Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tract Yomah – Synopsis
EXPRESSION OF THANKS, vii
SYNOPSIS OF SUBJECTS OF VOLUME VI.–TRACT YOMAH, xvii
CONCERNING THE HIGH-PRIEST’S PREPARATIONS FOR THE SERVICE OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT (WHEN 1
THE TEMPLE WAS IN EXISTENCE),
CONCERNING THE LOTS THE PRIESTS DREW, WHAT PRIESTS SHOULD GO TO THE ALTAR, AND HOW MANY 30
PRIESTS WERE NEEDED FOR EACH SACRIFICE,
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE TIME OF SLAUGHTERING THE DAILY OFFERING, THE ENTERING OF A 40
LAYMAN INTO THE COURT OF THE TEMPLE, AND THE ORDER OF THE HIGH-PRIEST’S SERVICE ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT,
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE TWO GOATS OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT: HOW THEY WERE 58
SLAUGHTERED, SENT AWAY, ETC.,
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE REMAINING SERVICES OF THE HIGH-PRIEST ON THIS DAY IN THE TIMES OF 69 THE FIRST AND SECOND TEMPLES,
CHAPTER VI. PAGE
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE HE-GOATS OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT AND THE SENDING TO THE 87
DESERT, AND THE CONFESSION THEREAT,
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE PASSAGES READ BY THE HIGH-PRIEST, AND WHAT GARMENTS HE 98
MINISTERED IN AFTER, AND WHAT GARMENTS OTHER PRIESTS WORE,
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE FASTING ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT, WHAT MAY BE DONE THEREON, AND WHAT MAY NOT BE DONE,
Next: Introduction to Tract Yomah
INTRODUCTION TO TRACT YOMAH, OR THE DAY OF ATONEMENT.
THE first seven chapters treat of the manner in which the Day of Atonement was celebrated in the second Temple: the different sacrifices brought on that day, the preparation of the high-priest for his ministry, and the order of service as he performed it, entering fully into minute details of every circumstance connected therewith. Although all this has an historical value only, we cannot refrain from giving an introduction to this tract, on account of that day being so different from all the holidays of Israel.
All the festivals, although they were not observed all the time during the first Temple, were nevertheless observed by some of the kings, who invoked the people to celebrate them some of the time; e.g., the Feast of Passover, with all its sacrifices, in the reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah [2 Chron. xxx.; xxxv.]. There is also related [ibid. xxxv. 18], that in the days of the prophet Samuel, Passover was held. The Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated in the days of Solomon [I Kings viii. 2], and although the children of Israel did not dwell in the booths since the days of Joshua b. Nun [Neh. viii. 17] nevertheless the feast was celebrated with all its appertaining sacrifices; and also the Pentecost they have kept [2 Chron. viii. 13]. The Day of Atonement, however, is not mentioned in the entire Scriptures, with the exception of Lev. xvi., and among the prescription of the various sacrifices; but even then we see something unusual among the commandments of the Scriptures; namely, the remark that he (Aaron) did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 1
Moreover, we can plainly see from the Scriptures, that at the time of King Solomon the Day of Atonement was one of the seven days of rejoicing, at the dedication of the Temple [1 Kings viii.; 2 Chron. vii. 8, 9]; and although it is said in the Talmud that the decision not to keep the Day of Atonement was only a temporary one (as it will be explained in Tract Moed Katan), still we cannot rely upon an individual opinion in the Talmud. The facts are that the Day of Atonement was not observed, not only during the first Temple, but at the beginning of the second as well, for even in Nehemiah the Feast of Tabernacles is mentioned, but the Day of Atonement is not. And even during the middle period of the second Temple the Talmud states that the Day of Atonement was one of the holidays for the people, in which the daughters of Israel, all dressed in white, went forth to dance in the vineyards, as will be explained in Tract Taanith. It would be ridiculous to believe that, while observing the five afflictions of the day (see chapter viii. of this tract), they nevertheless danced and sang, trying to captivate the youths.
Ewald, in speaking of that day, also remarks that it is different in its respect from all the holidays; but even he does not explain the reason. He only indicates that it may be a remnant of the pre-Mosaic time. In order to give the reader an opportunity of forming his own opinion, we herewith give an extract from Ewald concerning the Day of Atonement:
“The preparatory celebration in the autumn, which took place on the tenth day of the seventh month, was essentially distinguished from that of the spring in not being a terror-stricken celebration at the commencement of the year, which sought to avert the perils of the dim future and, as it were, the wrath of a new coming God, but in being rather a pure feast of penance which endeavored to expiate all the human and national transgressions and impurities which had occurred during the year, For although the searching stringency of Jahveism, already described, required that every, even the smallest, impurity and defilement which had been contracted should be immediately expiated, yet the higher religion was well aware how little all the
secret and slowly advancing desecrations were actually removed from the entire community. Hence this universal festival of penance and expiation was established in order that even all these might be expiated as far as human labor could avail, and that the community, as free as possible from all guilt, might celebrate with joyous feelings the great happy festival of the year which immediately followed. Both this origin and purpose, and also its name, feast of expiation, show its genuine Mosaic character. Here, more than in any other, the entire purpose and the absolute stringency of the higher religion found expression, and it was certainly this religion which first founded the festival. Only in one of its rites, which, strictly speaking, is hardly essential, do we find a remnant of pre-Mosaic belief and life. The festival, then, was by no means to be principally of a domestic character, like the Passover; rather, in contradistinction to the latter, was it to become a thoroughly public festival. Accordingly, the people were not to offer any of the regular sacrifices, but a new one, which should go deeper and reach a more sensitive point in taming man’s sensuous nature than the regular offerings. This was to be a rigid fast from the evening of the ninth to that of the tenth; the solitary fast which Jahveism annually required. The whole structure of Jahveism did indeed require that a sacrifice of the ordinary kind should be offered on this day, as its peculiar importance demanded; but this continued to be purely sacerdotal. It was a great expiatory offering, to be made by the high-priest or his representative. Not only the human members of the community, including the priests, were now deemed impure and in need of expiation, but even the visible sanctuary as well, as though, like a wall between the nation and its God, it received all the stains of impiety which were incurred in the realm. Hence the high-priest employed expiatory offerings of two kinds: one, purely sacerdotal and serving especially for the atonement of the sanctuary, and another, which had special reference to the share of the community, and must therefore also proceed from it. The latter bore quite a national stamp, and evidently forms that portion of the usages which was derived from a pre-Mosaic time, and still retained subsequently.” (“The Antiquities of Israel,” by H. Ewald, pages 361 to 364, which see.)
It seems to us that Ewald’s opinion is not altogether right. We do not agree that this festival shows more of the Mosaic character than any other festival, nor with his opinion about the he- goat destined for Azazel, which he considers a pre-Mosaic rite. He is also not correct in saying that there were no regular sacrifices on that day, only new ones [vide Num. xxix. 7, 8], for the simple reason, if such was the case it would have been observed at the beginning of the second Temple, at least, when the entire Law, as we now have it, was discovered by Ezra; but, as stated above, the observance of that day with pomp and celebration (see Appendix) was begun some time during the middle period of the second Temple.
On the contrary, from the great preparations and parade of
the high-priest to and from the Temple, and from other matters, which took place during the
service itself, we would be inclined to believe that the Hellenism which crept into Judaism has served a great deal towards their origination; and also concerning the he-goat destined for Azazel we have something to say, but as we do not like to lay before our readers the grounds for our supposition, we refrain from making our statement. We content ourselves with referring the reader to the book “Daath Elohim ba-Arez” (“The Knowledge of God in the Land “), by Abraham Krochmal, where he will find some hints concerning the Azazel of the Scripture and the Tsuk (rock of its destination) of the Mishna, and leave to him to form an opinion of the time of its origin.
Concerning the services proper at the Temple, we have to translate here for our English readers what we have already written in our Hebrew commentary to Tract Shekalim, chapter iv., Mishna D: “From this Mishna we can see that during the time of the Temple the leaders of the priests kept everything secret, and their customs were not known to any one else; otherwise there could not have been a dispute concerning the services there immediately after the destruction of the Temple. Moreover, R. Ishmael, himself a priest, and his forefathers, Elisha and Ishmael, were prominent priests during the time of the Temple; also R. Hanina the Segan was one of the prominent priests, still they knew not exactly the ceremonies and the manner of their performance, and differed in their opinions greatly. This must be borne in mind by the readers of the tracts treating the services and sacrifices.”
We have added to this volume the Tract Hagiga, as it relates to the sacrifices of the festivals, and is also of great historical value. Although in the old edition the Tract Hagiga is next to Moed Katan, the last of section Moed, still in our new edition we could not keep up the old rotation, as we have divided the volumes of the above section in approximately uniform size, and each part contains a complete tract. Nevertheless we number the pages of each tract separately, in order that if any one wishes to bind the volumes in the old order, there should be no hindrance.
NEW YORK, January, 1899.
xiii:1 Reading the Scriptures critically, we deem that Lev. xvi. is merely a continuation of Lev. x., where the death of the two sons of Aaron is related when they entered the sanctuary; and after that Aaron is instructed as to the manner in which he can enter the sanctuary so he shall not die. In the entire chapter xvi. no mention is made of the Day of Atonement, except that from
verse 29 to the end of the chapter, we find the command that it shall be a statute forever for all the Israelites, that on the tenth day of the seventh month the high-priest shall make an atonement
p. xiii for his brother priests, for the sanctuary, and for the people of Israel; but there is no command that he, on that day, shall perform all the ceremonies prescribed in the same chapter, for that concerns only the entrance of Aaron into the sanctuary. Also Ewald has considered this point; and it is possible that the sages, during the first Temple, interpreted this passage in the same manner, and all the sages after them, until the middle period of the second Temple, since when the learned priests, for a reason unknown to us, decided that the entire chapter relates to the Day of Atonement; and the sages of the Talmud, on account of this, afterwards deduced from the scriptural passages the elaborate manner of the service on that day to be found in the Talmud.
Next: Synopsis of Subjects, Tract Yomah
SYNOPSIS OF SUBJECTS
MISHNA I. Why the high priest, before the Day of Atonement, and the priest who had to perform the ceremonies of the red cow, were removed from their houses to different chambers in the Temple, and whence we deduce it from the Scriptures. About a substitute of the high- priest. How is it known, when one person communicates something to another, that one has no right to tell it to a third without permission? How did Moses attire Aaron and his children on the days of consecration? Whether the uncleanness of the entire congregation, contracted from a corpse, is not considered, or only postponed. How were the two priests sprinkled? The number of high-priests during the first and second Temples. Why had the first Temple fallen? The second Temple, where the occupations were study of the Law, religious duties, and charity–why fell it? Which one of the Temples was better? Which of the nations are descended from Japheth? Whether the gates of the Temple needed Mezuzahs. Of what material was the girdle of the high- priest made, and whether it was the same as those of the common priests. How was the substitute of the high-priest recognized when the high-priest became unfit during the service, 1-
MISHNA II. What kind of experience did the high-priest have during the seven days? What shall he do first-trim the lamps or prepare the incense? On what altar and what corner must the blood be sprinkled, 18-22
MISHNAS III. to V. What the elders of the Beth Din say to him. What he is free to eat during the seven days, and what on the eve of the Day of Atonement. How the priest selects the offerings he chooses. How the Beth Din left him to the elders of the priests, and what they made him swear. What a high-priest of the Sadducces had done, and what happened to him. What was done when the high-priest began to slumber. How he was occupied, and what was sung to him. How were the ashes cleared away every day and on the Day of Atonement? The miracles that occurred in the Temple. For the crowing of what cock shall one wait before going on the road any night? About the heavenly fire at the second Temple, 22-29
MISHNAS I. to V. Why the priests were selected by lot in the latter days, and not before. Why
Israel must not be counted. How secure and care less should the man feel that knows that the Lord helps him. What is called revenge, and what is called bearing a grudge? The reward of him who leaves his injuries unavenged. The accident that befell two priests. For performing certain four services a layman deserves capital punishment. In what garments were the lots drawn?
Were the lots drawn for each service separately? In what order the members of the sacrifice were offered. The daily sacrifices are offered by nine, ten, eleven, twelve priests. How so? A ram was offered by eleven, a bull by twenty-four, 30-39
MISHNAS I. to IV. What the Superintendent used to say to the priests, and why all this was necessary. What is said about the heat during a clouded day. Rules for entering the Temple for all. Why and where the high-priest bathed five times, and washed his hands and feet ten times. How is it known from the Holy Scriptures? How the service was. When one meets an opportunity to perform a meritorious act. If he was an aged or delicate high-priest, what was then? Concerning the garments of the high-priest and their value. What happened to Hillel, to Eliezer b. Harsum, and Joseph the Upright, 40-49
MISHNAS V. to VII. How did the high-priest confess? and what the people responded after him. Which of the officers were on his right and which were on his left during the service? What Ben Katin made for the Temple, and what his mother Queen Helen made. Concerning the house of Garmo, the house of Abtinas, and Hogros b. Levi (the preparer of shew-bread, incense, etc.). What one of the members of the house of Abtinas related to R. Ishmael. Whence is it derived from the Pentateuch that when the names of the just are mentioned they must be blessed, and, vice versa those of the wicked? When a man sanctifies himself a little here below, he is sanctified much above, 49-57
MISHNAS I. to III. Concerning the lots of the two he-goats, how they were taken from the boxes, and of what material the boxes were made. What happened when Simeon the Upright was high-priest, and after. Simeon the Upright told the sages: “This year I am going to die.” “How dost thou know?” About the six times the high-priest pronounced God’s name, as it is written, during the Day of Atonement. About the tongue of crimson wool which was tied to the head of the goat that was to be sent away, and for the red cow, etc. Concerning the slaughter of the red cow by a layman. What is the reason that a female may not perform the ceremony of sprinkling? The measure of the censer in which the coals for the incense were taken, and of what material it was made, and of what color it was on the Day of Atonement. There were seven kinds of gold. Whence is it deduced that a special fire was made that day, 58-68
MISHNAS I. to VI. About the two handfuls of incense for the Holy of Holies, and how it was used. What concerning the incense between the middle fingers? When he had filled his hands with incense, and suddenly died, how then? If he died while slaughtering, might the blood be
sprinkled? The difference of opinion between R. Jose and the sages about the vail of the Holy of Holies. The ell of the entrance (to the Holy of Holies) was a matter of doubt to the sages. About the ark in the first and second Temples. He departed in the same manner as he had come (backwards). Whence do we deduce this? The custom of the disciples when departing from their masters. The difference of opinion between the sages about the ark: according to some it was taken into exile in Babylon, and according to others it was concealed in its place in the Temple. The world was created from the very middle, beginning with the extremities. Everything was created from Zion. How many times had he to sprinkle downwards? One and one, one. and two, etc. What was the law when the bloods of the bullock and the goat got mingled? Whence does he begin (the sprinkling)? The difference of opinion of some sages about this matter. Whether one is guilty when using the blood for his own purpose. How is the law if he performed the services in a wrong order, or in the wrong clothes? Whether the atonement for all sins includes the sin of uncleanness in the Temple or not, 69-86
MISHNAS I. to V. The equality of the two he-goats. The law if one of them dies after the lots were cast. If a substitute was selected, and then the first one was found. The expression of the high-priest at his confession on the he-goat for Azazel. How the priest delivered the he-goat to its conductor. The question which R. Eliezer was asked, and his answers. How the prominent men of Jerusalem used to accompany the messenger of the he-goat. How far was Jerusalem from the Tsuk (the rock of its destination)? What was done with the tongue of crimson wool, and its signification. About the ten booths between Jerusalem and the Tsuk, and how at each booth the messenger was offered meat and drink. Whether the high priest was told when the he- goat reached its destination, or it was made known to him by a sign, 87-97
MISHNAS I. to III. How the high-priest came to read (the Torah), and in what clothes, and what section, and who were the persons that passed the holy scrolls from one to another until it reached the high-priest. The legend of Alexander the Macedonian and the high-priest Simeon the Upright. The legends about the tempter to idolatry, how he was caught in the time of Ezra and was burned to death. Also the legend of the tempter to fornication, how he was kept prisoner, was blinded in both eyes, and then liberated. Concerning the Great Assembly which has renewed the appellations of our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible, said by Moses, and which some of the prophets left out. What the high-priest did after reading the Torah. At what time the bullock and the seven sheep of the burnt-offerings were offered. How the conductor of the he-goat informs the high-priest that he fulfilled his duty. How the Urim and Tumim were
made. How they were inquired of, and to whom. What letters were, inserted in them. About the three crowns of the altar, the ark, and the table, who received them? About the priest who was anointed for war, his, garments, services, and descendants. How was the ceremony of inquiring the Urim and Tumim, and how the priest received the reply. Whence do we deduce that the inquiries are made for kings only 98-111
MISHNA I. The afflictions which are obligatory on the Day of Atonement. What were the afflictions coming from the manna written in Deuteronomy viii. 16? The visage of the Lord is not like that of a man. How the manna betrayed all the secrets of the Israelites. What is the meaning of the bread of Abirim? What R. Aqiba said, and what R. Ishmael answered him. The question why the manna did not descend for the Israelites once a year, and its answer. What R. Eliezer the Modeite had to say about the manna, which R. Ishmael called a gathering of nonsensical words. How is it known that abstaining from washing and anointing is an affliction? What is the law in regard of one being soiled in clay, etc., whether he may wash himself? When a man goes to receive his father, master, or superior, and has to wade in water reaching to his neck? About the spring that issued from the Holy of Holies. Whether a great man is permitted to decide the question of a blemish of a firstling, and what R. Tzadok b. ‘Haluqah answered.
Whether children are to observe the afflictions? The quantity of food and beverage prohibited from partaking on the Day of Atonement, 112-122
MISHNAS II. to V. What is the law regarding one who ate and drank through forgetfulness? At what age are children made to fast some hours on the Day of Atonement? When a pregnant woman longs for the food which she has smelled. When a man is seized with bulimy, what he may eat, etc. What happened to some rabbis who were seized with bulimy. When a man is bitten by a mad dog. The five things mentioned as symptoms of a dog’s madness. What happened to R. Johanan and the matron; of Rome. How the Sabbath must be superseded when life is threatened. The question put to R. Ishmael, R. Aqiba, and R. Eliezer b. Azariah when on the road about the same, and what they answered, 122-132
MISHNA VI. For what transgressions the Day of Atonement atones. Does the Day of Atonement atone him who says: I will sin and God will forgive me? What penitence atones for? What R. Eliezer b. Azariah while in Rome, was asked by R. Mathiah b. Heresh, and what he answered What is called defamation of God. How penitence is great: it reaches the throne of His glory. How repentance is great: when an individual repents, the whole world is pardoned.
Whether one who has confessed his sins on one Day of Atonement has also to confess on the next one? The sin of Moses is compared to a woman who has eaten fruit on the Sabbatical year, and David’s to a woman who has really sinned. He who has provoked his neighbor, even by words, must appease him. At what place in the prayer should he confess? What the disciples of
R. Ishmael taught, 132-142
APPENDIX. The letter of a Gentile who has witnessed the ceremonies of Passover, and the procession of the high-priest to and from the Temple, 143-147
Next: Chapter I: The Preparations of the High Priest