Talmud Tips

For the week ending 23 November 2013 / 20 Kislev 5774

Yoma 16 - 22

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
Become a Supporter Library Library

“One who suspects a good person of wrongdoing will suffer bodily pain.”

This statement, by Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, explains why the kohanim cried after they imposed an oath on the Kohen Gadol that he would do the service on Yom Kippur correctly and not like the Tzedukim taught. Although they were obligated to give this oath, as taught in the mishna, they were nevertheless worried that their suspicion was in fact unjust (in the case of a “kosher” Kohen Gadol), and that they would suffer physically as a result.

Rashi explains that this principle is learned from what happened to Moshe Rabbeinu. When he was sent by G-d to tell the people that they would be taken out of Egypt, Moshe replied, “But they won’t believe me!” — suspecting that the Jewish People lacked faith. As a result he was punished by G-d, and was inflicted with a leprous hand.

  • Yoma 19b

“The Satan” (Yetzer Hara — evil incination) does not have permission to incite to transgression on Yom Kippur.

Rami bar Chama explains on our daf that by examining the gematria numerical value of “HaSatan” — “The Satan” — we can learn this. “The Satan”, the Sage explains, “has the gematria value of 364. But there are 365 days in a year. This teaches that there is one day in the day when he has no permission to incite — on Yom Kippur.”

  • Yoma 20a

“When Klal Yisrael does the will of G-d they will be beyond any number.”

This is the manner in which the Sage Rabbi Yonatan explains the apparent contradiction in a prophetic verse in the Book of Hoshea (2:1): “And the number of the Jewish People will be like the sand at the sea; that cannot be counted.” Rabbi Yonatan asks: “like the sand of sea” implies that they are a finite number, whereas “that cannot be counted” indicates they are countless. He resolves this by teaching that the Jewish People are “finite” when they do not fulfill the will of G-d, but are “infinite” when they fulfill the will of G-d.

  • Yoma 22b

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at ohr@ohr.edu and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to Talmud Tips

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.