web analytics
January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Perfect Representative


Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

In a sense, the kohen acts as the violator’s attorney. He offers a plea bargain on his client’s behalf. In return for a sincere resolution not to repeat the offense and the disgorgement of part of the ill-gotten gains on the altar, the Judge will grant atonement. The kohen must be a respectable representative in order to successfully represent his client. He must be sober and well dressed and his hair must be trimmed.

The two sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, who, according to some commentators, ventured past the outer altar in a state of intoxication, paid for it with their lives. Indeed, a kohen who enters the Sanctuary to perform a priestly service while intoxicated is liable to death at the hand of God and the service he performed is ineffective.

Intoxication for this purpose means the kohen has drunk at least a revi’it measure of wine, not less than 40 days old, in one shot. Although a kohen may not enter the Temple under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, the consequences of entering the Temple under the influence of a non-wine alcoholic beverage is less severe. The kohen will incur the punishment of malkot, lashes, but the priestly service performed under the influence will still be effective.

The kohanim were divided into 24 mishmarot, service units. Each mishmar was sub-divided into batei avot, family units, numbering 168 in all. Each family unit of kohanim performed the priestly service in the Temple at least two days each year. During these two days, the kohen of the family unit up for service was not permitted to drink any alcoholic beverage, neither by day nor by night, and was not allowed to drink wine the entire week.

According to one opinion in the Talmud, since kohanim today do not know what mishmar or beit av they belong to, they may never drink wine because were the Messiah to arrive on the day that would happen to be their day of service, they would be under ther influence of drink and unable to serve. However, in view of the fact that the Messiah is taking longer than anticipated to arrive, the halacha is not in accordance with this opinion and a kohen today may drink wine.

A kohen may not venture past the outer altar if he has not had a haircut for the last thirty days. The kohen gadol may not enter the Temple unless his hair is cut every seven days.

Even though the kohen changed out of his secular clothes into his priestly garments, bigdei kehunah, before performing the service, the secular clothes he wore and out of which he changed upon arrival at the Temple had to be freshly laundered. A kohen whose garments were torn was not allowed to enter the Temple. A kohen who performed the priestly service without having had a haircut within the prior thirty days or while wearing a torn garment was subject to the punishment of karet even though the priestly service was effective.

A kohen whose close relative had died but was not yet buried was not allowed to continue with the priestly service but was obliged to leave the Temple to attend to the deceased. The kohen gadol, however, was obliged to continue with the priestly service as did Aaron upon learning of the death of his two sons.

The only person allowed to enter the Kodesh Kodashim, the Holy of Holies, was the kohen gadol, who was permitted to enter four times in order to perform the Yom Kippur service. If he entered a fifth time on Yom Kippur, or at any other time, he too risked the punishment of karet.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


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 “The Perfect Representative”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hezbollah rocket headed for Haifa in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Israel Won’t Go to War against Hezbollah because It Can’t Win [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Tissot_The_Waters_Are_Divided

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

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)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

A more difficult situation arises when there is no evidence placing the missing husband at the site of the death.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The court cannot solely rely on death certificates issued by non-Jewish institutions without conducting its own investigation into the facts of the case.

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

The child of a Jewish mother from a union with a non-Jewish father is not a mamzer.

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

What if, at the moment of the late brother’s death, the surviving brother cannot effect yibum because the widow is a niddah?

The Torah lists twenty-one close relatives a man may not marry.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/the-perfect-representative/2014/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: