web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Daf Yomi

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Face Of Holiness
‘Inscribed on the Tzitz HaZahav’
(Sukkah 5a)

Among the eight garments of the kohen gadol was the tzitz hazahav, a golden plate that he wore across his forehead. It stretched from ear to ear and was fastened in place by three strings of techeles which were tied behind the head. Our Gemara teaches that the words “Kodesh L’Hashem – Sanctified to Hashem” were inscribed on the tzitz, with the word “Hashem” above and the words “Kodesh L’ ” below. The Rishonim offer several interpretations of where precisely the words were inscribed.

Which Order?

According to Rashi, the words were inscribed one above the other. This opinion is supported by the Yerushalmi, which states that Hashem’s name sat upon the words “Kodesh L’” like a king sits upon his throne. According to this opinion, the words were not inscribed in the manner in which they are meant to be read (since the word “Hashem” comes first as opposed to second). Nonetheless, we inscribe the words in this order due to divine decree (see Ritva on Shabbos 63b).

Other opinions interpret the Gemara in such a manner that the words are, in fact, inscribed in the proper order. Rabbeinu Tam (Shabbos ibid, s.v. “V’kasav”) and other Rishonim maintain that “Kodesh L’” was inscribed at the beginning of the second line and “Hashem” at the end of the first line. Thus, the words can still be read from right to left in their proper order (while still keeping Hashem’s name “on top” [Maharsha on our sugya]).

The Rashba (Shabbos, ibid.) suggests that “Kodesh L’” was inscribed at the end of the first line and “Hashem” at the beginning of the second. What about our Gemara that states clearly that “Hashem” is supposed to be “above” and “Kodesh L’” is supposed to be “below”? The Rashba interprets “above” to mean “on top” – i.e., at the top of the second line, meaning, the beginning of the line – and “below” to mean “at the bottom” – i.e., at the bottom of the first line, meaning, at the end of the line.

The Rashba and Ritva suggest that theirs is the optimum interpretation of the Gemara since in their understanding, the words “Kodesh L’ Hashem” can be read correctly from right to left and from top to bottom (as we normally read Hebrew), with the honor of Hashem’s name still preserved since nothing is inscribed above it.

The Testimony of R’ Eliezer Bar R’ Yossi

Our Gemara cites the testimony of R’ Eliezer bar R’ Yossi who once visited Rome on an important mission on behalf of the Jewish people. While he was there, he visited the royal palace and was shown the kohen gadol’s tzitz, with the words “Kodesh L’Hashem” inscribed on one line. Why, then, did the Chachamim insist that the words were inscribed on two lines. Didn’t they believe R’ Eliezer bar R’ Yossi?

The Meiri explains that the tradition of the Oral Law was so well guarded (and transmitted from one generation to the next) that the Sages relied on it even when it contradicted empirical evidence since evidence can sometimes be misleading. In this case, perhaps R’ Eliezer saw a counterfeit, or an improperly designed, tzitz.

At Times It Was Inscribed…

Based on the Rambam (Hilchos Klei Mikdash 9:1), we can offer a different explanation. The Rambam asserts that even the Chachamim agree that a tzitz with “Kodesh L’Hashem” inscibed on one line is kosher. They simply state that it is better, l’chatchila, to inscribe the words on two lines. The Rambam even writes, “At times they were inscribed on one line.” Thus, the fact that R’ Eliezer bar R’ Yossi saw a tzitz with all the words on one line is not surprising.

Some Acharonim contend that according to the Rambam there is no disagreement between the Chachamim and R’ Eliezer. The Chachamim maintain that the words should be inscribed on two lines, and R’ Eliezer adds that, b’dieved, if they were inscribed on one line the tzitz is still kosher (Rishon L’Tzion, Sefas Emes, et. al; the Kesef Mishnah, however, does not agree with this interpretation of the Rambam).

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS Released Map
The Ally No One Wants In War Against ISIS: The Jews
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

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

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

A Blast At A Funeral?
“R. Hamnuna Came To Daramutha…”
(Moed Kattan 27b)

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Pondering A Kapandria
“It Should Not Be Used As A Shortcut”
(Megillah 29a)

The Gender Factor
‘Where There Is Loss Of Work…
Three Are Called To The Torah’
(Megillah 22b)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-115/2014/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: