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Yoma 52

YOMA 52 - by Reb Wolfe Rosengarten of Zurich, in honor of Rav Moshe Soloveitchik Zatzal and the Yeshiva he established in Moscow.


OPINIONS: Rebbi Yosi maintains that the Kohen Gadol walks along the north wall of the Heichal in order to enter the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim. The Gemara points out that the entrance to the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim was on the north side of the Heichal, directly in front of the Kohen Gadol as he walked towards it. Although gazing into the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim while walking towards it would normally not be respectful, the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kipur was permitted to walk towards the opening and it was not considered disrespectful because the Kohen Gadol was representing the Jewish people who are beloved to Hashem, as is witnessed by the fact that "they do not need a Shali'ach."

In what way do the Jewish people not need a Shali'ach?

(a) RASHI writes that Shlomo noted in his Tefilah, when he dedicated the Beis ha'Mikdash, that every Jew is able to pray for himself in the Beis ha'Mikdash and to be answered by Hashem. A jew does not need a Shali'ach to pray on his behalf. Therefore, the Shali'ach who represents the entire Tzibur is even more distinguished and may walk directly into the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim.

(b) The TOSFOS YESHANIM and RITVA question Rashi's explanation. First, we find in the Tefilah of Shlomo, that he prayed that just like Hashem should answer the prayer of every Jew, so, too, whenever a non-Jew calls out to Hashem, Hashem should answer him (Melachim I 8:43). Rashi there explains that he prayed that a non-Jew should be answered even *more* readily than a Jew -- even if the non-Jew is himself not worthy, Hashem should answer his prayers. A Jew, then, is not unique in this regard!

Second, the Gemara is looking for a reason to permit the Kohen Gadol to walk directly towards the opening of the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim. Why, then, does the Gemara emphasize the greatness of the Jewish people and not that of the Kohen Gadol? The greatness of the Jewish people is not directly relevant to the greatness of the Kohen Gadol.

Because of these two questions, the Tosfos Yeshanim and Ritva favor the explanation of RABEINU CHANANEL. When the Gemara says that the Jews do not need a Shali'ach, it refers to the golden bells that were on the Me'il which the Kohen wore. These bells heralded the entrance of the Kohen Gadol into the Mikdash, as it says, "Its sound shall be heard (v'Nishma Kolo) when he comes into the Kodesh before Hashem and when he leaves, so that he not die" (Shemos 28:35). When it says that a Jew does not need a Shali'ach, it means that *on Yom Kipur*, the Torah does not require the Kohen Gadol to be wearing bells (which are like a Shaliach announcing his arrival) as he walks into the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim. He must wear only the four Bigdei Lavan, which do not include the tinkling bells of the Me'il. Since he is permitted to go in without announcing his coming on this day, he is also permitted to walk directly towards the opening of the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim.

The Acharonim point out that Rashi, who rejected this explanation, follows the opinion he expressed earlier (44b). The Gemara states that when the Kohen Gadol carried the Kaf of Ketores into the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim, the Kaf had a "Ni'ashtok" on it, which Rashi explains was a metal ring which clanged against the Kaf, in order to make up for the missing bells of the Me'il which rang when the Kohen Gadol wore the Bigdei Zahav. If so, the Kohen Gadol *was* required to make his presence known as he approached the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim even on Yom Kipur. (We do not find that the Kohen Gadol took a noisemaker with him when he returned to the Kodesh ha'Kodashim to remove the Kaf and Machtah. Apparently it was not necessary since he was not entering to perform an Avodah, but simply to remove the Kaf and Machtah.) Rabeinu Chananel, on the other hand, explains there that a "Ni'ashtok" is a leather casing with which the Kohen Gadol grasped the Kaf so as not to burn his hand.

(Apparently Rashi understood that "v'Nishma Kolo" is a separate requirement and is not related to the laws of the Me'il. There is not reason to assume that it did not apply even on Yom Kipur. Rabeinu Chananel, on the other hand, maintains that the requirement to have bells is part of the laws of the Me'il, and therefore when the Torah says that the Me'il should not be worn, there is no requirement to have bells either. It is interesting to note that the RAMBAM, who explains "Ni'ashtok" like Rabeinu Chananel, does not count "v'Nishma Kolo" as a separate Mitzvah.)

Concerning the question from the Tefilah of Shlomo, Rashi says there that the reason Shlomo ha'Melech prayed that a non-Jew's prayer should be answered was so that there should not be a Chilul Hashem. If the non-Jew's prayer is not answered, he will say that the G-d of the Jews has no power. If so, it is not on his own merit that he is answered, whereas the prayers of the Jews are answered on their own merit.


QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when the Kohen Gadol would pile the Ketores on top of the coals inside the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim, the smoke would rise and fill the entire Kodesh Ha'Kodashim, at which point the Kohen Gadol would leave. The Mishnah implies that he had to wait there until the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim was filled with smoke. The RAMBAM writes this explicitly (Hilchos Avodas Yom ha'Kipurim 4:1) and says that the Kohen Gadol waits until the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim is filled with smoke.

Why does the Kohen Gadol have to wait until the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim becomes full of smoke?

ANSWER: The KIRYAS SEFER (Hilchos Yom ha'Kipurin 4:1) writes that this requirement is derived from the verse which describes the smoke of the Ketores spreading out in the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim (Vayikra 16:13) which is followed by the verse that commands the Kohen Gadol to take the blood of the Par and sprinkle it towards the Kapores (16:14). This arrangement of the verses implies that he must wait for the smoke to spread out before he continues with the next Avodah.

Some Acharonim suggest that the reason the Torah requires him to wait is not necessarily specific to the Avodah of Yom Kipur. Rather, it is related to a more general rule in the Avodos of the Beis ha'Mikdash.

(a) The BRISKER RAV (in a letter to his nephew, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, printed in the back of Chidushei ha'Griz) writes that the Kohen Gadol's role in the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim was not only to burn Ketores there, but rather to fill the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim with the smoke of the Ketores. That is what the Torah requires of him when it says that the "cloud of smoke of the Ketores shall cover the Kapores." Since that is the Kohen Gadol's obligation, then he is also required to stay there and wait until that Avodah is completed -- until the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim fills with smoke. This is due to a general rule that when doing an Avodah, the Kohen must wait in his place until the Avodah is complete.

We find this concept reflected in the Mishnah later (68b) that says that when the Kohen Gadol would send the Se'ir ha'Mishtale'ach out to the wilderness, he was not permitted to begin the next Avodah (to go to the Ezras Nashim to read from the Torah to the people) until they informed him that the Se'ir had reached the wilderness (Rashi there, DH Amru Lo, DH Na'asis). Since the Kohen Gadol's requirement at that point was to send the Se'ir out to the wilderness, his Avodah was not finished until the Se'ir actually reached the wilderness. Therefore, he must wait in place until he hears that it has reached the wilderness, and only then may he continue with the next part of the Avodah.

(b) RAV YOSEF DOV SOLOVEITCHIK (in the letter mentioned above, and in his Kuntrus Avodas Yom ha'Kipurim) suggests another reason why the Kohen Gadol has to wait until the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim fills with smoke. He writes that when the Kohen Gadol enters and leaves the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim, his entering is not merely the means to performing the Avodah inside, but rather the act of entering and the act of exiting themselves have intrinsic value as an Avodah. Similarly, when the Torah tells us that he has to wait there, it is telling us that waiting is part of the Avodah. It is not connected to the burning of the Ketores; rather, the time period that he is required to delay in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim is the time it takes for the Kodesh ha'Kodashim to fill with smoke.

With this he answers another question. We find that during the rest of the year, when the Kohen offers the Ketores in the Heichal, he would bow down before leaving (Tamid 6:3). On Yom Kipur, though, he does not bow down after offering the Ketores in the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim. Why not? The reason he does not bow down is because when one prostrates himself, he is not in a standing position. A Kohen must be standing while performing an Avodah. The entire time that the Kohen Gadol is in the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim, he is considered to be doing an Avodah (of waiting there), and therefore he may not bow to the ground.

Similarly, in Chulin (10b) the Gemara proves that walking backwards is called "Yetzi'ah" (exiting from a place in a normal manner) from the fact that the Kohen Gadol walked backwards out of the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim in deference to the Shechinah. How does the Gemara prove from there that walking backwards is called a proper "Yetzi'ah?" Perhaps it is not a normal "Yetzi'ah;" all the Kohen Gadol has to do is get out of the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim -- it does not matter if it is done in a normal manner or not! It must be that he *is* required to enter and exit in a normal manner, and that is because going in and coming out of the Kodesh Ha'Kodashim is also considered an Avodah. If walking backwards was not considered a normal Yetzi'ah, he would not be able to go out in that manner.

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