YOMA 40 (15 Teves) - dedicated by Dr. Moshe and Rivka Snow in memory of Rivka's mother, Rebbetzin Leah bas Rav Yosef (Rabinowitz), the Manostrishtcher Rebbetzin, whose Yahrzeit is 15 Teves.


QUESTION: The Gemara discusses whether the process of Hagralah (or Goral), the drawing of lots to select the Sa'ir la'Shem and the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach, is Me'akev or not. Must the Kohen Gadol perform the Goral to select the goats, or does it suffice if he verbally designates each goat?
The Gemara attempts to answer this question from a statement made by Rebbi Akiva in response to his students' question. If, during the Goral, the lot of "la'Shem" comes up in the left hand of the Kohen Gadol, may he move it to his right hand (and thereby designate the Sa'ir to his right as the one la'Shem)? Rebbi Akiva answered that he may not move the lot to his right hand, because the Tzedukim will use that act as an excuse to deride the Torah and the sages.
Rebbi Akiva's words imply that mid'Oraisa the Kohen Gadol may move the lot from his left hand to his right hand. In practice he is not permitted to do so only because of the concern that the Tzedukim will use it as an opportunity to deride the Torah.
If the Goral is absolutely necessary (it is "Me'akev"), then why, me'Ikar ha'Din, may the lot be moved to the other hand? The Goral already determined that the Sa'ir to the left side of the Kohen Gadol is the one which is Kodesh la'Shem. It must be that the Goral is not Me'akev.
Why is the Gemara bothered by Rebbi Akiva's answer only if the Goral is Me'akev? Even if the Goral is not Me'akev, when the Goral is performed it certainly determines which Sa'ir is la'Shem, and the determination of the Goral cannot be retracted! Consequently, when the Kohen Gadol performs the Goral and the lot of la'Shem comes up in his left hand, the Sa'ir to his left should irrevocably be the Sa'ir la'Shem, even if the Goral is not Me'akev. (GEVURAS ARI, RASHASH)
(a) The GEVURAS ARI answers that if the Goral is not Me'akev, then there is a way for the Kohen Gadol to avoid the lot of the Sa'ir la'Shem from coming up in his left hand. Prior to the Goral, the Kohen Gadol should stipulate that the Sa'ir to his right will be Kodesh la'Shem now on the condition that the lot of "la'Shem" comes up in his left hand when he makes a Goral. Consequently, if the lot comes up in his right hand, then the Sa'ir to his right becomes Kodesh la'Shem as a result of the Goral. If it comes up in his left hand, then the Goral does not take effect at all because the goat to the right becomes Kodesh retroactively from the time that he pronounced it as such. (According to the Gevuras Ari's explanation, Rebbi Akiva must maintain that "Bereirah" works. See Insights to Eruvin 36:2.)
(b) Perhaps if the Goral is not Me'akev, then the outcome of the Goral does not automatically determine which goat will be la'Shem. Rather, after the Goral is performed the Kohen must pronounce which goat is la'Shem, based on the Goral's outcome. The Mitzvah to perform a Goral l'Chatchilah is to perform a Goral and pronounce that the goat is la'Shem based on the Goral's outcome. Until he makes that pronouncement, the goats are not yet designated. If, however, the Goral is Me'akev, then the Goral itself determines which goat will be la'Shem even without the pronouncement of the Kohen Gadol, since the Torah requires no input of the Kohen Gadol to designate the goats.
(c) The TCHEBINER REBBE (in DOVEV MEISHARIM) suggests that if the Goral is not Me'akev, then the Kohen Gadol may annul (be "Sho'el" on) the outcome of the Goral and revoke it, just as one may annul his pledge to Hekdesh or Terumah and revoke its status as Hekdesh or Terumah (Nedarim 59a). If the lot of the Sa'ir la'Shem comes up in his left hand, he may be "Sho'el" to remove the Kedushah of the Goral, and he may declare instead the goat to his right side as the one that is Kodesh la'Shem.