Daf Yomi

For the week ending 27 November 2010 / 19 Kislev 5771

Zevachim 16 - 22

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • Kohanim whose service is disqualified
  • The mourner, the contaminated one whose purification is incomplete and the one insufficiently garbed
  • Drinking as a disqualification for service and for teaching
  • The material and condition of the kohen garments
  • The requirement for washing hands and feet before performing sacred service
  • The kiyor (laver), its faucets and its pulley
  • What is considered an interruption in the purity of the kohen's hands requiring new washing
  • Placing the hands inside the kiyor
  • How much water must the kiyor contain
  • The disqualification of an uncircumcised kohen

Disqualifying Drink

  • Zevachim 17b

"Do not drink intoxicating wine, you and your sons as well." (Vayikra 10:9) G-d thus commanded Aharon to abstain from such drinking before entering the Sanctuary to perform the sacrificial service. The purpose stated was "In order to distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the contaminated and the pure." (Ibid. 10:10)

These passages are cited in our gemara as the source for disqualifying the sacred service performed by an inebriated kohen. In his commentary on Chumash, Rashi explains that the purpose of distinguishing between a sacred service and a profane one implies that a service performed under the influence of wine is disqualified.

The only application of this rule in post-Temple times is the restriction on a kohen performing the mitzvah of blessing the congregation after drinking wine. Since offering this blessing is compared to sacrificial service, the kohen participating in this service must abstain from drinking.

Does this apply only to wine or does it also apply to other intoxicating drinks?

This is a matter of dispute between leading halachic authorities. In Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 128:38) Mishneh Berurah quotes the Magen Avraham as ruling that other drinks disqualify the kohen only if he reaches a very advanced stage of intoxication, but notes that other authorities rule that he is disqualified once he reaches the point that he cannot properly address a king.

What the Sages Say

"The Sage Rav would not deliver a public Torah lecture after a holiday meal, only the day after, because the drinking of wine disqualified him from any halachic ruling in an inebriated state."

  • Gemara - Zevachim 18a

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