'Panim.
(Although the Gemara indicates that the name comes from the root "Chamotz,"
that was all part of the triple play on words.)
Rav Reuven Margulios adds that the Tosefta (Kelim, Bava Kama 1:6) relates
that "the Ba'al ha'Pul would club to death any Kohen who went between the
Mizbe'ach and the Beis ha'Mikdash without performing Kidush Yadayim
v'Raglayim (washing of the hands and feet)." No mention is made about the
identity of this "Ba'al ha'Pul." Who was this mysterious "Ba'al ha'Pul?"
Perhaps it was the descendant of Yishmael ben Fiabi who was known as "ben
ha'Afun," since "Ba'al ha'Pul" literally means "master of the bean." Despite
the fact that he sometimes expressed his zealousness in terms of greed,
nevertheless, like his grandfather he zealously guarded the sanctity of the