Talmud - Yoma
39a - 39b
The most pertinent portions of these passages are shown in
bold. The grayed out section just below
bearing on this discussion.
Talmud - Mas. Yoma
: If [a
purchaser] comes to
measure naphtha, he [the shopkeeper] says to him: Measure it out
yourself; but to one who would measure out balm he says: Wait,
measure together with you, so that both I and you, may become
The school of R. Ishmael
dulls the heart of man, as it is said: Neither shall ye make
unclean with them, that ye should be defiled
thereby.1 Read not we-nitmethem [that
be defiled], but u-netamothem [that you should become
dullhearted].2 Our Rabbis taught:
you make yourselves unclean that you should be defiled thereby.
If a man
defiles himself a little, he becomes much defiled: [if he defile
below, he becomes defiled from above; if he defile himself in this
he becomes defiled in the world to come. Our Rabbis taught:
yourselves, therefore, and be ye holy:3
If a man
sanctify himself a little, he becomes much sanctified. [If he
himself] below, he becomes sanctified from above; if he sanctify
in this world, he becomes sanctified in the world to
C H A P T E R I
MISHNAH. HE SHOOK4 THE URN AND BROUGHT UP
LOTS. ON ONE WAS INSCRIBED:A2FOR THE LORD, AND ON THE OTHER:
AZAZEL. THE DEPUTY HIGH PRIEST WAS AT HIS RIGHT HAND, THE HEAD
[MINISTERING] FAMILY AT HIS LEFT. IF THE LOT [HAVING]A2FOR THE
[INSCRIBED THEREON] CAME UP IN HIS RIGHT HAND, THE DEPUTY HIGH
WOULD SAY TO HIM: SIR HIGH PRIEST, RAISE THY RIGHT HAND! AND IF
[WITH THE INSCRIPTION]A2FOR THE LORD CAME UP IN HIS LEFT
HAND, THE HEAD
OF THE FAMILY WOULD SAY: SIR HIGH PRIEST, RAISE THY LEFT HAND!
PLACED THEM ON THE TWO HE-GOATS AND SAID: A SIN-OFFERINGA2UNTO
R. ISHMAEL SAID: HE DID NOT NEED TO SAY: A SIN-OFFERING, BUT
LORD. AND THEY ANSWERED AFTER HIM: BLESSED BE THE NAME OF HIS
KINGDOM FOR EVER AND EVER!5
GEMARA. Why was it necessary to shake the urn?BE Lest
he take one
said: The urn was of wood and profane and could hold no more than
hands [at its mouth].BE Rabina demurred to this: It is quite
[its mouth] could contain no more than his two hands, i.e., to
taking one intentionally [through manipulation] but why should it
profane? Let it be sanctified?BE That would result in our having
ministering vessel of wood, and we do not make ministering vessels
wood. Then let it be made of silver, or of gold?BEA2The Torah
consideration for the money of Israel.7
Mishnah is not in accordance with the following Tanna, for it was
R. Judah said in the name of R. Eliezer: The deputy high priest
high priest put their hand into the urn. If the lot [For the
up in the hand of the high priest, the deputy high priest said to
high priest, raise thy hand! And if it came up in the right hand
deputy high priest, the head of the [ministering] family says to
deputy high priest address him?BE Since it did not come up in
his hand, he
might feel discouraged.9 In what [principle] do
holds, the right hand of the deputy high priest is better than the
hand of the high priest, the other holding, they are of even
Who is the Tanna disputing R. Judah?BE It is R. Hanina, deputy
priest. For it was taught: R. Hanina, deputy high priest, says:
the deputy high priest stand at the right? In order that if an
invalidating accident should happen to the high priest, the deputy
priest may enter [the Sanctuary] and officiate in his
Our Rabbis taught: Throughout the forty years that Simeon
Righteous ministered, the lot [For the Lord] would always
come up in the
right hand; from that time on, it would come up now in the right
in the left. And [during the same time] the crimson-coloured
white. From that time on it would at times become white, at others
Also: Throughout those forty years the westernmost
light13 was shining, from
that time on,
it was now shining, now failing; also the fire of the pile of wood
burning strong,14 so
that the priests did not have to bring to the pile any other wood
the two logs,15 in
order to fulfil the command about providing the wood
from that time on, it would occasionally keep burning strongly, at
times not, so that the priests could not do without bringing
the day wood for the pile [on the altar]. [During the whole
blessing was bestowed upon theA2omer,16 the two
breads,17 and the shewbread, so
every priest, who obtained a piece thereof as big as an olive, ate
became satisfied with some eating thereof and even leaving
From that time on a curse was sent uponA2omer, two breads, and
so that every priest received a piece as small as a bean: the
withdrew their hands from it, whilst voracious folk took and
Once one [of the latter] grabbed his portion as well as that of
fellow, wherefore they would call himA2ben
Lev. XI, 43.
(2) o,nybu for o,nybu MS.M.
(3) Lev. XVI, 44.
(4) Continuing the
Mishnah (supra 37a); orA2shook hastily (because of eagerness,
(5) The J.T. states that when the high priest
Ineffable Name those near prostrated themselves, those afar
withA2Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and
(6) It was considered a happy omen when it came up in
hand, and the temptation was as great as near to improve upon
(7) V. infra 44b.
unto the Lord.
(9) If the deputy high priest, in whose hand
up, gave him the command, he might easily read into his words the
arrogance of the successful.
(10) R. Judah and the Tanna of our
(11) Nazir 47b, which implies that as long as the high
is fit for service the deputy high priest performs no priestly
whatsoever, in opposition to R. Judah.
(12) Which was tied
horns of the bullock. If that became white, it signified that the
One, blessed be He, had forgiven Israel's sin. Cf. Though your
sins be as
scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isa. I, 18,
westernmost light on the candlestick in the Temple, into which as
was put as into the others. Although all the other lights were
extinguished, that light buried oil, in spite of the fact that it
kindled first. This miracle was taken as a sign that the Shechinah
over Israel. V. Shab. 22b and Men. 86b.
(14) On the altar, on
was kindled in the morning.
(15) V. supra 26b.
V. Lev. XXIII, 17ff
Talmud - Mas. Yoma
hamzan [grasper] until his
day. Rabbah b. R. Shela said: What Scriptural basis
there for this appellation]?BE O my God, rescue me out of the
hand of the
wicked, out of the grasp of the unrighteous and homez [ruthless]
here [is the basis obtained]: Learn to do well, seek justice,
hamoz [the oppressed]2 i.e., strengthen him
is oppressed], but strengthen not homez [the
Rabbis taught: In the year in which Simeon the Righteous died, he
them that he would die. They said: Whence do you know that? He
every Day of Atonement an old man, dressed in white, wrapped in
would join me, entering [the Holy of Holies] and leaving [it] with
today I was joined by an old man, dressed in black, wrapped in
entered, but did not leave, with me. After the festival [of
was sick for seven days and [then] died. His brethren [that year]
priests forbore to mention the Ineffable Name in pronouncing the
Our Rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the
destruction of the Temple the lot [For the Lord] did not
come up in the
right hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white; nor
westernmost light shine; and the doors of the Hekal would open by
themselves, until R. Johanan b. Zakkai rebuked them, saying:
why wilt thou be the alarmer thyself?5 I know about thee that
be destroyed, for Zechariah ben Ido has already prophesied
doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.7
R. Isaac b. Tablai said: Why is its8 name called Lebanon?
makes white the sins of Israel. R. Zutra b. Tobiah said: Why is it
calledA2Forest, as it is written: The house of the forest of
To tell you
that just as a forest produces sprouts, so does the Temple. For R.
built the Sanctuary, he planted therein all sorts of precious
trees, which brought forth fruit in their season. When the wind
against them, their fruits would fall down, as it is said: May his
rustle like Lebanon.11 They were a source of
for the priesthood. But as soon as the idolaters entered the
dried up, as it is said: And the flower of Lebanon
the Holy One, blessed be He, will restore it to us, as it is said:
shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice, even with joy and singing,
glory of Lebanon shall be given to it.13 Our Rabbis
taught:14 Ten times did the
pronounce the [Ineffable] Name on that day: Three times at the
confession, thrice at the second confession, thrice in connection
he-goat to be sent away, and once in connection with the lots. And
already happened that when he pronounced the Name, his voice was
even unto Jericho.15
Rabbah b. Bar Hana said: From Jerusalem to Jericho it is a
distance of ten
parasangs. The turning hinges of the Temple doors were heard
eight Sabbath limits.16 The goats in Jericho
sneeze because of the odour of the incense. The women in Jericho
have to perfume themselves, because of the odour of the incense.
in Jerusalem did not have to perfume herself because of the odour
incense. R. Jose b. Diglai said: My father had goats on the
used to sneeze because of the odour of the incense. R. Hiyya b.
in the name of R. Joshua b. Karhah: An old man told me: Once I
towards Shiloh18 and
I could smell the odour of the incense [coming] from its
R. Jannai said: To bring the lot
of the casket is indispensable,19 but to place [it on
bullock's head] is not.20 R. Johanan said: Even
up the lot is not indispensable.21 On the opinion of R.
said that services performed in the white garments outside the
Holies are not indispensable there is no dispute, [all agreeing]
bringing up of lots] is not indispensable; they dispute only the
of R. Nehemiah:22 He
who says it is indispensable, holds even as R. Nehemiah [does];
the other who holds it is dispensable, explains [R. Nehemiah to
an actual service, whereas the casting of the lots is no service.
say: On the opinion of R. Nehemiah, who says it is indispensable,
no dispute, [all agreeing that] it is indispensable; the dispute
only the opinion of R. Judah: he who holds it is dispensable,
R. Judah; whereas he who holds it is indispensable [explains] that
different here because Scripture repeats twice: On which [the lot]
objection: was raisedA2It is a command to cast the lots but if
failed to do so, [the service] is, nevertheless, valid. Now that
quite right according to the version that none disputes that on R.
view it is dispensable, so that this [teaching]24 is in accordance with
(2) Isa. 1, 17.
(3) V. Sanh. 35a.
(4) Men. 109b. Tosaf
38a suggests that the Ineffable Name could be pronounced only when
was some indication that the Shechinah rested on the Sanctuary.
Simeon the Righteous died, with many indications that such glory
more enjoyed, his brethren no more dared utter the Ineffable
Predict thy own destruction.
(6) I.e., concerning this
of the destruction of the Temple.
(7) Zech. XI, 1. Ido was his
grandfather, but it occurs occasionally that a man is called
after a distinguished ancestor.
(8) The Sanctuary. A play on
iubck, connected with ick.
(9) I Kings X,
(11) Ps. LXXII, 16.
(12) Nahum I, 4.
(14) Tosef. Yoma II, 2.
(15) V. supra 20b.
area around a town or place within which it is permitted to move
Sabbath. Sabbath limits i.e., two thousand cubits in every
turning hinges, then, created a sound, according to this scholar,
beyond sixteen thousand cubits.
(17) The name varies: Mikmar,
Makvar (a district of Peraea). One version omits reference to a
readsA2on the mountains, which may have appropriated the
n from the
next word and omitted it for want of clarity. It should be
Jerusalem to suit the context. See D.S., p. 110.
(18) The place
tent of meeting. In the mind of the narrator the odour of incense
have been well-nigh imperishable.
(19) Without the casting of
no choice could be made as to the destination of the two he-goats,
the service could not go on.
(20) This view considers the
the high priest dependent on the decision of the lots, the
being the lots and not the formal putting of the lot on the
(21) R. Johanan considers the action of the high priest
determining factor, independent of his having either had lots or
placed them on the head. His declaration as to which animal is for
Lord and for Azazel resp., validates the service.
contains the dispute between R. Judah and R. Nehemiah as to
change in the prescribed order renders the service invalid. It
the question as to whether the wordA2hukkah (statute) i.e.,
order, applies to the service in the Holy of Holies only,
to the garments wherein they are performed (R. Judah) or whether
applies to any service in the white garments, performed either in
of Holies or elsewhere (R. Nehemiah). A sub-question would be
anything in connection with the Day of Atonement, or only a
is covered by R. Nehemiah's view. If e.g., the casting of the lots
considered a service, though an action in connection with it, it
be indispensable since it is performed outside the Holy of Holies,
although in white garments.
(23) Lev. XVI, 9,10 which
emphasizes the indispensable nature of this service.
it is a
command to cast the lots, but that failure to do so does not
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