web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

Where Angels Dare Not Tread
‘There Shall Be No Man In The Tent Of Meeting’
(Yoma 43b)

Our sugya introduces the Torah prohibition against anyone being in the Ohel Moed when the kohen gadol enters the Kodesh Kadoshim: “Let no man be in the Ohel Moed when he comes to atone in the holy place until he leaves” (Vayikra 16:17). Since this is an explicit Torah prohibition, the obvious question is: Why is it not found in lists of the 613 mitzvos?

The Gevuras Ari raises another question. There is a general prohibition against anyone entering the Beis HaMikdash needlessly (Menachos 27b; Rambam, Hilchos Bias Mikdash 2:4), and since only the kohen gadol may perform the Yom Kippur service, anyone else who would enter Beis HaMikdash would obviously be doing so needlessly. Why, then, did the Torah need to issue a specific prohibition against entering the Beis HaMikdash during the kohen gadol’s service on Yom Kippur?

 

Not Even the Angels May Enter

The Rishonim on our sugya cite the Yerushalmi which states that the pasuk, “Let no man be in the Ohel Moed,” applies even to the angels. They too are considered “men,” as Yechezkel HaNavi says: “The features of their faces were like the features of a man” (Yechezkel 1:5).

This raises yet a third question: How could the Torah address a mitzvah to the angels? The Torah was given to the Jewish people; it was not given to the angels. We do not normally find any mitzvos or aveiros directed at angels.

 

A Prohibition for the Kohen Gadol

In light of these three questions, we must reappraise our understanding of this halacha. Until now, we assumed there was a prohibition forbidding anyone from entering the Beis HaMikdash while the kohen gadol was performing his service. Perhaps we should more correctly state that the kohen gadol was forbidden to perform his service while there was anyone else in the Beis HaMikdash (and if anyone else was there, his service would be pasul – see Teshuvos Ohr HaMeir: Kuntrus Acharon, pp. 334-335; Maharam Charlap, in a letter to R’ Meir Shapira, et. al.).

 

The Details

With this new understanding of the prohibition, let us return to our three questions. First, the prohibition is not listed among the 613 mitzvos because this prohibition is not directed per se at the Jewish people. It is just one of countless details of how the kohen gadol performs his service. Details of mitzvos are not counted as mitzvos unto themselves.

Second, it makes sense that the Torah mentioned this prohibition (without relying on the general prohibition that a person may not enter the Beis HaMikdash needlessly). Without it, we would only know that no one may enter the Beis HaMikdash; we wouldn’t know that the kohen gadol was also forbidden to perform his service until everyone left.

Third, based on our new understanding of this prohibition, it is obvious that the prohibition is not directed at angels. Rather, it is aimed at the kohen gadol.

 

The Greatness of the Kohen Gadol

Rabbeinu Bachaye (Vayikra 16:17) comments that on Yom Kippur, the kohen gadol reached such an exalted level that even the angels stood aside to make room for his service.

Interestingly, the Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 21) asks how the kohen gadol fulfilled the pasuk, “Let no man be in the Ohel Moed.” Was he not, too, a man? The Midrash answers that no, while he served in the Beis HaMikdash the kohen gadol was exalted above the level of all other men. He became a living fire. Therefore, this pasuk did not apply to him (see Beis Ha’Otzar by Mahari Engel, p. 67).

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama
Obama’s Creativity: Signing Bonus Substituting for Sanctions Lifting
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-041715

Lincoln was not a perfect man. But he rose above his imperfections to do what he thought was right not matter the obstacles.

Arch of Titus

Adon Olam: An Erev Shabbat Musical Interlude Courtesy of David Herman

Daf-Yomi-logo

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The omer sacrifice of loose barley flour was more fitting for animal consumption than human consumption and symbolizes the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Kashrut reminds us that in the end, God is the arbiter of right and wrong.

In a cab with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Rav Elayshiv discussing if/when to say tefillas haderech

The successful student listens more than speaks out; wants his ideas critiqued, not just appreciated

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

What do we learn about overcoming loss from the argument between Moses and Aaron’s remaining 2 sons?

Each of the unique roles attributed to Moshe share the common theme that they require of and grant higher sanctity to the individual filling the role.

Because of the way the piece of my finger had been severed, the doctors at the hospital were not able to reattach it. They told me I’d have to see a specialist.

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Heiress?
‘Determining The Daughter’s Status’
(Kesubos 68b-69a)

A Woman Of Valor
‘Would That He Listen To Me…’
(Kesubos 63a)

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

The Wedding Day Fast
‘He Accepts A Ring On Her Behalf’
(Kesubos 47a)

A Confession
‘Payment For Humiliation And Depreciation’
(Ketubbot 41a)

An Auto Accident
‘All Agree That They Are Exempt’
(Kesubbos 35a)

The Threat Of Death
‘Sign or Else…’
(Kesubos 19a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-108/2013/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: