1) WHICH KOHEN GADOL SHOULD BE "METAMEI" FIRST?
QUESTION: The Gemara inquires about the Halachah in various cases in which two Kohanim (each of a different status) are walking together and find a Mes Mitzvah. Which one should be Metamei himself for the Mes Mitzvah? The Gemara says that when one Kohen is a Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim" (he became Kohen Gadol by donning the eight vestments of the Kohen Gadol and doing the Avodah for seven consecutive days to indicate his consecration) and the other is a Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach b'Shemen ha'Mishchah" (he was anointed as Kohen Gadol with the Shemen ha'Mishchah), the "Mashu'ach b'Shemen ha'Mishchah" is more Kadosh and thus the other Kohen Gadol, the "Merubeh Begadim," should become Tamei for the Mes Mitzvah.
In another case, the Gemara says that when one Kohen is a Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim" and the other is a Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach she'Avar" (he was anointed as Kohen Gadol with the Shemen ha'Mishchah to serve as a substitute Kohen Gadol, and when the original Kohen Gadol returned he no longer may serve as Kohen Gadol or as a Kohen Hedyot), the Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach she'Avar" should become Tamei and not the "Merubeh Begadim." This is because a "Mashu'ach she'Avar" is not fit to perform the Avodah, while the "Merubeh Begadim" is fit to perform the Avodah, and therefore the "Merubeh Begadim" should be the last to become Tamei.
A Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" cannot serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash as a Kohen Hedyot because of the rule "Ma'alin b'Kodesh v'Lo Moridin"; since he has already worn the eight Bigdei Kehunah of the Kohen Gadol, he cannot "descend" in Kedushah and serve as a Kohen Hedyot with only four Bigdei Kehunah. On the other hand, he cannot serve as a Kohen Gadol and wear the eight Bigdei Kehunah because doing so will cause the other Kohen Gadol to feel enmity towards him ("Mishum Eivah"). Therefore, a Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" cannot serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash at all.
Accordingly, a Gezeirah d'Rabanan ("Mishum Eivah") prevents the Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" from serving as Kohen Gadol. Since it is only an Isur d'Rabanan, the Kedushah of the Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach she'Avar" should be the same as the Kedushah of a Kohen Gadol who is still able to serve, since mid'Oraisa they both are able to perform the Avodah! The fact that the Rabanan prohibited him from serving in the Beis ha'Mikdash should not detract from his Kedushah. Why, then, must the Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach she'Avar" become Tamei before the Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim"? On the d'Oraisa level, certainly the Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach b'Shemen ha'Mishchah she'Avar" has more Kedushah than the Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim," and it is only the Rabanan who prevented him from serving in the Beis ha'Mikdash due to "Eivah." Why should the Isur d'Rabanan override the Kedushah of the "Mashu'ach b'Shemen ha'Mishchah" and require that he become Tamei before the "Merubeh Begadim"? (TUREI EVEN in Chagigah, cited by ARZEI HA'LEVANON, footnote 31, and Tziyunim 4)
ANSWERS:
(a) The TUREI EVEN suggests that the laws of precedence in the Gemara here are all mid'Rabanan. Mid'Oraisa, any Kohen Gadol may be Metamei himself first and there is no requirement that one should be Metamei himself before the other because of his greater Kedushah. The Rabanan decreed that a Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" should be Metamei himself before a "Merubeh Begadim," and that a "Merubeh Begadim" should be Metamei himself before a "Mashu'ach b'Shemen ha'Mishchah" (who is not "she'Avar"). Accordingly, the Isur d'Rabanan which prohibits a Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" from serving in the Beis ha'Mikdash because of "Eivah" is able to affect the order of precedence of who is Metamei himself first.
However, the ARZEI HA'LEVANON cites RAV AVRAHAM GENECHOFSKY who points out that the Gemara in Maseches Horayos (13a) seems to follow the same criteria of precedence with regard to another Halachah: who should be kept alive first. In a situation in which one is faced with the choice to save the life of either a Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach she'Avar" or a Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim," precedence is given to the Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim" because he is able to perform the Avodah while the "Mashu'ach she'Avar" cannot perform the Avodah. If, however, the Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" may not perform the Avodah because of an Isur d'Rabanan, why should that Isur affect the Halachah of saving his life? The choice of which Kohen Gadol to save first certainly seems to be a Halachah d'Oraisa!
(b) The Turei Even's question is based on the premise that the Kedushah of one Kohen Gadol is greater than that of another Kohen Gadol, and that the greater degree of Kedushah determines who should become Tamei for a Mes Mitzvah first and whose life should be saved first. Perhaps, however, another factor is involved in determining which Kohen Gadol is given precedence: the need of the people for that Kohen Gadol. The Gemara mentions this factor later when it teaches the requirement that a Segan Kohen Gadol become Tamei before a Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach Milchamah" because the nation needs the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" more than they need the Segan. Similarly, since the nation needs the Kohen Gadol to remain Tahor (or remain alive) in order to officiate in the Beis ha'Mikdash, precedence is given to him to remain Tahor (or alive). Although the Avodah may be performed by ordinary Kohanim, the Kohen Gadol must offer the Chavisei Kohen Gadol twice daily, and he is needed to oversee all of the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash.
When both Kohanim Gedolim are able to perform the Avodah (in the case of a "Merubeh Begadim" walking with a "Mashu'ach b'Shemen ha'Mishchah," both of whom may serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash), the one with the greater degree of Kedushah takes precedence. Accordingly, the "Mashu'ach b'Shemen ha'Mishchah" is told to remain Tahor (and his the life is saved first) due to his greater Kedushah. Nevertheless, when there is a conflict between the Kedushah of one Kohen and the public's need ("Tzorech Tzibur") for another, the one needed by the public takes precedence. Therefore, the Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim" should not become Tamei when there is a Kohen Gadol "Mashu'ach she'Avar" with him, since the public needs the "Merubeh Begadim."
Hence, even if a Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" is prohibited mid'Rabanan from performing the Avodah, the public no longer needs him because of this prohibition. He cannot serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash or offer the Chavisei Kohen Gadol, and therefore the Kohen Gadol "Merubeh Begadim" takes preference -- even though the inability of the Kohen Gadol "she'Avar" to serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash (which is the cause for the other Kohen Gadol's precedence) is only mid'Rabanan.
However, the logic that the public needs the Kohen Gadol should not affect the Halachah of whether he may be Metamei himself or not. As the Gemara implies, in a case of a choice between saving a Segan Kohen Gadol and a "Mashu'ach Milchamah," the logic that the public needs him is applied only with regard to saving his life and not with regard to protecting him from Tum'ah. The logic that the public needs him should not make a difference for Tum'ah because even if he becomes Tamei, the Tum'ah is not a permanent condition (he will become Tahor when he completes the Taharah process). Nevertheless, it is possible that the reason why the Torah forbids a Kohen Gadol from becoming Tamei for relatives for whom an ordinary Kohen may become Tamei is directly related to the Mitzvah he has to serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash. The reason why the Torah forbids him from becoming Tamei is not that the defilement detracts from his Kedushah, but that the defilement renders him unfit to work in the Beis ha'Mikdash. This is implicit in the verses which discuss the Kohen Gadol and say, "... for his father and for his mother he shall not become Tamei, and he shall not leave the Mikdash..." (Vayikra 21:11-12), implying that he may not become Tamei because* such Tum'ah will render him unfit to serve in the Mikdash (see RASHI there). Accordingly, even if the "Mashu'ach she'Avar" cannot serve because of an Isur d'Rabanan (and not because of an Isur d'Oraisa), nevertheless practically he cannot serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Since he cannot serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash, it is not as important that he remain Tahor as it is for the "Merubeh Begadim" (who is presently serving in the Beis ha'Mikdash) to remain Tahor.
(The Isur of a Kohen Hedyot to become Tamei for a Mes which is not one of his seven close relatives seems unrelated to his requirement to perform the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash, since even a Kohen Hedyot who has a Mum (who cannot serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash) is prohibited from being Metamei to a Mes. Nevertheless, the additional Isur which forbids a Kohen Gadol from becoming Tamei even to close relatives (for whom a Kohen Hedyot is required to become Tamei and bury) is related to the command that "he shall not leave the Mikdash" as the verse implies, because of his added responsibility to perform the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash (the Avodah of the Chavisei Kohen Gadol and overseeing the other parts of the Avodah).)

47b----------------------------------------47b

2) THE NEED FOR A KOHEN "MASHU'ACH MILCHAMAH" TO REMAIN "TAHOR"
QUESTIONS: The Gemara discusses who should become Tamei first to a Mes Mitzvah in the case of a Segan Kohen Gadol and a "Mashu'ach Milchamah" who are walking together and find a corpse. Should the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" remain Tahor because he is fit to lead the army in war, or should the Segan Kohen Gadol remain Tahor because he is fit to perform the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash?
(a) What does the Gemara mean when it says that the Segan is fit to perform the Avodah and therefore he should remain Tahor? The "Mashu'ach Milchamah" is also fit to perform the Avodah (in addition to leading the army in war)!
(b) Why does the Gemara suggest that a "Mashu'ach Milchamah" should remain Tahor because he is fit to lead the army in war? His mission does not depend on his status of Tamei or Tahor, for even if he becomes Tamei he is fit to lead the army in war. During war, the soldiers will come into contact with Tum'as Mes. Does the Gemara mean that if the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" becomes Tamei at war, he suddenly becomes unfit to be the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" and must return home? Why should his status of Tamei affect his position as "Mashu'ach Milchamah"? If indeed Tum'ah does not affect his position as "Mashu'ach Milchamah," why does the Gemara suggest that perhaps he should remain Tahor because he is fit to lead the nation in war?
ANSWERS:
(a) The Gemara in Yoma (73a) indeed implies that when a Kohen becomes "Mashu'ach" to lead the nation in war, he is no longer fit to serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash. He cannot serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash as a Kohen Hedyot because of the rule "Ma'alin b'Kodesh v'Lo Moridin"; since he has already worn the eight Bigdei Kehunah of the Kohen Gadol, he cannot "descend" in Kedushah and serve as a Kohen Hedyot with only four Bigdei Kehunah. On the other hand, he cannot serve as a Kohen Gadol and wear the eight Bigdei Kehunah because doing so will cause the other Kohen Gadol to feel enmity towards him ("Mishum Eivah").
Accordingly, the Gemara here is easy to understand. When the Gemara compares a "Mashu'ach Milchamah" to a Segan, it means to compare him to any Kohen. The Gemara's question is whether the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" should remain Tahor because he leads the nation in war and thus takes precedence even before a Segan, or whether the Segan or any Kohen Hedyot should remain Tahor before the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" because the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" is not fit to perform Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash.
However, the RAMBAM (Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash 4:21) rules that a "Mashu'ach Milchamah" is fit to perform the Avodah. This also seems to be the view of TOSFOS here (DH Mashu'ach Milchamah) who implies that only a Segan Kohen Gadol, and not any other Kohen Hedyot, may take precedence over a "Mashu'ach Milchamah." When the Gemara says that the Segan is fit to perform Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash and therefore has precedence, Tosfos explains that the words, "he is fit to perform Avodah," do not mean that he is fit to perform the ordinary Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash (and other Kohanim would be included in these words as well). Rather, these words mean that he has been appointed to do the Avodah of the Kohen Gadol in the Beis ha'Mikdash on Yom Kippur. In contrast, the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" is not appointed for that purpose. Although it is true that he may substitute for the Kohen Gadol if no other Kohen is able to do so, it is the Segan who is specifically chosen and appointed for the purpose of substituting for the Kohen Gadol in the event that something happens to him (and, presumably, the Segan rehearses the Avodos of Yom Kippur in order to familiarize himself with them). Therefore, the Segan is the first choice to replace the Kohen Gadol in the event that something happens to the Kohen Gadol before him Yom Kippur.
This is also implied by the Gemara in the end of the Sugya which cites the statement of Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos, who says that a Segan Kohen Gadol is appointed in order to replace the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur in the event that the Kohen Gadol becomes unfit to perform the Avodah. His statement implies that when the Gemara states that "he is fit to perform Avodah," it means that he is fit to perform the Avodah on Yom Kippur.
(b) Why does the mission of the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" require that he avoid becoming Tamei? Indeed, the ROSH seems to have a different Girsa in the Gemara which avoids this question. His Girsa is that it may be preferable for the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" to remain Tahor because "she'Nimshach l'Milchamah" (and not "d'Chazi l'Milchamah") -- since he was anointed with the Shemen ha'Mishchah to lead in war, he has more Kedushah and therefore his Taharah takes precedence over the Segan's Taharah.
Even according to the Girsa printed in our texts (that it may be preferable for the "Mashu'ach Milchamah" to remain Tahor because "d'Chazi l'Milchamah" -- "he is fit for Milchamah"), we may suggest that since he has a special designation -- which other Kohanim do not have -- to lead the nation in war, he has a greater degree of Kedushah than other Kohanim, and because of this Kedushah he should not become Tamei even though being Tamei would not detract from his service as "Mashu'ach Milchamah."

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