YOMA 58 (28 Sivan) - Dedicated in memory of Hagaon Rav Yisroel Zev [ben Rav Avrohom Tzvi] Gustman zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Netzach Yisrael-Ramailes (Vilna, Brooklyn, Yerushalayim), author of Kuntresei Shi'urim, and renowned Dayan in pre/post-war Vilna, on the occasion of his Yahrzeit. Dedicated by his Talmidim, Harav Eliezer Stern of Brooklyn, New York, and Dr. Yehoshua Daniel of Efrat.


QUESTIONS: The Gemara earlier (57a) relates that Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yosi testified that he saw the Paroches in Rome, and upon it he discerned droplets of blood from the Haza'os of a Par He'elem Davar.
A number of questions may be asked on his testimony.
(a) The Beraisa here teaches that the Kohen Gadol who sprinkled the blood of the Par He'elem Davar upon the Paroches was required to stand behind the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi (that is, on the eastern side of the Mizbe'ach). The Mizbe'ach was situated half of the length of the Heichal away from the Paroches (Yoma 33b, Shekalim 6:3). Since the Heichal measured 40 Amos until the Paroches, the Kohen needed to throw each drop of blood a distance of 20 Amos (30-35 feet) in order to reach the Paroches. It is highly unlikely that any blood actually reached the Paroches. How, then, could Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yosi have testified that he saw stains of blood on the Paroches? (Rav Eliezer Chrysler)
(b) The Paroches that Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yosi saw in Rome must have been the Paroches which was captured by the Romans at the time of the Churban. How could that Paroches have bloodstains from the Par He'elem Davar? The Par He'elem Davar was offered only for a misruling of "the Sanhedri Gedolah that sits in the Lishkas ha'Gazis" (Yerushalmi Horayos 1:1, Tosefta Horayos 1:3, Toras Kohanim Vayikra 4:1). During the forty years before the Churban, the Sanhedrin no longer sat in the Lishkas ha'Gazis (but in Chanuyos, as mentioned in Shabbos 15a), and thus they could not have offered a Par He'elem Davar. The Paroches that he saw could not have been stained with blood forty years before the Churban when the Sanhedrin still sat in the Lishkas ha'Gazis, because a new Paroches was prepared each year (as the Mishnah in Shekalim 21b relates), and thus the bloodstained Paroches would have been replaced. (Rav Yehudah Landy; see also the question and answer of TOSFOS DH Ani Re'isiha.)
(a) Rav Yehudah Landy points out that the Gemara in Zevachim (64a) says, "See how great was the strength of the Kohanim, who were able to throw the Marah a distance of more than thirty Amos." Perhaps here, too, the Kohanim were able to throw the blood a great distance from where they stood until the Paroches.
Alternatively, the Gemara may not mean that the Mizbe'ach was halfway across the Heichal from the Paroches. When it says (in Yoma 33b and Yerushalmi Shekalim 6:3) that the Mizbe'ach was "exactly in the middle," it appears that the Gemara is referring to the middle of the width of the Heichal, but not the middle of its length. (The Rambam, Hilchos Beis ha'Bechirah 3:15, rules only that it must be somewhere "in the inner two thirds of the Heichal" (see Menachos 98b), but does not specify exactly how far it must be from the Paroches.) Accordingly, it could be that the Mizbe'ach ha'Zahav was not placed very far from the Paroches, at least when the Kohen had to sprinkle blood on the Paroches. (M. Kornfeld)
(b) Perhaps during the last years of the Beis ha'Mikdash, no new Paroches was made due to the lack of donations of Shekalim.
Also, many commentaries explain that when the Mishnah in Shekalim states that the Paroches was changed each year, it refers to the Paroches of the Ulam and not the Paroches of the Kodesh ha'Kodashim.
Alternatively, it is possible that when the Romans ransacked the Beis ha'Mikdash they found a cache of old Parochos, and the Paroches which Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yosi saw was not the one that was in service at the time of the Churban. (In fact, TOSFOS (57a, DH Ani) even suggests that the Paroches in Rome was from the first Beis ha'Mikdash.)
Finally, perhaps Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yosi maintained that the Sanhedrin did not have to be in the Lishkas ha'Gazis at the time of their ruling in order to be obligated to bring a Par He'elem Davar. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Shegagos 12:2) does not specify that the Sanhedrin must be in the Lishkas ha'Gazis in order to bring a Par. Apparently, he understands either that other Tana'im disagree with the ruling of the Yerushalmi, Tosefta, and Toras Kohanim, or that they mean that the ruling must be issued by the Sanhedrin which normally sits in the Lishkas ha'Gazis (see Mar'eh ha'Panim in the Yerushalmi).
QUESTION: The Gemara records a Beraisa in which Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Yosi ha'Glili argue about whether the Kohen Gadol performed the first Haza'ah on the south-east or north-east corner of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi. Rebbi Akiva says that the first Haza'ah was performed on the south-east corner. Rebbi Yosi ha'Glili says that it was on the north-east corner.
RASHI explains that their argument is based on a different argument: on which side did the Paroches open? According to Rebbi Akiva, the opening of the Paroches was in the south. When the Kohen Gadol exited the Kodesh ha'Kodashim through the opening of the Paroches in the south, he encountered the southern side of the Mizbe'ach and thus he sprinkled the blood there first. According to Rebbi Yosi ha'Glili, the opening of the Paroches was in the north. Since the Kohen Gadol encountered the northern side of the Mizbe'ach first as he exited the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, he sprinkled the blood there first. (See Chart.)
Why did the position of the opening of the Paroches affect where the first Haza'ah was performed? Whether the opening was in the north or the south, when the Kohen Gadol exited the Kodesh ha'Kodashim he first sprinkled the blood on the middle of the Paroches opposite the area of the Aron ha'Kodesh (53b), and only afterwards did he approach the Mizbe'ach to sprinkle the blood there. Since the Kohen Gadol walked to the middle of the Paroches before he walked to the Mizbe'ach, he approached the Mizbe'ach from the middle regardless of the direction to which the Paroches opened. (RASHASH)
(a) The RASHASH answers that perhaps since the Kohen Gadol initially emerged on the south side (according to Rebbi Akiva), he was required to go back to the south after he walked to the middle of the Paroches to sprinkle the blood there. He must go back to the place at which he emerged from the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, as the Gemara says later that he must go back to the place where he should have sprinkled first.
(b) The width of the Aron ha'Kodesh was two and a half Amos. Perhaps the Kohen Gadol only needed to sprinkle the blood on the Paroches at a point that was opposite any part of the Aron, and not necessarily at the point due center of the Aron. Consequently, if the Kohen Gadol exited the Kodesh ha'Kodashim from the south, he stayed at the southern end of the two and a half Amos of the Aron as he sprinkled the blood towards the Aron. When he approached the Mizbe'ach from there, he was still in the southern side of the Heichal (as the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi, which was only one Amah wide, was narrower than the Aron).