Friday, July 21, 2006

Daf Yomi - Yoma 44 - Ketores Atones for Lashon Hara

The Gemara states that ketores atones for lashon hara, because the Jewish People accused Moshe and Aharon for killing Korach and his followers, so HaShem sent a mageifah against them. Moshe told Aharon to bring ketores and when Aharon did so, the mageifah stopped. Question here is, it is seen that the ketores removes mageifah, but why is it proof that it atones for lashon hara? Stopping a mageifah is one thing, and atonement for lashon hara is another thing. If you say, the passuk states ויכפר על העם, one can answer that Pinchas killed Zimri and that stopped the mageiafh, and there also it states ויכפר על בני ישראל, but that doesn't mean that Pinchas atoned for the sin of Bnei Yisroel, i.e that they were forgiven for their sin. It just means that he appeased HaShem's wrath. Proof of this is that Rashi in Ki Suisa writes on the words אולי אכפרה בעד חטאתכם, that אכפרה בעד חטאתכם - אשים כופר וקנוח וסתימה לנגד חטאתכם להבדיל ביניכם ובין החטא. Seems to be that HaShem will not be angry any more, but one stilll needs to repent, etc. Could be this is a question of symantics.


Harry said...

I see you concluded by asking if this is just symantics. However, you seem not to becomfortable with that. Why not? Isn't the simple pshat that stooping a mageifa and atonement for a sin and appeasement on His wrath all should stem from the same cause - and it is apparent that ketores provides atonement for loshon hora.

ben said...

Thanks for your response. I think that כפרה, as defined by Rashi in many places in Tanach, is more of a barrier between sin and HaShem, i.e. Hashem does not look at the sin right now, but the sin is till there. Is it possible that in lashon hakodesh atonement and forgiveness are the same? On Yom Kippur we say סלח לנו מחל לנו כפר לנו. It could be that כפרה is the ultimate atonement and there is no longer sin. Needs more research.

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