THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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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.
1) THE "BIGDEI KEHUNAH" OF THE " MASHU'ACH MILCHAMAH"
QUESTION: Rav Dimi (72b) states that a Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah (a Kohen
specially appointed to exhort the men of the Jewish army when they go to
war, as described in Devarim 20:1-9) may wear the eight Begadim of the
Kohen Gadol. The Gemara challenges his opinion from a Beraisa which states
that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may *not* wear the eight Begadim of the
Kohen Gadol, nor may he wear the four Begadim of a Kohen Hedyot. Abaye
answers that mid'Oraisa, he may wear the eight Begadim, as Rav Dimi said.
The Rabanan, though, decreed that he not wear the eight Begadim of the
Kohen Gadol in order to prevent malice against him from the Kohen Gadol,
and that he not wear the four Begadim of a Kohen Hedyot because of the
principle of "Ma'alin ba'Kodesh v'Lo Moridin" -- we rise in holiness and we
do not descend.
2) "EIN MORIDIN" BY A "MASHU'ACH MILCHAMAH" ACCORDING TO RAVIN
Why does Abaye say that the reason the Beraisa says that he cannot wear the
four Begadim is because of "Ma'alin ba'Kodesh?" Rav Dimi holds that the
Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah is *required* to wear the eight Begadim, and that
is why he may not wear four Begadim! If he wears only four Begadim, he is
considered "Mechusar Begadim" (lacking the required Begadim) and any Avodah
which he does is invalid!
ANSWER: The TOSFOS YESHANIM answers that there are times when a Kohen
Mashu'ach Milchamah must be removed from his position. For example, if he
becomes too old to go out to war with the army, he is dismissed from his
position and his status returns to that of a Kohen Hedyot. (The position of
Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah was an appointed position. Just like the
appointment was made verbally by the king or Beis Din, so, too, the
resignation is made verbally by the king or Beis Din.) Nevertheless, he may
still not wear the four Begadim. Even though he will not be "Mechusar
Begadim" for he is no longer a Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah, another reason
prevents him from wearing the four Begadim -- because "Ma'alin ba'Kodesh
QUESTION: Rav Dimi (72b) states that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may
perform the Avodah while wearing the eight Begadim of the Kohen Gadol. The
Gemara challenges his opinion by citing several sources that show that the
Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may *not* wear the eight Begadim. Ravin answers
that it was never taught that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may perform the
Avodah with the eight Begadim. Rather, the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may
wear the eight Begadim when he stands before the questioner who comes to
ask a question of the Urim v'Tumim. When he does the Avodah, though, he
wears only four Begadim. This version of Rav Dimi's statement answers all
of the questions asked on Rav Dimi, for according to this version, Rav Dimi
agrees that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah never wears the eight Begadim for
the Avodah, which is consistent with the proofs cited by the Gemara.
However, there is one Beraisa that apparently contradicts Ravin's
statement. The Beraisa says that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may not do
the Avodah while wearing four Begadim (like a Kohen Hedyot), nor may he do
the Avodah while wearing the eight Begadim (like the Kohen Gadol). Until
now, it was assumed that he cannot wear four Begadim because of the
principle, "Ma'alin ba'Kodesh v'Lo Moridin" -- one may only rise in
holiness, but not descend, and since he is supposed to wear eight Begadim,
while serving as Mashu'ach Milchamah, he is not permitted to "descend" to
four Begadim even if he loses his position.
Ravin, however, maintains that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah *never* wears
eight Begadim; he only wears four Begadim like a regular Kohen. To apply
"Ma'alin b'Kodesh" is entirely inappropriate; if so why does the Beraisa
not allow him to serve with four Begadim?
(a) The CHAFETZ CHAIM (Zevach Todah) and the SEFAS EMES answer that
according to Ravin, if the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah ever dons the eight
Begadim in order for someone to ask a question of the Urim v'Tumim,
afterwards he is no longer allowed to perform the Avodah with four Begadim,
because of "Ma'alin ba'Kodesh v'Lo Moridin." Since he once wore the eight
Begadim, he may no longer wear only four Begadim. That is the instance
which the Beraisa is discussing.
However, this answer is debatable. "Ma'alin ba'Kodesh v'Lo Moridin" means
that since the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah held a loftier appointment, as is
witnessed by the fact that he was to serve with eight clothes, he may no
longer perform the Avodah with four Begadim, as a normal Kohen. According
to Ravin, though, he should not become more lofty, as far as Avodah is
concerned, just because a question was asked of him through the Urim
v'Tumim -- since he did not perform Avodah in those clothes. Why should
that be considered "rising" in Kedushah such that he may not "descend?"
(Apparently these Acharonim hold that the very act of donning the eight
Begadim gives the Kohen more Kedushah.)
(b) The CHAZON ISH (Horiyos 15:22) points out that the Gemara cites a
Beraisa as support for Ravin's statement. The Beraisa says explicitly that
the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah dons the eight Begadim in order for someone
to ask a question of the Urim v'Tumim. The implication is that he wears
four Begadim when he does the Avodah. Consequently, this Beraisa is arguing
with the earlier Beraisa which says that he may not do the Avodah with four
Begadim because of "Ma'alin ba'Kodesh." There is thus an argument between
the Beraisos, and Ravin holds like the second Beraisa.
(c) The YEFEH EINAYIM cites the Yerushalmi that is bothered by this
question. The Yerushalmi says that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may not
wear four Begadim, because people who see him wearing the eight Begadim
(while someone is asking a question of the Urim v'Tumim) might think that
he has the status of a Kohen Gadol. If he is then allowed to do the Avodah
with four Begadim, they will say that a *Kohen Gadol* is permitted to do
the Avodah with four Begadim! Therefore, the Rabanan decreed that he may
not do the Avodah in four Begadim, so that people not think that a Kohen
Gadol is permitted to do the Avodah with four Begadim.
3) "TZADI" BEFORE "TES"
QUESTION: The Gemara asks how the letters on the stones of the Choshon can
be combined to spell out the answers to any question if they do not contain
every letter of the Alef Beis. On the stones were inscribed the names of
the twelve sons of Yakov, which did not include the letter "Tzadi!" The
Gemara answers that the names of the Avos were also inscribed on the
stones. The Gemara asks further that the letter "Tes" appears neither in
the names of the Shevatim nor in the names of the Avos. If it was not
inscribed on the stones, how could answers from the Urim v'Tumim include
the letter "Tes?" The Gemara answers that the words "Shivtei Yeshurun" were
also inscribed on the stones.
4) ASSISTING THE "URIM V'TUMIM"
Why did the Gemara ask out of order? Since the letter "Tes" precedes
"Tzadi," it should have first asked from "Tes" and only then from "Tzadi!"
Furthermore, the names of the Shevatim also do not include the letter
"Ches" [and the letter "Kof"]. Since the letter "Ches" precedes both "Tes"
and "Tzadi," the Gemara should have asked first from the missing letter
"Ches" in the names of the Shevatim! (The Yerushalmi, Yoma 7:3, indeed
asks from Ches, Tes and Tzadi together, before answering that those letters
appear in the names of the Avos, which were also inscribed in the stones.)
ANSWER: The CHASAM SOFER (Parshas Tetzaveh), citing from the SHEV YAKOV,
proposes a brilliant answer. When the Gemara asked its question from the
missing "Tzadi," it was not certain what exactly was written on the stones.
Were the names of the Shevatim written on the stones, or were the names of
the *stones* written on the stones? In order to safely ask its question, it
asked specifically from the letter "Tzadi," which is the only letter that
is missing from both the names of the Shevatim *and* the names of the
After the Gemara answered that the names of the Avos were written on the
stones, the questioner understood that was the names of the Shevatim that
were written on the stones along with the Avos, and not the names of the
stones. (If the names of the stones were written on the stones, there would
be no point in adding to them the names of the Avos, who have nothing to do
with the names of the stones.) Only at that point did it feel safe asking
that the letter "Tes" would be missing from the stones, since it appears
neither in the list of the Shevatim nor in the list of the Avos (although
it *does* appear in the names of the stones, in "Pitda").
(For RAV SHAMSHON of OSTROPOLI's highly original mathemato-Kabalistic
approach, see Nitzotzei Shimshon, Parashas Tetzaveh.)
OPINIONS: The Gemara asks why does the Kohen Gadol need to have Ru'ach
ha'Kodesh in order to receive an answer from the Urim v'Tumim if the
letters themselves protrude or join together (see Rashi) to give him the
answer. The Gemara answers that it is nevertheless necessary for the Kohen
Gadol also to have Ru'ach ha'Kodesh, in addition to the letters protruding
or joining together, because by having Ru'ach ha'Kodesh "he assists them."
In what way does the Kohen Gadol assist the letters of the Urim v'Tumim?
Why is Ru'ach ha'Kodesh necessary?
(a) RASHI says that the Kohen Gadol would cogitate with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh,
and as a result, his Ru'ach ha'Kodesh would cause the letters to protrude
or join together.
The RAMBAN (Shemos 28:30) and the RITVA here explain this in much more
detail. They explain that Rebbi Yochanan, who says that the letters
protrude, and Reish Lakish, who says that the letters join together, are
not arguing. The letters both protrude and join together. The Kohen Gadol
would first concentrate on the Name of Hashem known as the "Urim," and that
would cause the letters to stand out by lighting up ("Urim"). Then, the
Kohen Gadol would concentrate on the Name of Hashem known as the "Tumim,"
and that would enable him to see the correct order of the letters as they
joined together ("Tumim" means that they are "Metamem Divrehen," they make
their message complete, as the Gemara states on 73b -- see Rashi there).
(b) RABEINU ELYAKIM says that first, the Kohen Gadol would concentrate in
order to perceive the answer by himself with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh. After he
thought of the answer, he would then check the Urim v'Tumim to verify his
answer. This is what the Gemara means when it says that "it (meaning the
Urim v'Tumim) would assist him (meaning the Kohen Gadol)." It does not mean
that the Kohen Gadol would assist the Urim v'Tumim.
(c) The RITVA (end of 73a) writes that "the Urim v'Tumim didn't work for
the Mashu'ach Milchamah the same way as it did for the Kohen Gadol, it just
helped him." He appears to have had another Girsa in the Gemara. According
to his Girsa, the phrase "he assists them" does not answer the question why
the Kohen Gadol had to have Ru'ach ha'Kodesh. Rather, it is answering a
What question is the Gemara answering according to his Girsa? The CHAFETZ
CHAIM (Zevach Todah) explains that the Gemara wanted to know how the Kohen
Mashu'ach Milchamah can wear the eight Begadim in order for someone to ask
a question of the Urim v'Tumim, when it was unlikely that the Kohen
Mashu'ach Milchamah had Ru'ach ha'Kodesh, and thus the Urim v'Tumim would
not work! The Gemara answers that, in fact, the Mashu'ach Milchamah's Urim
v'Tumim was not entirely reliable. Rather, the answer that it gave served
only as a support for the questioner's other reasons to act in that way.
Another possible explanation of the Ritva is that his Girsa of the Gemara
placed this phrase, "he assists them," at the end of the chapter, and it is
answering a different question. The Gemara at the end of the Perek says
that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah could serve as the questioner when a
question needed to be asked to the Urim v'Tumim (while the Kohen Gadol wore
it). We see from there that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah could *not* wear
the Urim v'Tumim, but had to ask the question to the Kohen Gadol who wore
the Urim v'Tumim.
The Gemara answers that it is true that the Kohen Mashu'ach Milchamah may
not wear it himself while a question is asked of it, but rather "the Urim
v'Tumim assists him" -- i.e. Ravin meant that he has the authority to *ask
a question* to the Urim v'Tumim while the Kohen Gadol is wearing it, and
the Urim v'Tumim will give him an answer (even though it usually give an
answer only to the king or the Sanhedrin). (M. Kornfeld)