Friday, July 21, 2006

Daf Yomi - Yoma 44 - Bells on Yom Kippur?

The Gemora states that on Yom Kippur, the kohen gadol a rattle ring (according to Rashi) in order to make noise that everyone would realize he is coming and leave the heichal area. This presumably was because he didn't wear the מעיל which had bells on it on Yom Kippur. Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank brings a kasha on the Pirush Mateh Levi in his explanation of one of the payats that we recite on Yom Kippur. The לשון is קול הקשת הלכו היה נשמע על ידי הפעמונים כשהלך בהיכל עד שמגיע לפרוכת - the sound of the bells were heard when he entered into the kodesh hakodoshim. This is bewildering for he did not have the bells on during this part of the avodah? The מעיל is one of the בגדי זהב? The same question can be asked on the רשבם in תצוה who explains the passuk of ונשמע קולו regarding the bells that it is to prevent the issur of וכל אדם לא יהי באהל מועד?


I just found this:

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach
Saved By The Bells

"No one shall be in the ohel moed (literally 'tent of assembly,' but in the Beis Hamikdash this referred to the Sanctuary area), from when he (the kohen gadol) enters to achieve atonement in the Sanctuary until he goes out." (Vayikra 16:17)

This passage is part of the Torah's instructions for the sacred service on Yom Kippur. It refers to the kohen gadol entering the kodshei kodashim (inner Sanctuary, Holy of Holies) to offer the incense. No one was permitted to be present in the heichal (Sanctuary area which contained the table, menorah and golden incense altar) while the kohen gadol was in this most sacred area which contained only the holy ark.

The superficial interpretation of this passage presents a difficulty understanding what our great commentaries write regarding one of the kohen gadol's eight sacred garments, the meil.

The bottom hem of the meil was belled. The purpose of these bells was "that the sound should be heard when he enters the Sanctuary" (Shmos 28:35). Rashbam explains that the bells served as an alarm to warn all present in the sanctuary to depart when the kohen gadol entered to perform his service. Ramban adds that there is a hint in this passage that the bells summoned even the heavenly angels to leave the Sanctuary, allowing the kohen gadol to be alone with his King.

The problem with their approach is that the kohen gadol did not wear the meil when he entered the kodshei kodashim to offer the incense; rather he wore only the four garments worn by an ordinary kohen. How could the bells which the Torah assigned only to the meil serve as a warning for everyone to leave the heichal?

This problem disappears, however, when we learn in our gemara that the requirement for vacating an area of the Beis Hamikdash while sacred service was being performed was not limited to the kohen gadol's entry into the kodshei kodashim on Yom Kippur. The blood of the bull brought as the kohen gadol's special sin offering (Vayikra 4:6), or brought for the community to atone for a mistaken court ruling (ibid. 4:17), or of the goat brought by the community when such a mistake involved idol worship (Bamidbar 15:26), had to be sprinkled in the heichal. When the kohen entered the heichal for this purpose, everyone had to depart not only from there but also from the area between the altar in the courtyard and the entrance to the Sanctuary. The gemara derives this from the word "atonement" used regarding such a need for removal on Yom Kippur, which teaches us (through a "gezeirah shavah" according to Tosefos, or a "binyan av" according to Rambam) that this rule applies to all situations when the kohen enters the Sanctuary for atonement purposes. The above mentioned commentaries are, therefore, referring to a situation where such service is being performed by the kohen gadol, and the bells on his meil do indeed sound a warning for all to clear the area and enable this servant with a higher degree of spirituality be alone with his King.

(Yoma 44b)


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