web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 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.

Current Top Story
israel-day-parade-bds
Jewish Communal Fund Provides Millions To New Israel Fund
Latest Judaism Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

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)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

One of the purposes of the ketubah money is to make it difficult for a husband to capriciously divorce his wife.

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

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.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: