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Yoma 68

YOMA 59-88 have been dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y. by his wife and daughters. Well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah, he will long be remembered.


QUESTION: RASHI on the Mishnah (DH Amru Lo) says that after sending away the Se'ir ha'Mishtale'ach, the Kohen Gadol was not allowed to start another Avodah until the Se'ir reached the Midbar. Once it reached the Midbar, the Mitzvah of sending away the goat was completed (according to Rebbi Yehudah)and the Kohen Gadol could proceed to the next Avodah.

We learned in the previous Mishnah (67b) that after sending away the Se'ir, the Kohen Gadol removes the innards ("Emurin") from the Par and Se'ir that are going to be burned. Why was he permitted to do that before he found out that the Se'ir reached the Midbar?

It must be that since it is not a real Avodah, but is just preparation for another Avodah (burning the Emurin on the Mizbe'ach), it is permissible for the Kohen Gadol to remove the Emurin before the sending of the Se'ir is completed. However, if he is permitted to do something which is not an Avodah, why is he not permitted to begin reading from the Torah immediately after sending away the Se'ir? The Mishnah here implies that he must wait until he hears that the Se'ir has reached the Midbar before he may begin reading from the Torah (as Rashi says at the end of the Perek)! We know that Keri'as ha'Torah is not considered an Avodah, as the Gemara later on the page states. Why, then, must he wait until hearing that the Se'ir has reached the Midbar before he begins to read from the Torah?


(a) RABEINU YEHONASAN M'LUNIL suggests that indeed, the Kohen Gadol reads from the Torah immediately after sending away the Se'ir. The Keri'as ha'Torah took place while the Se'ir was on the way to the Midbar. In fact, he suggests that the purpose of reading the Torah at this point was to pass the time of waiting for the Se'ir to reach the Midbar before starting the next Avodah.

The YEFEH EINAYIM (67b) cites at least one opinion in the Yerushalmi that supports the assertion of Rabeinu Yehonasan m'Lunil. The Yerushalmi says that according to some, the Kohen Gadol approached the Par and Se'ir, and then read from the Torah, *immediately* after sending the Se'ir to the Midbar without waiting (because both of those acts, preparing the Par and Se'ir and Keri'as ha'Torah, are not Avodos).

(b) However, RASHI and TOSFOS YESHANIM give other sources for the Keri'as ha'Torah. Rashi (DH Bo Likros) writes that it is learned from the Parshah of Milu'im as the Gemara said earlier (5b). Tosfos Yeshanim cites the Yerushalmi that says that the obligation of the Kohen Gadol to read from the Torah on Yom Kipur is derived from a verse (Vayikra 16:34). Alternatively, says the Tosfos Yeshanim, it is a logical obligation; the Kohen Gadol must Daven at some point during the day, and since after sending away the Se'ir he completed the main Avodos of the day, now is a good time to Daven for Mechilah and to read from the Torah.

Rashi at the end of the Perek clearly says that the Kohen Gadol would not read from the Torah until after the Se'ir had reached the Midbar and the Mitzvah was completed. Why was he required to wait to read the Torah if he was permitted to separate the Emurin?

Perhaps it is only prohibited to start an action which is part of a *new* series of Avodos unrelated to what he did until now. Removing the Emurin from the Par and Se'ir is merely a continuation of the Avodos which he started earlier. Perhaps that is why he is permitted to remove the Emurin at this point, while he may not read the Torah because Keri'as ha'Torah is an entirely new act.

(c) The BRISKER RAV (see Insights to 52:2) cites from his father, RAV CHAIM, that it is not only prohibited to start a new Avodah until the previous one is completed, but it is also not permitted for the Kohen Gadol to *leave the area* in which he is standing until the Avodah he was doing is completed. Since he sent away the Se'ir from the Azarah, and the reading of the Torah was done in the Ezras Nashim, the Kohen Gadol must remain in the Azarah until he hears that the Se'ir has reached the Midbar, and only then may he leave that area and proceed to the Ezras Nashim.

(d) The NETZIV (Meromei Sadeh) answers that the act of Keri'as ha'Torah, even though it is not an Avodah, is something which must be done by the Kohen Gadol himself. Since it requires the Kohen Gadol, it is not permitted for him to begin until he finishes what he did until now. The removal of the Emurin, on the other hand, may technically be done by anyone; there is no special obligation for the Kohen Gadol to do it. Therefore, the removal of the Emurin may be done before the Se'ir reaches the Midbar.

QUESTION: The Mishnah says that after the Kohen Gadol reads from the Torah Parshas Acharei Mos (Vayikra 16-18) and the verses from Parshas Emor that discuss Yom Kipur (Vayikra 23:26-32), he reads by heart the verses in Parshas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:7-11) that deal with Yom Kipur.

Why is it permitted for him to read verses by heart? The Halachah states that it is prohibited to read by heart something which is written in the Torah (Gitin 60b)!


(a) The RITVA (70a) explains, based on the Yerushalmi, that the prohibition applies only to reading verses from the Torah which there is an obligation to read publicly ("Chovas Keri'as Tzibur"). The prohibition does not apply to reading verses for the sake of reviewing the Torah, or for the sake of giving praise to Hashem. When the Kohen Gadol reads the Torah by heart on Yom Kipur, it is permissible because there is no obligation to publicly read these verses; rather, they are read just to review the topics relevant for the day. (This is in contrast to the explanation of Rashi, who says that there is an actual obligation to publicly read the verses. According to the Ritva, there is no obligation, but it was done merely to review the verses dealing with Yom Kipur.)

(b) The TOSFOS YESHANIM (70a) says that there is no *prohibition* to read verses in the Torah by heart; rather, it is a *Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar* (the choicest way of performing the Mitzvah) to read the verses from the Sefer Torah. On Yom Kipur, the Rabanan permitted the Kohen Gadol to read part of the Torah by heart in order not to trouble the Tzibur gathered there to wait as he rolled the Sefer Torah to the proper place. The Rabanan permitted him not to do the Mitzvah in the choicest way for the sake of the honor of the Tzibur.

(c) The TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH in Berachos (9b) explain as follows. There are certain verses which the Torah requires an individual to read, but does not require that he read them from a Sefer Torah. For example, the Torah requires each person to recite the Shema, but it is permitted to recite it by heart. The Torah does not expect every person to read the Shema twice each day from a Sefer Torah. The same is true regarding the verses of Birkas Kohanim recited by Kohanim each day when they bless the people. Similarly, the Gemara in Ta'anis (27b) says that when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing, by reciting the Parshah of Korbanos it is as if one brought the Korbanos. Certainly, the Torah does not require that the Parshah of Korbanos be recited from a Sefer Torah.

Since the Torah revealed that any of these Parshi'os may be recited by heart, then even when one is *not* performing a Mitzvah when reading them, one may read them by heart. For this reason, the Kohen Gadol may read these verses,which deal with the Korbanos of Yom Kipur, by heart.

It may be added that these three answers of the Rishonim appear to bee arguing about the reason for the requirement to read verses from a Sefer Torah and not by heart.

The first reason offered is that if one reads verses by heart, he might make a mistake. This reason is consistent with the explanation of the Ritva (a), who says that it is necessary to read from a Sefer Torah only when there is an obligation to publicly read the verses. In order for the Tzibur to fulfill the obligation, the reader must not make a mistake. However, when reading verses for the sake of giving praise to Hashem, if one makes a mistake it does not matter because he is not attempting to fulfill any obligation.

The second reason given for the obligation to read verses from the Sefer Torah and not by heart is cited by the BEIS YOSEF (OC 49), and by the RITVA in Gitin (60b) in the name of the RAMBAN. The written word which one sees when reading the verses contains certain elements and meanings which one does not see when he recites those verses by heart. The advantage of reading the verses with those extra meanings, though, is only a Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar; one certainly fulfills his obligation if he does not have access to those deeper meanings. This is consistent with the answer of the Tosfos Yeshanim (b).

The third reason is offered by the KOL BO. If one was reading from the Sefer Torah and then recites verses by heart, the people might think that those verses are not part of the Torah. Therefore, one must always read from the Sefer Torah. This reason is consistent with the answer of the Talmidei Rabeinu Yonah (c). If verses are normally recited by heart in the course of a Mitzvah, everyone knows that they are in the Torah and that they are recited by heart only out of necessity. No one will err and think that they are not written in the Torah. (M. Kornfeld)

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