1) WAITING FOR THE "SA'IR HA'MISHTALE'ACH" TO REACH THE WILDERNESS
QUESTION: The Mishnah relates that when the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach reached the wilderness, "they said to the Kohen Gadol, 'The Sa'ir has reached the wilderness.'" RASHI (DH Amru Lo) explains that after the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach was sent away, the Kohen Gadol was not allowed to begin another Avodah until the Sa'ir reached the wilderness. Once it reached the wilderness, the Mitzvah to send away the Sa'ir was fulfilled (according to Rebbi Yehudah) and the Kohen Gadol was permitted to proceed to the next Avodah.
The previous Mishnah (67b) states that after the Kohen Gadol sent away the Sa'ir, he immediately proceeded to the next stage of the Avodah and removed the innards ("Emurin") from the Par and Sa'ir ha'Nisrafin. Why was the Kohen Gadol permitted to perform that Avodah before he was informed that the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach reached the wilderness?
It must be that the removal of the Emurin from the Par and Sa'ir ha'Nisrafin is not a real Avodah. Since it is merely a preparatory act for another Avodah (the burning of the Emurin on the Mizbe'ach), the Kohen Gadol was permitted to perform this act before the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach reached the wilderness.
However, if the Kohen Gadol was permitted to perform an act which does not constitute an Avodah, why was he not permitted to begin reading from the Torah immediately after he sent away the Sa'ir? The Gemara later clearly states that the reading of the Torah is not considered an Avodah, and yet the Mishnah implies that the Kohen Gadol needed to wait until he was informed that the Sa'ir had reached the wilderness before he began to read from the Torah (as Rashi says later, DH Na'asis Mitzvaso).
(a) RABEINU YEHONASAN MI'LUNIL suggests that the Kohen Gadol indeed read from the Torah immediately after he sent away the Sa'ir. Moreover, he suggests that the reason why the Torah was read at this time was to engage the people in a productive endeavor while they waited for the Sa'ir to reach the wilderness, at which time the Kohen Gadol would become permitted to begin the next Avodah.
The YEFEH EINAYIM (67b) cites an opinion in the Yerushalmi that supports the assertion of Rabeinu Yehonasan mi'Lunil. The Yerushalmi says that the Kohen Gadol approached the Par and Sa'ir, and then he read from the Torah immediately after he sent the Sa'ir to the wilderness. He did not wait for the Sa'ir to arrive at the wilderness, because both the act of preparing the Par and Sa'ir and the act of reading the Torah are not Avodos.
(b) However, RASHI and the TOSFOS YESHANIM write that there are other sources for the requirement to read the Torah at this point in the service of Yom Kippur. Rashi (DH Ba Likros) writes that the Kohen Gadol's obligation to read from the Torah on Yom Kippur is derived from the Parshah of Milu'im, as the Gemara earlier (5b) teaches. The Tosfos Yeshanim cites the Yerushalmi which states that the obligation to read from the Torah on Yom Kippur is derived from a verse (Vayikra 16:34).
The Tosfos Yeshanim says that, alternatively, the obligation is derived logically. The Kohen Gadol must pray at some point during the day. Since he has completed the main Avodos of the day once he has sent away the Sa'ir, that moment is an opportune time for him to pray for forgiveness and to read from the Torah.
Rashi (DH Na'asis Mitzavso) clearly says that the Kohen Gadol did not read from the Torah until after the Sa'ir reached the wilderness and the Mitzvah was completed. Why was the Kohen Gadol required to wait to read the Torah if he was permitted to remove the Emurin?
Perhaps the requirement that the Kohen Gadol wait until the Sa'ir reaches the wilderness before he begins a new Avodah applies only to an act which is part of a new series of Avodos unrelated to the Avodos done until now. The removal of the Emurin from the Par and Sa'ir is merely a continuation of the Avodos which were started earlier. Perhaps this is why the Kohen Gadol was permitted to remove the Emurin at this point, while he was not permitted to read the Torah (an entirely new act) until the Mitzvah of sending the Sa'ir was completed.
(c) The BRISKER RAV cites his father, RAV CHAIM SOLOVEITCHIK, who proposes that not only was the Kohen Gadol prohibited from starting a new Avodah until the previous one was completed, but he was also prohibited from leaving the area in which he stood until the previous Avodah was completed. Since the Kohen Gadol sent away the Sa'ir from the Azarah, he was not permitted to leave the Azarah in order to go to the Ezras Nashim to read the Torah. He was required to remain in the Azarah until he was informed that the Sa'ir reached the wilderness.
(d) The NETZIV (in MEROMEI SADEH) answers that although the reading of the Torah was not an Avodah, it was an act which the Kohen Gadol was required to perform himself. Since it required the Kohen Gadol, he was not permitted to begin until he completed the previous Avodah. In contrast, the removal of the Emurin could be performed by any Kohen; there was no obligation for the Kohen Gadol himself to do it. Therefore, the Kohen Gadol was permitted to remove the Emurin before the Sa'ir reached the wilderness.
2) READING THE TORAH BY HEART
QUESTION: The Mishnah teaches that after the Kohen Gadol read Parshas Acharei Mos (Vayikra 16:1 to 18:30) and the verses in Parshas Emor that discuss Yom Kippur (Vayikra 23:26-32), he rolled up the Torah scroll, held it close to his chest, and read by heart the verses in Parshas Pinchas (Bamidbar 29:7-11) that discuss Yom Kippur.
Why was the Kohen Gadol permitted to read verses by heart? The Halachah prohibits one from reading verses in the Torah by heart (Gitin 60b).
(a) The RITVA (70a) explains, based on the Yerushalmi, that the prohibition against reading verses of the Torah by heart applies only to verses which must be read publicly ("Chovas Keri'as Tzibur"). The prohibition does not apply to verses read for the sake of reviewing the Torah, or for the sake of giving praise to Hash-m. The Kohen Gadol was permitted to read verses of the Torah by heart on Yom Kippur because there was no obligation to read these verses publicly. Rather, they were read merely for the sake of reviewing the topics relevant for the day. (This is in contrast to the explanation of Rashi, who says that there was an obligation to read the verses publicly.)
(b) The TOSFOS YESHANIM (70a) says that there is no prohibition to read verses of the Torah by heart; rather, it is a Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar (the most preferable way to perform the Mitzvah) to read the verses from the Sefer Torah. The Rabanan permitted the Kohen Gadol to read part of the Torah by heart on Yom Kippur in order not to trouble the people to wait as he rolled the Sefer Torah to the proper place. The Rabanan permitted him not to do the Mitzvah in the most preferable way for the sake of the honor of the Tzibur.
(c) The TALMIDEI RABEINU YONAH in Berachos (9b) explain as follows. The Torah requires an individual to read certain verses, but it does not require him to read them from a Sefer Torah. For example, the Torah requires one to recite the Shema twice each day, but it permits him to recite the verses of Shema by heart. The Torah does not expect every person to read the Shema twice each day from a Sefer Torah. The same applies to the verses of Birkas Kohanim which the Kohanim recite each day when they bless the people. Similarly, the Gemara in Ta'anis (27b) says that when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing, one who recites the Parshah of Korbanos in the Torah is considered as though he offered the Korbanos. One certainly is not required to recite the Parshah of Korbanos every day from a Sefer Torah.
Since the Torah permits one to recite these verses by heart, he may recite them by heart even when he does not perform a specific Mitzvah when he reads them. For this reason, the Kohen Gadol may read by heart the verses which discuss the Korbanos of Yom Kippur.
It seems that these three answers of the Rishonim appear to be based on three different reasons for the prohibition against reciting verses of the Torah by heart.
The first reason is that when one reads verses by heart, he might make a mistake. This reason is consistent with the explanation of the Ritva (a), who says that one must read from a Sefer Torah only when there is an obligation to read the verses in public (see also Tosfos to Temurah 14b, DH Devarim). In order for the Tzibur to fulfill the obligation, the reader must not make a mistake. In contrast, when one reads verses for the sake of giving praise to Hash-m the consequences of making a mistake are not as severe, because he is not attempting to fulfill any obligation.
(See also the TUR (OC 49) who quotes his uncle, HA'RAV REBBI CHAIM, who says that one may recite verses by heart when he is fluent in those verses, because there is no concern that he will err. This is also the approach of RABEINU TAM cited by the MORDECHAI in Gitin (#407). This reasoning also seems to be the basis of the answer of the SHILTEI GIBORIM in Megilah (14a of the pages of the Rif), who rules that it is permissible for the congregation as a whole to recite verses by heart. When the entire congregation recites verses by heart, it is unlikely that everyone will make the same mistake.)
The second reason given for the obligation to read verses from the Sefer Torah and not by heart is cited by the BEIS YOSEF (OC 49) and by the RITVA in Gitin (60b) in the name of the RAMBAN. The written word -- which one sees when he reads the verses from the Sefer Torah -- contains various elements and meanings which one does not see when he recites the verses by heart. The advantage of reading the verses with those deeper meanings, however, is only a Mitzvah Min ha'Muvchar; one certainly fulfills his obligation if he does not have in mind those deeper meanings. This is consistent with the answer of the Tosfos Yeshanim (b).
The third reason is offered by the KOL BO. If one recites verses by heart in front of an open Sefer Torah, the people present might think that those verses are not part of the Torah. Therefore, one must always read from the Sefer Torah. This reason is consistent with the answer of the Talmidei Rabeinu Yonah (c). If verses are normally recited by heart in the course of a Mitzvah, then everyone knows that they are in the Torah and that they are recited by heart only out of necessity. No one will think that they are not written in the Torah. (M. KORNFELD) (See also Insights to Sotah 40:3 and Temurah 14:3.)