Saturday, February 12, 2011

The mitzva to wear bigdei kehunah

The mishna says in Zevachim (perek 2, mishna 1):
כל הזבחים שקבל דמן זר, אונן, טבול יום, מחסר בגדים, מחסר כפורים, שלא רחוץ ידים ורגלים, ערל, טמא, יושב, עומד על גבי כלים, על גבי בהמה, על גבי רגלי חברו, פסול.
“Any korban where a zar was mekabel the dam after shechitah, …or a cohen who is not wearing the correct begadim….the korban is pasul.”
The gemara (17b) asks, how do we know that the avodah is passul if the cohen is not wearing the correct begadim?
מחוסר בגדים: מנלן אמר רבי אבוה אמר רבי יוחנן ומטו בה משמיה דרבי אלעזר ברבי שמעון דאמר קרא (שמות כט, ט) וחגרת אותם אבנט אהרן ובניו וחבשת להם מגבעות והיתה להם כהונה לחקת עולם בזמן שבגדיהם עליהם כהונתם עליהם אין בגדיהם עליהם אין כהונתם עליהם
“How do we know that if a cohen performed the avodah in the beis hamikdash without the correct begadim that his avodah is pasul? Rabbi Avahu said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan and some say it was said in the name of Rebbi Eliezer the son of Rebbi Shimon – the passuk says (in this week’s sedrah) – ‘וחגרת אותם אבנט אהרן ובניו וחבשת להם מגבעות והיתה להם כהונה לחקת עולם‎’ – ‘You should gird Aharon and his sons with the avnet and you should place migvaos on them and it will be for them as kehunah for an eternal statute.’ From this passuk you see that when their clothes are on them they are kohanim but if their clothes are not on them then they are not considered cohanim. [Therefore if they do the avodah they have a halacha of a zar sheshimesh – a non-cohen who did the avodah, so that the avodah is pasul.]”
The gemara continues:
...אשכחן מחוסר בגדים שתויי יין מנלן אתיא חוקה חוקה ממחוסר בגדים
“We have found a source for the halacha of a cohen who is missing the bigdei kehunah, how do we know that if a cohen is drunk their avodah is also pasul? We learn this out from mechusar begadim through a gezerah shaveh because in both pessukim the Torah says the word chukah.”
Tosafos
Tosafos asks (d”h chukah chukah) – how can the gemara make a gezerah shaveh from mechusar begadim to shesuyey yayin, we know from the gemara in Sanhedrin that “כל דבר הבא מן הכלל אין דנין אותו בגזירה‎” - you cannot make a gezerah shaveh from a halachah which itself is not written explicitly but is only learnt from another halacha. Here the chiyuv misoh for a mechusar begadim is not written explicitly in the Torah so how can we learn the halacha of shesuyey yayin from it.
The Brisker Rov (zevachim 18) asks, how can Tosafos say the halacha of mechusar begadim is not written explicitly in the Torah so that we cannot learn from it through a gezera shaveh? The gemara only says this in Sanhedrin regarding a halachah which itself is learnt from another halachah, but here the derasha of mechusar begadim is in the passuk of mechusar begadim???
The Brisker Rov explains Tosafos as follows:
Machlokess between the Rambam and the Ramban
The Rambam says in Sefer Hamitzvos, mitzvah 33:
מצוה ל"ג היא שצוה הכהנים ללבוש בגדים מיוחדים לכבוד ולתפארת ואז יעבדו במקדש, והוא אמרו "ועשו בגדי קדש לאהרן", "ואת בניו תקריב והלבשתם כתנות". וזאת היא מצות בגדי כהונה, שמונה בגדים לכהן גדול וארבעה לכהן הדיוט. וכל עת שישרת הכהן בפחות ממנין בגדיו המיוחדים לו באותה העבודה או ביותר מהם, עבודתו פסולה ויתחייב על זה מיתה בידי שמים.
“The 33rd mitzva is that He commanded the cohanim to wear special clothes for honour and glory and only then they should they serve in the Beis Hamikdash, this is Hashem’s statement – ‘ועשו בגדי קדש לאהרן‎’ – ‘they should make holy garments for Aharon’, and ‘ואת בניו תקריב והלבשתם כתנות‎’ – ‘and bring close his sons and make them wear the kutones’. And this is the mitzvah of the clothes of the cohanim, eight clothes for the cohen gadol and four for the ordinary cohen.  And if the cohen will do the avodah in the beis hamikdash at any time with less than the number of clothes that are required for him in that avodah or with more than them, his avodah is pasul and he is chayav misoh bidei shamayim.”
The Ramban argues with the Rambam and says that wearing bigdei kehunah is not one of the taryag mitvos, rather it is a condition to doing the avodah in the beis hamikdash.
The Ramban asks that according to the Rambam who says that wearing the begadim is a mitzvah, we should say there are really 3 mitzvos – one for the clothes of the ordinary cohen, one for the bigdei zahav of the cohen gadol and one for the bigdei lavan of the cohen gadol?
What is the basis of the machlokess between the Rambam and the Ramban?
The Asvan Deoraisoh
It would be possible to explain the basis of the machlokess between the Rambam and the Ramban with a chakirah in the Asvan Deoraisoh (siman 19):
The Asvan Deoraisoh asks – is the purpose of wearing the bigdei kehunah to bring the kohanim to a level of kedushah where they can do the avodah or do the bigdei kehunah relate directly to the avodah? Maybe just like the blood of the korban has to be niskabel in a kli shares, the avodah must be performed by a kohen who is wearing the bigdei kehunah.
·       According to the first tzad – there is no direct link between the bigdei kehunah and the avodah. The cohanim have to wear the begadim to be niskadesh with an extra kedusha that allows them to do the avodah, only then can they do the avodah.
·       According to the second tzad – there is a direct link between the avodah and wearing the begadim. That means - It is a requirement of the avodah that bigdei kehunah should be worn by the one who performs it.
A practical difference between these two ways of understanding relates to what happens if a cohen hedyot wears all four of his begadim and then does an avodah  of Yom Kippur which requires the cohen gadol wearing bigdei zahav.
·       If the purpose of the bigdei kehunah is to give the cohen the correct kedushah to do the avodah then here, although the avodah is pasul because it was performed by a cohen hedyot, he would not be chayav misoh for being mechusar begadim because he was wearing the begadim required to make him into a cohen who can do the avodah.
·       However if there is a direct connection between the avodah and the begadim then not only is the avodah pasul as it was not performed by the cohen gadol, but the cohen hedyot would also be chayav misoh for being mechusar begadim since he did not wear the begadim required for that avodah.
We can explain that the machlokess between the Rambam and the Ramban is based on this chakirah:
·       According to the Rambam, the purpose of the bigdei kehunah is to bring the cohen to a level of kedushas kehunah where he can do the avodah. Once he has this kedushah, he can do the avodah. There is  direct link between the begadim and the avodah, however. Therefore wearing the bigdei kehunah is itself is a mitzva.
·       According to the Raavad, wearing the begadim is directly connection to the avodah. The avodah requires the begadim to be worn. Therefore this is not a seperate mitzvah, rather it is a condition of doing the avodah.
However, it is difficult to explain that the Rambam holds that there is no direct connection between the begadim and the avodah becuase the Rambam says:
. וכל עת שישרת הכהן בפחות ממנין בגדיו המיוחדים לו באותה העבודה או ביותר מהם, עבודתו פסולה ויתחייב על זה מיתה בידי שמים
“If at any time a cohen does the avodah with less than the number of clothes that are required for that avodah or in more than them, his avodah is pasul and he is chayav misoh bidei shamayim.”
If, according to the Rambam, there is no direct connection between the begadim and the avodah, then the Rambam should not say that he is chayav misoh becuase he wore less clothes than the avodah requires, rather the Rambam should say that he is not a cohen and therefore has the halacha of a zar who did the avodah?
The Brisker Rov explains that both sides of the chakirah are correct:
If a cohen does the avodah without the correct begadim he has done two things wrong:
a)      The avodah was performed incorrectly because it was missing the begadim which are required to be worn when it is performed.
b)      The cohen has a din of a zar and therefore is like a zar sheshimesh.
The Brisker Rov further explains that the two dinim that apply to the avodah of a cohen who does the avodah mechusar begadim:
1.      That the cohen is chayav misoh
2.      That the avodah is passul
Relate to the different aspects of the lack of begadim.
·       The reason that the cohen is chayav misoh is because he performed the avodah incorrectly without the begadim.
·       The reason that the avodah is passul is because the cohen has a din of a zar since he is not wearing the bigdei kehunah and is not qualified to do the avodah.
This is why the Rambam says -  “If at any time a cohen does the avodah with less than the number of clothes that are required for that avodah or in more than them, his avodah is pasul and he is chayav misoh bidei shamayim” – because wearing the bigdei kehunah is a direct requirement of the avodah as well as being required to make the cohen fit to do the avodah.
According to this we can understand why wearing the ordinary begadim of a cohen, wearing the bigdei zahav and wearing the bigdei lavan of the cohen gadol are not separate mitzvos – because the actual mitzvah is to wear the clothes required for that avodah – regardless of what begadim are required.
Tosafos
The gemara in Zevachim is discussing the reason that the avodah of a mechusar begadim or shesuyey yayin is passul, it is not discussing the reason they are chayav misah. The reason that their avodah is passul is because they have the din of a zar. The halachah that the avodah of a zar is passul is not stated in the pessukim that discuss wearing beigdei kehunah, the derosho is only that a kohen without his begadim has the din of a zar.
בזמן שבגדיהם עליהם כהונתם עליהם אין בגדיהם עליהם אין כהונתם עליהם
“When they are wearing the begadim they are kohanim, when they are not wearing the begadim they are not kohanim.”
Therefore Tosafos asks that the pesul avodah is a דבר הבא מן הכלל because it is not learnt from the pessukim of mechuser begadim but is a general rule that the avodah of a zar is passul.
Regarding the chiyuv misah, it is not a דבר הבא מן הכלל because the chiyuv misoh is a direct consequence of performing the avodah with insufficient bigdei kehunah
However regarding the pesul avodah, since this is only because the cohen is like a zar and the pesul of a zar doing avodah is not stated in the parshah of the bigdei kehunah, this is a דבר הבא מן הכלל - a general rule, and cannot be extrapolated through a gezera shaveh.

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