For the week ending 24 March 2012 / 29 Adar I 5772

Kritot 2 - 8

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • The 36 sins punished by karet (extirpation)
  • Why total number is mentioned in addition to listing the details
  • Which violations of Torah prohibitions are not punished with lashes
  • How it is possible to be guilty of three sins for one act of eating forbidden matter
  • The formula for preparing incense to be offered daily in Beit Hamikdash
  • Who and what were anointed with the special oil prepared by Moshe
  • More about the ingredients of the incense
  • Which sins do not gain atonement of Yom Kippur
  • The sacrifice brought by a woman after childbirth

What's in a Name?

The formula for preparing the incense that was offered on the golden altar in the Beit Hamikdash every morning and afternoon is recited daily as part of our Shacharit morning service (and by some in the Mincha afternoon service as well).

This formula, which is spelled out in our gemara, mentions the need to apply a liquid called borit karshino to the cloves used in the incense in order to bring out its full fragrance. Something called mei raglayim could have been even more effective in producing this effect, says the gemara, but it cannot be brought into the Sanctuary because it would be disgraceful.

What exactly is mei raglayim?

There are two approaches to identifying it. One is that it is urine, which easily explains why it would not be fitting to bring into the Sanctuary such an ingredient.

The other approach is that there was a certain plant which was called by that name. The very fact that the same name is applied to urine created an association that made it unfit for entry into a place of holiness.

  • Kritot 6a

What the Sages Say

"Many miracles occurred in regard to the oil of anointment which Moshe prepared."

  • Rabbi Yehuda - Kritot 5b

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