Yoma 23 - 29
- Right and wrong revenge
- Counting fingers to select the kohen
- Murder on the altar ramp
- The garment worn for tithing and removal of altar ashes
- What happened to the garments worn by the kohen gadol on Yom Kippur
- The sacred services forbidden to a non-kohen under penalty of premature death
- Why so many lotteries, what they wore at these lotteries and where they were held
- The second lottery and the order in which parts of sacrifice were brought to the altar
- The third lottery for offering incense and its unique character
- How many kohanim were involved in bringing the daily communal sacrifice components to the altar
- The water libation on Succot and the two additional logs on the altar for the daily afternoon sacrifice
- How many kohanim were involved in bringing the parts of a sacrificed ram to the altar and which services could be performed by a non-kohen
- When the morning daily sacrifice could be slaughtered and how this time was determined
- The Patriarch Avraham’s time of prayer, his voluntary performance of mitzvot, and the pattern he set for the historical role of the Yeshiva
- Why a lookout for dawn was necessary and how he communicated what he saw
- Some insights on natural phenomena, on Queen Esther and on the prayers of the righteous
- What is done with animal and flour offerings in which a sacred service was performed before daylight
- The lechem hapanim showbreads placed after Shabbat
One Way to Get Rich
- Yoma 26a
When the third lottery of the day in the Beit Hamikdash came around, an announcement was made that only those kohanim who had never had the opportunity to offer incense should line up for the selection. The reason why no kohen ever got a chance to perform this service more than once in his career, explains Rabbi Chanina, is because there was a Heavenly blessing of riches that came along with it.
This idea of spreading the wealth arising from a mitzvah is extended to the role of the sandek who holds the baby when he is circumcised. Since circumcision is compared to offering incense, it is assumed that the crucial role played by the sandek will bring him riches. It is therefore customary, writes RaMa (Yoreh Deah 265:11), for the father to refrain from honoring the same person to be sandek for more than one of his children, so that others will also have the opportunity to get rich.
The Gaon of Vilna challenges this explanation from both logical and practical perspectives. If the purpose of the custom is indeed to spread the wealth as in the case of incense, why is it limited to one family and not preclude anyone from ever being a sandek a second time? He also notes that we have never seen anyone actually become rich from being a sandek and concludes that there is a mystical reason found in the Will of Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid for limiting the sandek to one child in a family.
Among Chassidim it is customary for the Rebbie, the leader of the community, to fill the role of sandek for more than one child in a family because his status is comparable to that of a kohen gadol, who had the privilege of offering incense as often as he wished.
What the Sages Say
“Those who suffer shame from others but do not shame them, who hear themselves embarrassed but do not respond, who serve G-d with love and happily accept the sufferings which He imposes upon them — concerning them it is said(Shoftim 5:31) ‘Those who love Him shall be like the sun which goes forth with all its power.’ ”
- Beraita, Yoma 23a
“The zealous rush to do what G-d has commanded them, as we find that ‘Avraham woke up early and saddled his donkey’ (Bereishet 22:3) to fulfill the Divine command to sacrifice his son.”
- Beraita, Yoma 28b