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Megillah, Daf Tet, Part 5

 

Introduction

This mishnah deals with differences between different types of high priests.

 

משנה. אין בין כהן משוח בשמן המשחה למרובה בגדים אלא פר הבא על כל המצות.

אין בין כהן משמש לכהן שעבר אלא פר יום הכפורים ועשירית האיפה.

 

1)    There is no difference between a priest anointed with the oil of anointment and one who [only] wears the additional garments except for the bull which is offered for the [unwitting transgression of] any of the commandments.

2)    There is no difference between a serving [high] priest and one whose time has passed except the bull of Yom HaKippurim and the tenth of the ephah.

 

Section one: The high priest was supposed to be anointed with special anointing oil, except that the composition of this type of oil was unknown in the Second Temple period and hence not used. The distinction in the Second Temple period between high priests and ordinary priests was that the high priest had eight garments and the ordinary priest wore only four. Our mishnah teaches that the difference between the high priest in the First Temple and the high priest in the Second Temple is that only the anointed priest brings a bull for an unwitting transgression, as is stated in Leviticus 4:3, If it is the anointed priest who has incurred guilt

Section two: The high priest who is currently serving in office brings the sacrificial bull on Yom HaKippurim (Leviticus 16:6) and the tenth of an ephah of flour offered every day (Leviticus 6:13). Otherwise a high priest who has been removed or otherwise left office is treated the same as the currently serving high priest. For more information on this, see Horayot 3:4.

 

 

גמרא. הא לענין פר יום כפורים ועשירית האיפה – זה וזה שוין.

 

GEMARA. [Between the priest anointed etc.]. Behold in matter of the bull of Yom HaKippurim and the tenth of the ephah they are on the same footing.

 

The differences between a serving high priest and the high priest whose time has passed (listed in section two) do not distinguish the two different types of priests in section one of the mishnah the first Temple priest and the second Temple priest.

 

מתניתין דלא כרבי מאיר, דאי רבי מאיר, הא תניא: מרובה בגדים מביא פר הבא על כל המצות, דברי רבי מאיר. וחכמים אומרים: אינו מביא.

 

The mishnah does not accord with R. Meir; for with regard to the view of R. Meir, it has been taught: One who wears the additional garments [without having been anointed] brings the bull which is offered [by the High Priest] for the [unwitting breaking of] any of the mitzvoth, the words of R. Meir. The Sages, however, say that he does not offer it.

 

According to the mishnah, a high priest who was not anointed with the oil does not bring the bull offered for the unintentional transgression of one of the mitzvoth. But R. Meir in this baraita says that he does. Thus the mishnah accords with the sages and not with R. Meir.

 

מאי טעמא דרבי מאירדתניא: +ויקרא ד‘+ משיח, אין לי אלא משוח בשמן המשחה, מרובה בגדים מנין? תלמוד לומר המשיח.

 

What is the reason of R. Meir? As it has been taught: "[If the] anointed [priest shall sin]" (Leviticus 4:3): I only know of the one anointed with the oil of anointment. From where do I know that this applies also to one who [merely] wears the additional garments?

Because it says, the "anointed."

 

R. Meir expounds upon the extra "the" (the letter heh in Hebrew) that precedes the word "anointed priest" to teach that even a priest who only wears the additional garments, meaning a second Temple priest, can offer this bull sacrifice.

במאי אוקימנאדלא כרבי מאיר. אימא סיפא: אין בין כהן משמש לכהן שעבר אלא פר יום הכפורים ועשירית האיפה, הא לכל דבריהןזה וזה שוין. אתאן לרבי מאיר, דתניא: אירע בו פסול ומינו כהן אחר תחתיוראשון חוזר לעבודתו, שניכל מצות כהונה גדולה עליו, דברי רבי מאיר. רבי יוסי אומר: ראשון חוזר לעבודתו, שני אינו ראוי לא לכהן גדול ולא לכהן הדיוט. ואמר רבי יוסי: מעשה ברבי יוסף בן אולם מציפורי שאירע בו פסול בכהן גדול, ומינוהו תחתיו, ובא מעשה לפני חכמים ואמרו: ראשון חוזר לעבודתו, שני אינו ראוי לא לכהן גדול ולא לכהן הדיוט. כהן גדולמשום איבה, כהן הדיוטמשום מעלין בקודש ולא מורידין.

 

How have you explained [the Mishnah]? As not agreeing with R. Meir. What about the end of the mishnah: There is no difference between a serving [high] priest and one whose time has passed except the bull of Yom HaKippurim and the tenth of the ephah.

But we can infer that in all other matters they are the same; and so we come to the view of R. Meir, as it has been taught: If something happened to disqualify him and they appointed another priest to take his place, when the first returns to his service the second is still liable to all the obligations of the high priesthood, the words of R. Meir. R. Yose said: The first returns to his service whereas the second is not qualified to act as a high priest or as an ordinary priest. R. Yose further said: It happened with R. Jose b. Ulam from Tziporri that a disqualification occurred to the high priest and they appointed him in his place, and the case eventually came before the Sages and they said: The first returns to his service. The second is not qualified to act either as a high priest or as an ordinary priest: as a high priest, so as not to create enmity, as an ordinary priest, because raise to a higher grade of holiness but we never put down to a lower.

 

Above we said that the first clause of the mishnah does not agree with R. Meir. The problem is that the second clause of the mishnah is R. Meir’s opinion. According to the second clause, a former high priest can continue to perform any Temple ritual except for offering the bull on Yom Kippur and the tenth of the ephah offered every day. For all other matters he can still act as a high priest. This agrees with R. Meir’s position in the baraita. R. Meir holds that if a serving high priest is disqualified for some temporary reason, he can still return to his service as a high priest when that disqualification is remedied. R. Yose, on the other hand, says he cannot go back to serving as high priest for this would cause enmity between him and his replacement. Once you’re out, you’re out for good. Neither can he go back to being an ordinary high priest, since there is a rule that one can go up in holiness (from priest to high priest) but not down.

 

רישא רבנן וסיפא רבי מאיר?

אמר רב חסדא: אין, רישא רבנן וסיפא רבי מאיר.

רב יוסף אמר: רבי היא, ונסיב לה אליבא דתנאי.

 

Are we then to say that the first clause [of the Mishnah] follows the Sages and the second R. Meir?

R. Hisda said: Yes; the first clause follows the Sages and the second R. Meir.

R. Joseph said: It is the opinion of Rabbi, who combined the views of differing tannaim.

 

The answer is that basically yes, the first clause is the sages’ opinion and the second clause is R. Meir’s opinion. R. Joseph says that Rabbi [Judah Hanasi] is the author of the whole mishnah, but still you’d have to say that in the first clause he agrees with the sages and in the second clause with R. Meir.