[b-hebrew] high priest on Yom Kippur -- no strings attached?

Søren Holst sh at teol.ku.dk
Thu Jul 21 03:08:49 EDT 2005


Thanks a million, Yitzhak

This would appear to be the same passage of the Zohar that Steven quoted yesterday (Zohar on Vayikra 102a); if it is of interest to others, I'll just add that Kevin Woodruff kindly sent me off-list a reference also to 67a in the Leviticus part of the Zohar (parashat Achrey Mot).

I admit I had a hard time ad-libbing my way through the Aramaic of the only Zohar edition at hand (off the Responsa CD-ROM) so your Hebrew/English version (as well as additional information) is a great help.

thanks again
Soren

> -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> Fra:	b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [SMTP:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] på vegne af Yitzhak Sapir
> Sendt:	21. juli 2005 00:21
> Til:	b-hebrew
> Emne:	Re: [b-hebrew] high priest on Yom Kippur -- no strings attached?
> 
> It appears to me that the Zohar is the earliest source that mentions this phenomenon.  The quote of the Zohar in this regard that I found is at: http://www.ynet.co.il/home/1,7340,L-1722-288-8021608,00.html where it quotes the Zohar on Lev. (Emor):
> 
>  > ????? ?? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ????? 
> ????? ???????. ??? ????, ????? ???? ?????? ??????? ???? ???,
> ???? ?????? ?? ????? ??????? 
> = A golden chain would be tied around the leg of the High Priest when he enters the Holy of Holies, so that if he dies, they can pull him out by the chain and take him from there, without having to enter the Holy of Holies themselves.
> 
> The following is based mainly on Joseph Tabory's, Jewish Festivals in the Time of the Mishnah and Talmud, Magnes: Jerusalem (2000) [Hebrew], p. 266 
> 
> This appears to have been unknown to the Talmudic Rabbis.  See Bavli Yoma 19b, where a Sadducee is described as having died as a result of not performing the ritual according to law.  A discussion follows as to whether he died a few days after or as he came out of the Holy of Holies: And some say, as he came out he was plagued, as R' Hiyya said: A kind of cry was heard in the Azara, that an angel came and hit him in the head.  And his brothers, the priests, went inside and found a calf's footprint between his shoulders... 
> 
> So apparently, the Talmud had no problem with priests entering the Holy of Holies to take out a plagued or dead High Priest in extreme circumstances.
> 
> The following additional sources have bearing to the question: Yoma 7:4 "A good day it was to his followers when [the high priest] came out well out of the Holy [of Holies.]"  This is not simply because of the wellbeing of the High Priest himself, but also
> because his wellbeing in the Holy of Holies reflected on the atonement that the nation received.  Yoma 5:1 The prayer while lighting the incense was short "so as not to worry Israel."  The dead Sadducee story - Jerusalemi Yoma 1:5, 39a, Bavli Yoma 19b, Tosefta Kippurim 1:8.
> 
> Articles referenced in Tabory on the dangers of entering the Holy of Holies are in Tarbiz 48, p. 201- 214, Tarbiz 51, p. 310-311/311-312.  The joy of leaving the Holy of Holies [referenced to above] is probably related to Ben Sira 50:6-7, "How great is it when he looks out from the Tent, and leaves the House of Cover, like a star among the clouds, like a full moon amongst on holidays."
> 
> Tabory doesn't mention Josephus on the paragraph of the dangers of entering the Holy of Holies but mentions him in the next paragraph regarding the Sadducees having been bound by Pharisee law due to public pressure so it appears to me that if Josephus would have mentioned this it would have been mentioned by Tabory.
> 
> Yitzhak Sapir
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