INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF
prepared by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
1) THE FOURTH ROW OF TILES IN THE AZARAH
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that after the Kohen Gadol slaughtered the Sa'ir la'Shem and performed Kabalas ha'Dam, he would give the blood to another Kohen who would stir it "on the fourth row of tiles in the Heichal." The Kohen Gadol would ascend to the top of the Mizbe'ach and take hot coals from there and place them in a shovel, and then he would descend and place the shovel "on the fourth row of tiles in the Azarah."
The Gemara explains that when the Mishnah says that a Kohen would stir the blood on the fourth row of tiles in the Heichal, it refers to the fourth row of tiles in the Azarah, outside of the Heichal, as it is forbidden for him to be in the Heichal.
If both the first and second parts of the Mishnah refer to the fourth row of tiles in the Azarah (where the blood was stirred, and where the coals were placed), then why does the Mishnah refer to the same place with two different terms? The Mishnah first calls that row "the fourth row of tiles in the Heichal," and then it calls that row "the fourth row of tiles in the Azarah."
(It does not suffice to say that "the fourth row of tiles 'in the Heichal'" refers to the fourth row of tiles in the Ulam right outside the Heichal, because one opinion later (44b) maintains that the Heichal and Ulam had the same Kedushah, and thus the Kohen who stirred the blood was not allowed to enter the Ulam just as he was not allowed to enter the Heichal (see RITVA).)
(a) The text of the Mishnayos of the RAMBAM and other Rishonim reads that the Kohen stirred the blood on "the row in the Azarah" and not on "the fourth row in the Azarah." This is also the text of many earlier printings of the Mishnayos and Gemara. According to this text, the Mishnah apparently refers to a row of tiles located in the middle of the Azarah, or right near the Mizbe'ach. (Similarly, the Girsa of the DIKDUKEI SOFRIM reads "the fourth row" and leaves out the words "in the Azarah.") According to these texts, the second part of the Mishnah does not refer to the same place mentioned in the first part of the Mishnah.
(b) The TOSFOS YOM TOV says that the second part of the Mishnah refers to the fourth row of tiles as counted from the Mizbe'ach towards the Ulam. The first part of the Mishnah refers to the fourth row of tiles as counted from the Ulam towards the Mizbe'ach.
(c) The TIFERES YISRAEL suggests that perhaps the Kohen stirred the blood on the same row of tiles on which the Kohen Gadol placed the shovel of coals. However, the Kohen who stirred the blood stood on the side of the row closer to the Heichal. The shovel of coals was placed on the side of the row closer to the Mizbe'ach. This positioning was arranged to show that the coals were no more than a Machshir for the burning of the Ketores and were not as holy as the blood of the Sa'ir which would be brought into the Kodesh ha'Kodashim and sprinkled there.
2) WHO WALKED ON THE CENTER OF THE RAMP
QUESTION: The Mishnah lists the differences between the way certain components of the Avodah are done on Yom Kippur and the way they are done the rest of the year. Two of the differences involve how the Kohanim ascend and descend the ramp of the Mizbe'ach, and how they perform Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim.
The Mishnah says that during the rest of the year, "the Kohanim ascend the Mizbe'ach by walking up the east side of the ramp, and they descend by walking down the west side of the ramp," while on Yom Kippur "the Kohen Gadol ascends and descends in the center of the ramp."
The Mishnah then says that during the rest of the year, "the Kohen Gadol performs Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim from the Kiyor," while on Yom Kippur "the Kohen Gadol performs Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim from the Kiton Shel Zahav (the golden vessel)."
When the Mishnah discusses the ascent up and descent down the ramp, it contrasts how the Kohanim walk during the rest of the year with how the Kohen Gadol walks on Yom Kippur. Why does the Mishnah not contrast the way the Kohen Gadol walks on the ramp during the rest of the year with the way he walks on Yom Kippur? Indeed, when the Mishnah discusses Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim, it contrasts how the Kohen Gadol performs Kidush the rest of the year with how he performs Kidush on Yom Kippur.
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Avodas Yom ha'Kipurim 2:5, as cited here by the BACH) and the RITVA have a different Girsa in the Mishnah. Their text contrasts how the Kohanim ascend the ramp during the rest of the year with how the Kohanim ascend on Yom Kippur. The Mishnah teaches that on Yom Kippur all of the Kohanim ascend and descend at the center of the ramp. The Mishnah is consistent when it contrasts the Kohanim's actions during the rest of the year with their actions on Yom Kippur, just as it is consistent when it contrasts how the Kohen Gadol performs Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim during the rest of the year with how he performs it on Yom Kippur.
Why, though, do all of the Kohanim ascend the ramp of the Mizbe'ach on Yom Kippur, if no one but the Kohen Gadol performs Avodah on Yom Kippur?
The Gemara later (45a) says that all of the Kohanim ascend the middle of the ramp on Yom Kippur "Mishum Kevodo d'Kohen Gadol" -- for the honor of the Kohen Gadol. The Rambam explains that Kohanim give honor to the Kohen Gadol by walking in front of him and behind him as he ascends the middle of the ramp to perform the Avodah.
(b) The text of the Mishnah according to RASHI (in the Mishnah here and Gemara later (45a)) is the same as the text of our printing. According to this text, why does the Mishnah compare how the Kohen Gadol ascends the ramp on Yom Kippur with how the Kohanim ascend the rest of the year, and not with how the Kohen Gadol himself ascends the rest of the year?
The Gemara explains that the reason why the Kohen Gadol ascends in the middle of the ramp is "because of his honor." On Yom Kippur, the Kohen Gadol is given much honor because he enters the Kodesh ha'Kodashim. Ascending the middle of the ramp demonstrates that the Kohen Gadol has attained such great authority that he is considered to be "at home" in the Mikdash. Thus, his honor is a result of two factors: first, the day is Yom Kippur, and second, he is the Kohen Gadol. This is in contrast to other days of the year, and to other Kohanim. Therefore, the Mishnah contrasts these two factors.
With regard to the Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim which is performed with the golden vessel on Yom Kippur, the Mishnah does not contrast how the other Kohanim perform Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim the rest of the year with how the Kohen Gadol performs it on Yom Kippur. Rather, it contrasts how the Kohen Gadol performs Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim in both cases, because the reason why the golden vessel is used is not in order to give the Kohen Gadol honor. Rather, it is used because of utility; since the Kohen Gadol performs Tevilah atop the Lishkas Beis ha'Parvah, and each time he performs Tevilah he must also perform Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim before and after the Tevilah, to require him to wash directly from the Kiyor would constitute a great inconvenience for him. He would have to go down to the Kiyor in the Azarah and then back up to the Lishkas Beis ha'Parvah numerous times. Since the use of the golden vessel is not to give him honor, the Mishnah contrasts how he washes during the rest of the year with how he washes on Yom Kippur, because the difference is due solely to the day. (M. KORNFELD)
However, according to this explanation, what does the Gemara later (45a) mean when it says that the reason why the Kohen Gadol uses a golden Kiton on Yom Kippur is "because of the honor of the Kohen Gadol"? It seems that Rashi's text of the Gemara did not include those words. This also explains why Rashi makes no mention of this reason in his comments on the Mishnah. The DIKDUKEI SOFRIM indeed omits those words from the text of the Gemara there. (However, Rashi in Sukah 50a (DH Gezeirah) implies that his text of the Gemara included those words.)