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(5749) Two variations of the Mishneh Yoma (7:4) That the "Kohen Gadol would make a festive celebration
(for his friends) because he safely emerged from the Holy place" or "when he emerged";

The reason that Rambam brings this as Halacha ( Hil. Avodat Yom haKippurim 4:2)
The differences in the wording of Rambam; Explanation of the concept of "departing to his house" according to Halacha and Pnimiyut.


1. We learn in tractate Yoma (at the end of the Avodah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur):

“He sanctified his hands and feet and removed (the gold garments). They would then bring to him his own garments, and he would put them on. They would accompany him to his house and he would make it a day of festivity for his friends when (בשעה) he had come forth from the sanctuary in peace”.

(קדש ידיו ורגליו ופשט הביאו לו בגדי עצמו ולבש ומלוין אותו עד ביתו ויום טוב היה עושה לאוהביו בשעה שיצא בשלום מן הקודש)

At the end of the Mishnah where it states:

“He would make it a day of festivity”

Some read that the conclusion of the sentence is:

Since (על) he had come forth”, instead of the word “when he had come forth” (בשעה) (and this is also written in Rambam in Sefer HaYad).

The commentators write regarding the explanation of this version that:

“The intent is not that he made a festival immediately when leaving the sanctuary on that day, for he was fasting – but he would make it on the morrow, and this is why Rambam precisely states that “he would make it a day of festivity since (על) he had come forth from the sanctuary in peace” and not “when he left (בשעה) “,

(Like what we say in the nusach of the Seder Avodah of Yom Kippur),

even though it is a more concise phrase . . for he elaborated on the wording to indicate that he made it ( the festive celebration) on the morrow”.

Yet this has already been questioned, for “it is possible .. that the donning of his own clothes was delayed until the evening, after the fixing of the Menorah lamps, and he would walk with honor and travel in uprightness, in a manner that when he reached his house, it was night and it was (therefore) when he specifically departed”.

2. It appears that these two versions are dependent on the two reasons for this celebration:

1. The celebration was thanksgiving for departing from a place of danger, similar to the four that need to give thanks etc. – for if the Kohen Gadol was not fitting, he would not leave the Sanctuary alive, which is why when he prayed there, he “did not elaborate in his prayer, so as not to frighten Yisroel” as Rambam states in his Pirush HaMishnayot that “if he would tarry, they would be afraid perhaps he had died. For many Kohanim Gedolim died in the Holy of Holies, if they were not fitting or if they changed something in the offering of the incense”.

2. The festival was “because his deeds were accepted before G-d (שנתרצו מעשיו) and he departed in peace” (or because “of the great happiness . . that he stood and ministered before G-d, in the Holy of Holies”).

And in accordance with these two reasons, there is the difference of these two aforementioned versions –

·         “When (בשעה) he departed”

·         “Since (על) he departed”

Those who read ‘When (בשעה) he departed in peace etc.’ hold like the second aforementioned reason, that the festival was for the Avodah of the day etc.

(And therefore they do not read “Since (על) he departed” for the departing of the Kohen Gadol in peace from the Sanctuary was not the reason for the festival).

In other words, the reason that the festival was immediately after the conclusion of the Avodah, was to emphasize that that the festival came in conjunction to the Avodah of the Kohen Gadol in the Sanctuary.

(And. the reason that the Tanna states precisely “When (בשעה) he departed in peace etc.” is because this is a sign that his Avodah was accepted”.

however, those that read “Since (על) he departed in peace from the Sanctuary” hold like the aforementioned first reason, that the festival was a thanksgiving of the Kohen Gadol that he departed in peace from the Sanctuary – which is the plain meaning of the wording “Since (על) he departed in peace” - that the festival was because he “went out in peace”

(And not that it was just a sign that his Avodah was accepted).

(Perhaps, one could say even more than this:

For it is because of this reason

(That the festival was individual thanks of the Kohen Gadol)

that the Kohen Gadol specifically made the festival notWhen (בשעה) he departed”

(in other words, even not at night, when it was permitted to eat, as aforementioned)

but only on the morrow – for according to this reason - namely that the Kohen Gadol was giving thanks to G-d “Since (על) he departed in peace”.

This is similar to the four that must give thanks etc. – for seemingly, he was required to offer a korban Todah for this deliverance, and it is probable that the celebration of his thanks was in conjunction to the offering of this korban Todah. And since he was not able to offer this korban until the morrow, therefore he delayed the festival until then.

However, since we do not find this constant obligation in any place, therefore one must say that it does not exist. And one could say the reason is because there is no place to say that the atonement of Bnei Yisroel - places the one seeking atonement in a state of certain danger of death, so much so that he needs to offer a korban Todah for this! And the reason - that he accustoms himself etc.).

3. yet there is room to examine the view of Rambam, who cites that “he would make a festival etc.” – for seemingly his sefer is a sefer of Halachot and not the telling of things (even if one could say that the Kohen Gadol was accustomed to make this festival as one of the four that are required to give thanks – that this is not the Halacha).

And even though that in the beginning of this Perek, Rambam prefaces that this is the “The order of all the practices carried out on this day is the following” – in other words that in this chapter, he is not just coming to inform us of the Halachot of the Avodah of Yom Kippur, but to tell us the “order of all the practices” as they were actually performed

(Which is why Rambam repeats and learns many details in this Perek, even though they have already been written in the previous chapters, since here he is describing the “order of all the practices”),

nevertheless, it is understood that his intent in “The order of all the practices carried out on this day of this day” concerns the deeds that have within them a relevance to the Avodah of this day.

And according to the aforementioned, in the view of Rambam (that he accepted as the version “Since (על) he departed in peace”, in other words his view is that the making of the festival was (not that his Avodah was accepted etc., but) that he departed in peace). Therefore the festival is not related to “the practices of his day”

Not only is it because according to the (aforementioned) reason that he made the festival only on the morrow, for certainly it is not applicable to say that it is “of the practices of this day”. But even if one were to say that according to Rambam, he made the festival immediately on the night after the conclusion of the Avodah of the day – nevertheless, since the nature of this is a private thanksgiving of the Kohen Gadol and his custom, it is not fitting to include this in “the practices carried out on this day”.

Therefore, it is emphasized in the wording of Rambam, that the festival was not (just) his individual celebration.

For the Mishnah states the wording that “They would accompany him to his house and he would make it a day of festivity for his friends”.

However Rambam changes this in two ways:

·         He writes “All of the people accompanied him to his home”

·         He omits the word “for his friends” (לאו­הביו).

This is to inform us that the festival of the Kohen Gadol (was not his individual celebration, that he celebrated with just his friends, but) this concerned “all of the people”, that accompanied him to his home (therefore He omits the word “for his friends”).

Therefore one must say that, according to the view of Rambam, even though the festival was “Since (על) he departed in peace from the Sanctuary” (and not on the actual Avodah of Yom Kippur) nevertheless it is related to the Halachot of the Avodah of Yom Kippur, therefore he includes “all the people” in the accompanying and in the celebration that he made, since the Avodah that the Kohen Gadol performed on Yom Kippur was in the role of emissary and proxy at the behest of all Yisroel.

4. This can be understood by prefacing another difference in the wording of Rambam versus that of the Mishnah:

·         In the Mishnah it states concisely: “And they accompany him to his home”

·         Whereas Rambam adds before this: “and goes home.  And all of the people accompany him to his home. “.

It is understood that the Kohen Gadol “went home” therefore why does Rambam add these words over that of the Mishnah?

One must also understand:

What is the precise meaning of specifically going to his home? Seemingly what difference does it make, in general, where the Kohen Gadol went, whether to his home or to another place?

It therefore appears from this that the going to his home is also a part of the deeds of the Kohen Gadol on this day. Therefore Rambam changes from the wording of the Mishnah (where it cites the departing at the end of the day only in relation to those that accompany him) and prefaces “and he goes home” ( and with emphasis on the Kohen Gadol) – in conjunction to all of his deeds before this that are described in Rambam, for after he “sanctifies his hands and feet, removes his golden garments, puts on his own clothes” he “goes to his home” (however the manner of his going home is that “All of the people accompany him to his home”).

One must understand:

In what way is this considered (namely that which he “goes to his home”) one of the details of the Avodah of the Kohen Gadol on this day?

One could say the explanation of this is:

The reason that the Kohen Gadol’s “going to his home” is considered as the completion and conclusion of his Avodah on Yom Kippur is because the beginning of his Avodah was that

“Seven says before Yom Kippur, we separate the Kohen Gadol from his home“

as we learn from the Days of the Inauguration (of the Mishkan) or from Matan Torah - that the Avodah of Yom Kippur demands a condition of separating the Kohen Gadol from his home ( for from this it is understood that the separation is not a side issue in order so that he can prepare himself properly, but rather that the nature of the aspect of his Avodah demands that he be in a state of separation from his home) – therefore, the return (departure) to his home is the conclusion and completion of his Avodah.

Therefore Rambam also cites the departure to his home (and its manner) in the “The order of all the practices carried out on this day” and does not suffice with the description of his Avodah until his departure from the Mikdash, because even the act of departing to his home is included in the “practices of this day”.

One could say that this is also the reason that the departure of the kg to his home was in the manner that “all the people would accompany him”. For one could say that – one should not say that this is just because of honor, but rather (mainly) to show and emphasize that the going to his home is a part of the practices of this day and that they relate to all the people, as aforementioned.

And according to this, the continuation of the wording of Rambam, is also understood, in which Rambam writes:

“He would make a festive celebration because he departed from the holy place in peace”.

·         For on one hand it implies that the festival is for the departure in peace (and not thanks on the Avodah).

·         Yet on the other hand this festival applies to all the people ( that accompanied him) as  aforementioned.

– for since even the departure from the Sanctuary is a part of the deeds of the Kohen Gadol on this day (for it is not finished with completion until he is in his home) for the Kohen Gadol did all of them – the emissary of all Yisroel. Therefore even the celebration, “since he went out in peace from the Sanctuary” (in other words the celebration is on the completion of the Avodah) is a celebration for the entire people.

5. One could explain the essence of the concept of “Goes to his home” on a deeper level:

In the Avodah of the Yom Kippur we find a special innovation – that the atonement of the bullock of the Kohen Gadol was not just for him alone, but also for “his household”, and “household” refers to his wife ( in addition to his fellow brother kohanim). This aspect (that there must be an atonement for his “household”) concerned the entire Avodah of the day. As Rambam rules that in the Avodah of the day “everything is performed by a married Kohen Gadol, as it states: and he shall atone for himself and for his house – this refers to his wife”.

This requires explanation:

Why does the Torah state that the Avodah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur must be performed by a “married Kohen Gadol”?

And even more puzzling is that which the Avodah itself must be specifically performed through being separated from his house (and his wife)?

One could say that one of the explanations in this is:

The atonement of the goat of Yom Kippur is an atonement for atonement all Yisroel, as Rambam states that:

“Since the goat sent (to Azazel) atones for all of Israel, the High Priest confesses upon it as a spokesman for all of Israel as it states: "He shall confess upon it all the sins of the children of Israel."

“The goat sent to Azazel, since it is an atonement for all Yisroel, the Kohen Gadol confesses over it with the words ‘for all Yisroel’. In other words the Kohen Gadol says the confession as an emissary for all Yisroel”.

On the other hand, Rambam rules that “the goat does not atone for all the transgressions in the Torah, unless he “did Teshuvah”. In other words, the atonement of the goat which is communal (and not that of an individual), and which comes from the Kohen Gadol, as the emissary (שליח צבור) of all Yisroel, does fall on the individual unless he did Teshuvah.

Therefore, this atonement contains a dichotomy:

For even though the goat is a communal aspect, (which means that – it is relevant to the entire community, without a specific relation to an individual. Similar to communal funds, that must be “handed to the community with all one’s heart (lit very well)” (מוסרו לצבור יפה יפה)), together with this the atonement of the communal goat for the community is in a manner that it falls on every individual separately, and if the individual did not repent, that individual lacks this atonement.

And one could say that this is one of the reasons that the Kohen Gadol offers a bullock for his own atonement and it is not sufficient to include himself in the atonement of Klal Yisroel – for since he is the emissary of Yisroel in the Avodah and atonement of Yom Kippur, these two things, namely that he is a representative of the community (איש צבור), their emissary and proxy for all Yisroel, and on the other hand that his standing, as an individual, is not nullified, until he offers his own bullock for his own atonement.

And for this reason itself, the Torah needed to stipulate that the Kohen Gadol be “married” and that he include his “household”, in his own atonement. For with this it is emphasized, that although he offers a “bullock” for himself and confesses on it, he is doing so (not as a “community”, where his entire being is only on behalf of the community, but) as an individual person.

And with this one could explain that which Rambam states that at the conclusion of the Avodah of the day “(the Kohen Gadol) goes to his home”. The explanation of this is (as aforementioned) that this itself is a part of the deed of the Avodah – for that which he “Goes to his home” is hot just to show that he has already completed his Avodah, and therefore it is already permitted for him to go to his home, but on the contrary, the nature of the departure to his home is – the completion and purpose of the Avodah of Yom Kippur, which is the atonement that is effected on the individual. For concerning the Kohen Gadol, this is emphasize in the atonement of his household (as aforementioned).

6. The explanation of this according to Chassidut is:

The Avodah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur was with the epitome of separation and holiness, and specifically when he entered the Holy of Holies. The most sanctified place in the world (in space), on Yom Kippur – the most sanctified day in the year. However the main purpose is not to separate from the world, but rather to draw holiness into the world. As the Midrash states (as is cited in Tanya) that the intent is “to make an abode for G-d in the lower realms”.

And for this reason, immediately after the conclusion of the Avodah of Yom Kippur “he (immediately) “Goes to his home” – from one extreme to the other without any intermediary between them – for this is the purpose of all his Avodah and his lofty standing and condition during the time of his Avodah on Yom Kippur in the Holy of Holies – to draw down this holiness even into “his home”.

And this is also the essence of the festival that he makes ““for (על departing in peace from the Sanctuary”- similar to the word of the sages regarding R’ Akiva that “he entered in peace and went out in peace”. For his entering into the Pardes was in a manner that “he went out in peace”, since his entering into the Pardes was with ”peace”. In other words, it was not for the purpose of leaving the world, but rather in order to achieve an additional vitality in his Avodah in this world, in a soul in a body. And this was also with the Kohen Gadol. For notwithstanding the greatness of his elevation and his separateness from the world, when he entered the Holy of Holies, nevertheless he “departed in peace”. And this was expressed by that which, immediately coming from the Sanctuary – “he departed to his home” in order to complete the intent of Creation, to make for G-d an abode specifically in the lower realms.

MSichas Shabbat Parshat Re’eh 5746


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