*****PEREK #2 KOHEN GADOL*****
2a) [line 12] CHOLETZ (CHALITZAH)
(a) If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (see below, entry 2b), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum.
(b) If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He appears before a Beis Din of three (but see Insights to Yevamos 101:2) and states, "I do not want to marry her," after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother," and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.
(c) Since Yibum involves marrying one's brother's widow, the Kohen Gadol may not perform Yibum but must perform Chalitzah (see entry #2).
b) [line 12] MEYABEMIN (YIBUM)
(a) If a married man dies childless and has brothers who survive him, his widow (or widows) may not remarry until one of the deceased husband's brothers performs Yibum (levirate marriage) or Chalitzah (levirate release) with the widow (or one of the widows), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that if there are a number of brothers, there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum or Chalitzah (Yevamos 24a). If the conditions for the Mitzvah of Yibum do not exist, marital relations between a man and his brother's wife are prohibited and make them liable to the punishment of Kares.
(b) Yibum is a type of marriage. Unlike ordinary Kidushin, though, it can be accomplished only through Bi'ah and not through Kesef or Shtar (see Background to Kidushin 2:1:II:b). Nevertheless, the Rabanan instituted that one should precede Yibum with an act similar to Kidushei Kesef or Shtar, which is known as Ma'amar (see Background to Nedarim 74:4). The Bi'ah must be performed with the intention of fulfilling the Mitzvah.
(c) Since Yibum involves marrying one's brother's widow, the Kohen Gadol may not perform Yibum but must perform Chalitzah (see next entry).
3) [line 13] HU ASUR B'ALMANAH (KOHEN GADOL: ASUR B'ALMANAH) - he (the Kohen Gadol) is prohibited from marrying a widow
(a) The Torah (Vayikra 21:14) commands a Kohen Gadol not to marry a widow (Almanah) -- whether she was widowed from Eirusin or from Nisu'in, a divorcee (Gerushah), prostitute ("Zonah" -- see Background to Gitin 79:22) or Chalalah. Rather, a Kohen Gadol is commanded to marry only a Besulah (Vayikra 21:13). An ordinary Kohen (Hedyot) is permitted to marry a widow, but not any of the other women listed above. The child from one of the above-mentioned unions is invalidated from the Kehunah, and is called a "Chalal" (see Background to Bava Basra 32:3). The Rabanan also prohibited all Kohanim from marrying a Chalutzah (see above, entry 2a), and made the children of a Kohen from a Chalutzah Chalalim mid'Rabanan.
(b) Since Yibum involves marrying one's brother's widow, the Kohen Gadol may not perform Yibum but must perform Chalitzah.
4) [line 14] MES LO MES - a close relative of his died (BAL TITAMEI LA'MESIM)
(a) The Torah (Vayikra 21:1-4) forbids Kohanim from coming into contact with corpses while concurrently commanding them to handle the burial of certain relatives. Those relatives are the Kohen's mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister from his father (if she is an unmarried virgin), and wife (if the wife is permitted to be married to him).
(b) If a Kohen is married to a woman with Kidushin mid'Rabanan (e.g. if she married him as a minor after her father died), her husband is allowed and required to handle her burial. (The Gemara (Yevamos 89b) concludes that the Kohen is actually permitted to bury her mid'Oraisa, even though she is only married to him with a Kidushin mid'Rabanan. Since the Kohen inherits her, nobody else will handle her burial, and therefore she is like a Mes Mitzvah -- see Background to Sotah 45:31 and Insights to Yevamos 89b.)
(c) The prohibition to come into contact with a corpse applies only to male Kohanim who are not Chalalim. (However, immediately before, and during, the three pilgrimage holidays (Pesach, Shavuos and Sukos), every Jew, male or female, is commanded to be Tahor -- RASHI to Yevamos 29b DH v'Lo Mitames.) The positive command to handle the burial of the seven relatives mentioned above (a) applies not only to Kohanim, but also to all Jews.
5) [line 14] EINO YOTZEI ACHAR HA'MITAH - he may not go out [of the Beis ha'Mikdash] to follow the coffin. This prohibition is based on the verse, "u'Min ha'Mikdash Lo Yetzei" (Vayikra 21:12). See Insights here.
6a) [line 15] HEN NICHSIN - [when] they are hidden [from the Kohen Gadol's view; i.e. they have exited the first alley and entered another one]
b) [line 15] V'HU NIGLEH - he may appear [in the first alley, following behind them far away enough so that he cannot see them]
7a) [line 15] HEN NIGLIN - [when] they appear [in the second alley]
b) [line 16] V'HU NICHSEH - he must be hidden from their view
8) [line 19] DERECH KOL HA'AM OVRIN B'ZEH ACHAR ZEH - the manner of the rest of the people is that they pass one after the other [in a line to comfort the mourner]
9) [line 20] HA'MEMUNEH MEMATZ'O BEINO L'VEIN HA'AM - the deputy to the Kohen Gadol stands between him (the Kohen Gadol) and the rest of the people
10) [line 23] KESHE'MAVRIN OSO (HAVRA'AH) - when they bring him the Se'udas Havra'ah
When the mourner returns from the burial of his close relative, others provide the mourner with his first meal, which is known as the Se'udas Havra'ah (Moed Katan 27b).
11) [line 24] MESUBIN AL HA'ARETZ - they recline [to eat] on the ground (to express that they share in his pain and grief)
12) [line 36] "HISKOSHESHU VA'KOSHU, [HA'GOY LO NICHSAF!]" - "Gather yourselves together, gather together, [O undesired nation (Yisrael)!]" (Tzefanyah 2:1) - The words "Hiskosheshu" and "va'Koshu" are reminiscent of the words for straw, "Kash," and adornment, "Kishut." "Hiskosheshu va'Koshu" is interpreted to mean, "Take the straw out of your eye first before you tell others to do the same," or "Adorn yourself first and then adorn others (especially in the matter about which you are about to rebuke them)!" (RASHBAM to Bava Basra 60b)
13) [line 36] KASHET ATZMECHA V'ACHAR KACH KASHET ACHEIRIM - correct (lit. adorn) yourself [first] and then correct others (see previous entry)
14) [line 39] B'SHOGEG GOLEH - if he killed unintentionally, he goes into exile (GALUS / AREI MIKLAT)
(a) A person who murders intentionally after having been previously warned is liable to the death penalty. A person who murders unintentionally is exempt from the death penalty, but is punished with Galus (banishment, exile).
(b) When it is proven that a person killed unintentionally, he is banished to one of the six Arei Miklat (cities of refuge) or one of the forty-two cities of the Leviyim. He must stay there and not leave the city or its Techum for any reason whatsoever until the death of the Kohen Gadol who served at the time that he was sentenced to banishment.
(c) If the unintentional murderer leaves his city of refuge, the Go'el ha'Dam (the closest relative of the murdered person) is permitted to avenge the death of his relative and kill the murderer.
15) [line 41] "V'YASHAV BAH AD MOS HA'KOHEN HA'GADOL" - "And he shall live in it until the death of the Kohen Gadol." (Bamidbar 35:25) - This verse teaches that a person who killed unintentionally and was banished to an Ir Miklat (see previous entry) may leave the Ir Miklat when the Kohen Gadol dies (see Makos 11a-b). Our Gemara teaches that when a Kohen Gadol kills unintentionally, he nevertheless must be banished to an Ir Miklat, even though he will not leave when the Kohen Gadol (i.e. himself) dies.
16) [last line] KOL D'IS LEI TAKANTA B'CHAZARAH - [we might have thought that] anyone who has a reparation by being returned [home from exile to the Ir Miklat upon the death of the Kohen Gadol]
17) [line 3] "[V'HAYAH] LANUS SHAMAH KOL ROTZE'ACH" - "[... so that] any [accidental] murderer can flee to there." (Devarim 19:3) - This verse teaches that every person who kills unintentionally is to flee to the Ir Miklat, including a Kohen Gadol (even though he has no way of ever leaving there).
18) [line 5] LO SAGI D'LO AVAR?! - Is it not enough that he not transgress?! (How can the Beraisa imply that he may transgress the Mitzvos of the Torah?!)
19) [line 16] "V'HIS'ALAMTA" - "[You shall not see the bull of your brother or his sheep cast off,] and hide yourself [from them; you must certainly return them to your brother.]" (Devarim 22:1) - The wording of the verse, "and hide yourself," teaches that there are cases when the Mitzvah of returning a lost object does not apply, as the Beraisa here discusses. Similarly, the Gemara derives from here that a Kohen Gadol shall not serve as a witness in court because doing so is below his honor.
20) [line 16] PE'AMIM SHE'ATAH MIS'ALEM - there are times when you should hide yourself
21) [line 19] HAYESAH MELACHAH SHELO MERUBAH MI'SHEL CHAVEIRO - the loss that he will incur from not doing his own work in order to return the lost object will be greater than the value of the object
22a) [line 25] MISHUM YEKARA D'CHOHEN GADOL - because of the honor due to the Kohen Gadol
b) [line 25] ASA V'YASIV, MEKABLEI NIHALEI L'SAHADUSEI, KAI HU V'AZIL, U'ME'AININA LEI ANAN B'DINEI - he (the king) comes and sits, they accept from him (the Kohen Gadol) his testimony, he (the king) rises and leaves, and we then delve into his (the king's son's - RASHI) judgement
23) [line 30] "LO SA'ANEH AL RIV" - "Do not speak up in a dispute [to pervert justice]" (Shemos 23:2). Based on the spelling of the word "Riv" ("dispute") in the verse, the Gemara expounds the verse to be saying, "Do not argue with the Rav," i.e. with one who is greater than you, such as the king.
24a) [line 31] MISHUM AFSANYA - because of the military stipends. (a) The king may not be involved in the deliberation for the establishment of a leap year, because it is in his interest for every year to be a leap year. This is because he pays his soldiers a yearly sum at the beginning of each year, and if there is an extra month in the year, then he is receiving an extra month's worth of labor from them for free (RASHI); (b) the king may not be involved in the deliberation for the establishment of a leap year, because it is in his interest for every year not to be a leap year, since he will then have to pay his soldiers for the extra month from his own funds and not from tax money (ARUCH)
b) [line 32] MISHUM TZINAH - because of the cold. The Kohen Gadol may not be involved in the deliberation for the establishment of a leap year, because it is in his interest for every year not to be a leap year. This is because the Kohen Gadol must immerse himself five times on Yom Kipur, and if Tishrei is pushed off a month, it will be very cold for him.
25) [line 33] SHATA BASAR YARCHA AZIL - (a) the year follows the moon; i.e. the seasons of the year (hot, cold) follow the lunar year (that is, the cold that will come in Marcheshvan will come in Tishrei if an extra month is added to the preceding year) (RASHI; see obvious question on this explanation in TOSFOS DH Shata); (2) the seasons of the year follow the solar months; i.e. the seasons of the year (hot, cold) are not linked to the late ripening of fruits in the spring (for which a month will be added to the year), and therefore the cold arrives at approximately the same time of year (on the solar calendar) every year regardless of when the fruits ripen (TOSFOS)
26) [line 34] RO'EI VAKAR - cattle shepherds
27) [line 35] IM BACHIR V'LAKISH K'CHADA YENATZ, DEIN HU ADAR - if the early seeds (i.e. those that were planted early; RASHI explains this to refer to wheat) and the late seeds (barley, according to Rashi) sprout at the same time (due to the heat of the ground), then this is the month of Adar (otherwise, if they do not sprout at the same time, then this is the month of Shevat)
28a) [line 37] IM TOR BI'TZEFAR BI'TELAG YAMUS - if a bull, in the morning, is near death due to the cold
b) [line 37] UV'TIHARA B'TUL TE'EINAH YIDMUCH, YESHALACH MASHCHEI - and in the afternoon [it is so hot that the bull] finds comfort in the shade of a fig tree, and it throws off its hide (that is, it rubs against the fig tree in order to cool off, as if it were trying to remove its hide)
29) [line 39] IM KIDUM TAKIF LACHADA YEHEI YIPACH B'LO'ECHA NAFIK L'KIVLEI - if [the full force of winter has passed such that] the east wind is only so strong that the breath that you blow from your cheeks goes out to greet it [and the heat of your breath is stronger than the coldness of the east wind and it warms it]
30a) [line 43] A'RA'AVASA SAMUCH?! - Do they rely on shepherds?!
b) [line 43] A'CHUSHBENAIHU SAMUCH - they rely on their calculations
31) [line 44] ISTAYU'EI HU D'ISTAYA MILSAIHU - they (the shepherds) merely provided support for the matter (of establishing a leap year)
32) [line 45] KA PASIK V'TANI - [the Tana] states categorically [with regard to the Kohen Gadol's restriction from performing Yibum]
33) [line 46] LO SHENA MIN HA'EIRUSIN V'LO SHENA MIN HA'NISU'IN - it makes no difference whether [the wife of his deceased, childless brother was widowed] from Eirusin, or whether [she was widowed] from Nisu'in. In either case, the Kohen Gadol may not perform Yibum with his brother's widow. (See Background to Bava Basra 49:4 for a concise description of the difference between Eirusin and Nisu'in.)
Index to Background for Maseches Sanhedrin