More Discussions for this daf
1. Lishkas ha'Gazis 2. Bringer of the Shovel, Bringer of the Ketores

Tuvya Marcus asks:

on 25b it says that one who did the Machatah became wealthy because anyone who is misasek w/the Ketores becomes wealthy.

my question is - could someone who did the avodah of the Machatah still be eligible for the avodah of the Ketores?

tuvya marcus, jerusalem, Israel

The Kollel replies:

1) The Gemara (25b) cites Rebbi Yehudah who said that there was no lottery for the Machatah, but rather the Kohen who won the Payis for the Ketores granted the right to do the Machatah to the Kohen standing next to him.

2) According to the second answer of Tosfos (DH Ta), in fact it all depends on the Kohen who won the lottery for the Ketores. If he wanted, he could do both the Ketores and the Machatah himself. (However, he usually did not do so because it was slightly hard to do so. Instead, he usually gave this privilege to the Kohen immmediately on his right side so that other Kohanim should not dislike him for not honoring them.)

3) According to this, someone who did the Avodah of the Machatah was still eligible for the Avodah of the Ketores.

4) However I would like to prove from the words of the Ramban in Milchamos Hash-m (Yoma 1b in the pages of the Rif) that the same Kohen cannot do both the Avodah of the Machatah and that of the Ketores. On the first wide line, the Milchamos cites the Yerushalmi (on this Mishnah) where Rebbi Chanina stated that no one ever won the lottery for the Ketores or the Machatah twice in his lifetime. Rebbi Yosi that this is stated in the Beraisa which says that the one who won the Ketores said to the Kohen on his right-hand side, "You take the Machatah." This means that two Kohanim received the Berachah each time.

5) This appears to disagree with what I wrote above in the name of Tosfos and maintains that it must be two different Kohanim who receive the Ketores and the Machatah respectively. Rebbi Chanina compares the fact that no Kohen ever received the Ketores twice to the fact that two different Kohanim do the Ketores and the Machatah, which suggests that if a Kohen did the Avodah of the Machatah he is no longer eligible for the Avodah of the Ketores according to the Ramban (see also Rashash, beginning of 25b).

6) It seems to me that according to the Rambam, the Kohen who performed the Avodah of the Machateh may do the Avodah of the Ketores.

The Rambam (Hilchos Temidim u'Musafin 4:5) describes the four lotteries. The first Payis is for who will remove the ashes from the Mizbe'ach. The Rambam concludes that the Kohen who does the latter also does the Avodah of the Machatah.

7) Then, in 5:7, the Rambam writes that the appointed officer declared, "Anyone who has never performed the Avodah of the Ketores in his life should come and join the Payis for this." This clearly suggests that the only people disqualified are those who have already done Ketores, while somebody who has done the Terumas ha'Mizbe'ach (removal of the ashes) still qualifies for the Ketores. Since the person who did the Terumas ha'Mizbeach also did the Machatah, this proves -- according to the Rambam -- that somebody who did the Avodah of the Machatah is not thereby disqualified for the Ketores.

Dovid Bloom