Friday, April 23, 2010

Entering the kodesh ha'kedashim

The gemara in Kerisus 6a says:

ת"ר פיטום הקטרת הצרי והציפורן והחלבנה והלבונה משקל שבעים של שבעים מנה מור וקציעה שיבולת נרד וכרכום משקל ששה עשר של ששה עשר מנה הקושט שנים עשר קילופה שלשה וקנמון תשעה בורית כרשינה תשעה קבין יין קפריסין סאין תלתא קבין תלתא אם אין לו יין קפריסין מביא חמר חיוריין עתיק מלח סדומית רובע מעלה עשן כל שהוא ר' נתן אומר אף כיפת הירדן כל שהוא ואם נתן בה דבש פסלה חיסר אחת מכל סמניה חייב מיתה

Rashi says that the chiyuv misoh that the beraisoh is referring to is if a cohen gadol used this ketores on Yom Kipur:

ד״ה חייב מיתה - כי עייל ביוה"כ דכתיב (שם טז) ואל יבא בכל עת אל הקודש וגו' ולא ימות וגו' בזאת יבא אהרן וגו' וכי מעייל קטרת שלא כהלכתה ביאה ריקנית היא וחייב מיתה

“The beraisoh is referring to Yom Kippur. If the ketores was missing an ingredient and the cohen gadol used this ketores on Yom Kippur then the Cohen Gadol is chayav misoh because he has come into the kodesh hakedoshim [effectively] without any ketores.”

Rb Akiva Eiger (in the Gilyon Hashas) asks;

How can Rashi say that the chiyuv misoh if the ketores is incorrectly formulated is for entering the kodesh hakedoshim empty handed? The gemara says in Yuma (53a) that the chiyuv misoh is for bringing ketores not according to the formula prescribed by the Torah? [The difference is that according to Rashi there is only a chiyuv misoh on Yom Kippur, however according to Rb Akiva Eiger’s question – there is a chiyuv misoh the whole year.]

The gemara says in Yuma:
ומנין שנותן בה מעלה עשן שנאמר (ויקרא טז, יג) וכסה ענן הקטורת את הכפורת הא לא נתן בה מעלה עשן או שחיסר אחת מכל סמניה חייב מיתה ותיפוק ליה דקא מעייל ביאה ריקנית אמר רב ששת הכא במאי עסקינן כגון ששגג בביאה והזיד בהקטרה

“How do we know that he should put in it maaleh oshon (this is a herb that makes the smoke of the ketores rise straight up)? Because it says “וְכִסָּה עֲנַן הַקְּטֹרֶת אֶת-הַכַּפֹּרֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָעֵדוּת וְלֹא יָמוּת”, this teaches you that if he did not put ma’aleh oshon in the ketores or he left out one of the ingredients of the ketores then he is chayav misoh.

The gemara asks:

Why do you need a passuk to tell you that he is chayav misoh for not bringing the ketores properly? He is anyway chayav misoh for coming into the kodesh hakedoshim without ketores?

Rav Sheshes answered, we are talking about a case where he came into the kodesh hakedoshim not knowing that this was ossur but he knew that it was ossur to bring ketores with the incorrect formula.”

Rb Akiva Eiger asks, that you see clearly from the gemara that the chiyuv for bringing incorrectly formulated ketores is because the cohen has done the avodah of the ketores incorrectly. The gemara asked, why do you need a possuk to tell you there is a chiyuv for the ketores – he is anyway chayav for coming into the kodesh hakedashim.

So you see that there is a chiyuv for bringing possul ketores.

How then can rashi say in kerisus that the chiyuv referred to for bringing incorrect ketores is only that the cohen went into the kodesh hakedoshim empty handed?


The Tal le’Yisroel answers as follows:

Two Types of Pessul
There are two types of pesul that can occur in items used for mitzvos.
• One type of pesul causes the item not to be classified as the cheftza shel mitzva at all
• With the second type of pesul, the cheftza shel mitzva remains classified as the cheftza shel mitzva – except that it is possul.
For example, a grafted esrog is not an esrog. However, an esrog which is possul because it is orloh is an esrog, just that it is possul becase the possuk says ולקחתם לכם - that you have to be able to eat it.

The Tal le’Yisroel explains that if the ketores is missing one of its besamim, it is not ketores at all, it is simply some sort of mixture of spices. However if the ketores is missing ma’aleh oshon, it is ketores, just that because the ketores will not burn properly, the ketores is pasul. The ma’aleh oshon is not an integral part of the ketores, it is a condition for bringing the ketores.

What is bothering Rashi?
The beraisoh in kerisus starts “ת"ר פיטום הקטרת” – it is discussing the halachos of making the ketores.

The beraisoh finishes off “חיסר אחת מכל סמניה חייב מיתה” – “if he missed out one of the ingredients he is chayav misoh”. It seems the beraisoh is saying that if he missed out one of the ingredients then he is chayav misoh for incorrectly making the ketores. This is impossible, there is never a chayav misoh for incorrectly making the ketores.

Rashi answers as follows:
  • If there is a missing ingredient then the ketores is not ketores at all.
  • When a cohen gadol does the avoda of the ketores on Yom Kippur with incorrectly formulated ketores, he is chayav misoh for a biah rekanis because he has done nothing at all.
  • This is directly attributable to the maker of the ketores.

The chiyuv misoh for bringing ketores pesulah is not attributed to the maker of the ketores – it is attributed to the action of the avoda pesulah. However the chiyuv misoh for a biah rekanis on Yom Kippur is attributed to the maker of the ketores because it is he who has made ketores that looks like ketores but is in fact not ketores at all. Therefore Rashi explains this is what the beraisoh is referring to.

As far as the halacha is concerned, he agrees with Rb Akiva Eiger that there is also a chiyuv misoh for the actual avoda of bringing ketores pesulah, but the beraisoh in kerisus is not refering to this chiyuv.

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