More Discussions for this daf
1. Praying that the court should err 2. Death of the Cohen Gadol 3. Korban Pesach for a Goleh
4. Using Shem Hash-m 5. Kohen Gadol Nimtza Ben Gerushah 6. Korban from an Ir Miklat
7. Kilelelas Chacham Afilu al Tenay 8. The Goleh and his Korban Pesach 9. Praying for the Kohen Gadol to Die
10. Moshe Davening for Yehudah 11. Kehunah Dies and Comes Back to Life 12. קללה על תנאי

Mendy Hirth asked:

The Gemara discuses Kohen Gadol Nimtza Ben Gerushah Bitla o Meisah. According to Meisah, what if Eidim say the Eidim that said the Kohen is a Ben Gerushah are Pasul i.e. related ,gamblers etc would we now ask everyone to come back to the Miklat & could the Go'el Hadam kill them on the way?

Mendy Hirth,

The Kollel replies:

This is a very interesting question. I am going to give a quick answer for the time being.

(1) The Ritva at the bottom of 11b asks on the opinion of the Gemara there ("Maisa Kehunah") that when the Kohen Gadol is proved to be the son of a divorcee this is considered equivalent to the K.G. dying (i.e. the KG is only considered invalid from now on but not retroactively) :- how can one compare the KG dying to the KG being invalidated? We know that when the KG dies this is a Kapara and the crime of the murderers is atoned for and they may therefore go home, but where is the Kapara when the KG is merely proved to be a Chalal, an invalid Kohen?

(2) The Ritva answers that the pain suffered by the KG when they found out about his pesul, is equivalent to him dying. The anguish that he suffers through losing his lofty position and the embarassment he sustained, is also sufficient to be "Mechaper".

(3) According to this it would appear that even if the KG was afterwards re-instated - because the eidim who invalidated him were themselves invalidated - nevertheless the pain that the KG suffered at the time of his original disgrace, cannot be erased. Therefore the Rotzeach received his Kapara and he does not need to return to the Ir Miklat, and the Go'el ha'Dam has no right to kill him.

Thanking you again for this fascinating question


Dovid Bloom

The Kollel writes further:

I found an important source who elaborates on the above Ch idush of the Ritva. According to this my original answer may not be correct.

(1) The source is the Dvar Avraham 1:26:8 DH Aval (written by Rav Avraham Duber Cahana Shapira, the last Rav of Kovna before and during the Holocaust). The Dvar Avraham points out that the Ritva's svoro appears to be very strange. How can one possibly say that because the Kohen Gadol suffers pain this is considered equivalent to dying? Is it at all posible that if the KG suffered some other kind of pain (for instance a severe financial loss) that this would also be equivalent to him dying?!

(2) To solve this paradox, Dvar Avraham explains that in fact in the standard case where the KG dies there are 2 factors that enable the Rotzchim to go free (a) the sorrow caused by the death of the KG which serves as a kapara (b) the fact that there has been a break in the position of the KG because after he died he clearly is no longer the KG. If only one of these factors exist the Rotzchim do not go free, which answers the Dvar Avraham's rhetorical question mentioned above in (1), since the KG suffering pain can only set the Rotzchim free if in addition the KG also loses his job.

(3) According to this, if the KG is proved to be the son of a divorcee both (a) and (b) are fulfilled :- (a) is fulfilled because of the pain caused to the KG by his disqualfication and (b) is fulfilled because his officiating as KG has been ceased by his disqualification. However if afterwards the witnesses who disqualified the KG are themselves proved to be thieves etc., even though the KG experienced (a) since his demotion caused him anguish equivalent to death, nevertheless after the KG was re-instated one can argue that (b) was not fulfilled because even though his position was temporarily lost, on the other hand later on he received his rank back.

Therefore even though the KG suffered terrible embarassment when he was disqualified, his position as KG was not cut off, and it should follow that this is not equivalent to the KG dying and the Rotzchim do not go free.


Dovid Bloom

Mendy Hirth asks further:

(a)How do you know if it needs a permanent loss of job?

(b)For instance when a person is supposed to go to the ahrei miklat & loses his job he doesnt get back his position when the Kohen Gadol dies. But what if he had apsak & then the Kohen Gadol dies would he get his job back (it might depend on your answer). and it should follow that this is not equivalent to the Kohen Gadol dying and the Rotzchim do not go free.

(c) If they went out on Sunday & the Goel Hadam killed them on Monday (murdered them) and subsequently we found out on Tuesday the Edim that said Ben Gerushah were Pasul do we say retroactively they were killed correctly b'heter by the goel hadam or not?

Mendy Hirth

The Kollel replies:

(a) I think that it is logical to assume that only a permanent loss of job would be considered "Hefsek Kehunah" according to the Dvar Avraham. This is because it is already a big chidush to say "Mesah Kehunah," and to consider the disqualification of the Kohen Gadol as being equivalent to his death. To compare his temporary disqualification to his death appears to me to be taking things too far.

The Gemara sometimes says "Ein Lecha Bo Ela Chidusho" (see for instance Shevuos end 25b). That is, one should not extend a Chidush farther than is necessary.

[To put this slightly differently, if we say that it is considered "Mesah Kehunah" even if the Kohen Gadol is disqualified only temporarily, would mean that we have created "Techiyas Ha'Meisim." The Kohen Gadol can die and then be brought back to life again!]

(b) I did not understand this question. The Gemara only states that if the Kohen Gadol loses his job it might be equivalent to dying. The Rotze'ach losing his job is clearly a very different story.

(c) This is another brilliant and fascinating question! To start to tackle it, we must try and understand the thinking behind the Halachah that the Go'el ha'Dam is allowed to kill the Rotze'ach if he leaves the Ir Miklat. It appears to be different than the Heter to kill the Rotze'ach when he is on the way to the Ir Miklat, because in the latter case the Torah (Devarim 12:9) says that this is because "his heart was hot." In contrast, even if the Rotze'ach had been in the Ir Miklat for decades and then went outside, the Go'el ha'Dam may still kill him. This is true even though he had presumably calmed down from his initial feelings of revenge.

It may be possible to understand the concept with the help of Chidushei Ramban Makos 9a DH Ha. The Ramban writes that the blood of the person who was killed may not be forgiven, and that is why it is appropriate for the Rotze'ach to live with the constant fear that he may be killed by the Go'el ha'Dam. This can be further explained with Rashi Sanhedrin end 57a DH Keyotzei that blood spilt even b'Shogeg is considered totally as bloodshed just the same as if it was done b'Mezid, but in the case of Shogeg, the Torah took pity on the murderer and allowed him to go to the Ir Miklat.

If one considers the fact that the Go'el ha'Dam has to remain inside the Ir Miklat to be a punishment, then one can say that as long as he remains inside the Ir Miklat, the Go'el ha'Dam may not kill him, because he is receiving a different punishment. It follows that the minute he leaves the Ir Miklat, the Go'el ha'Dam can now apply his own punishment and kill him.

Let us apply the above reasoning to your case. The Rotze'ach left the Ir Miklat, and it transpired later that he was not permitted to do so because they afterwards discovered that the Kohen Gadol was really valid all along. Thus the Rotze'ach left the city without justification and therefore he was not receiving punishment for his crime at the time. It is possible therefore that when the Go'el ha'Dam killed him, he was considered as justified in carrying out the punishment himself.

However it should be stressed that this is a difficult question and I am only jotting down initial thoughts but it still requires a lot more thinking.

[I got some of my ideas from a very interesting discussion about Go'el ha'Dam written by Rabbi Yakov David Ilan shlita, a Magid Shiur in the Chadera yeshiva, printed recently in the Riv'on Kiryat Sefer issue of Adar 5770]


Dovid Bloom