Daf Yomi

For the week ending 19 February 2011 / 14 Adar I 5771

Zevachim 100 - 106

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • The kohen and kohen gadol whose relative dies
  • The status of an onan – a fresh mourner – in regard to the sacrificial service
  • The dialogue between Moshe and Aharon following the death of the latter's sons
  • When Pinchas became a kohen
  • The quarantining and release of Miriam
  • Respect for royalty
  • The right of a kohen with a physical blemish to eat sacrificial meat
  • Those who are forbidden to share in sacrificial meat
  • When the kohen is entitled to the skin of an olah sacrifice
  • The bullock and goat sacrifices burned outside the Beit Hamikdash
  • Slaughtering and offering a sacrificial animal outside of the Beit Hamikdash

The Belated Anointment

  • Zevachim 101b

After Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon HaKohen, saved his people from the continuation of a plague by slaying the sinner Zimri, he received this promise from G-d:

"And it shall be for him and his offspring after him a covenant of eternal priesthood." (Bamidbar 25:13)

Although the priesthood had already been bestowed upon Aharon and his descendants, Rashi points out, Pinchas had not yet been anointed as a kohen. Neither was he entitled to that status as a descendant of Aharon, because that right of inheritance was reserved for those who were born after Aharon's appointment.

While Rabbi Elazar states in the name of Rabbi Chanina that Pinchas actually assumed the status of kohen after slaying Zimri, a different view is presented by Rabbi Ashi.

He refers us to the role played by Pinchas in averting a civil war as a result of an altar built by the tribes of Reuven, Gad and Menashe by the YardenRiver. After making peace between the tribes he is referred to as Pinchas HaKohen (Yehoshua 22:30) rather than just the son of Elazar HaKohen as he is called everywhere else. This leads to the conclusion that only then, many years after the slaying of Zimri, did he achieve the status of kohen.

Rabbi Ashi explains the promise given after the Zimri slaying as a blessing from G-d. Tosefot points out that Pinchas could have assumed priesthood at that time by being anointed, but there was some opposition to this among the people because he had slain the head of a tribe. Only when he succeeded in making peace between the tribes did they consent to anointing him as kohen.

What the Sages Say

"When greatness is bestowed on one by Heaven it is intended for all of his descendants. But if he becomes conceited G-d humbles him."

  • Rabbi Elazar in the name of Rabbi Chanina - Zevachim 102a

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