Yoma 58 - 64
- Barrier between kohen and the sacrificial blood
- Application of blood to the golden altar
- Turning to the right
- Where remnants of the blood were poured
- Status of something after its mitzvah has been done with it
- The strictness of performing everything in the Yom Kippur service in exact order
- Spilled blood on Yom Kippur and spilled oil of the metzora
- The twin goats of Yom Kippur
- Penalty for slaughtering them outside the Beit Hamikdash
- When one of them dies
- Yoma 58a
What constitutes proper contact between the person performing a mitzvah and the object he is handling?
This was the question raised by the Sage Rami bar Chama in our gemara. The kohen is required to receive the blood of a slaughtered sacrifice in a sacred receptacle in preparation for applying it to the altar. What if there is a receptacle within the receptacle held by the kohen? Does the fact that they are both of the same nature allow us to view this as direct contact between the kohen and the vessel containing the blood, or does the inside receptacle act as a barrier?
Tosefot points out that if there was some other object inside the receptacle that is not of the same nature it would certainly be considered a barrier between the blood and the kohen holding the receptacle. Why, asks Tosefot, is this different from the gemara (Succah 37a) concerning the taking of the four species on Succot, which permits taking the lulav through some other object like a cloth?
The distinction made is that in the case of the lulav the cloth wrapped around the lulav is extended beyond the bottom of the lulav to form a handle through which the lulav is held. This is considered a normal and dignified taking of the lulav. The parallel to the case of the foreign object inside the blood receptacle – a cloth wrapped around the hand of the taker – would be considered an improper taking of the lulav since the cloth acts as a barrier rather than a handle.
(For more details about the right and wrong ways to perform the mitzvah of lulav without directly touching it, see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 551:7)
What the Sages Say
“Every turn you make in performing the service in the Beit Hamikdash should be to the right.”
- The Sage Rami bar Yechezkel - Yoma 58b