Siman 373שע״ג
1 א

איזה כהן מוזהר על הטומאה ולאיזה מתים מטמא ועד מתי מטמא. ובו ט' סעיפים:
כשם שהכהן מוזהר שלא לטמאות כך מוזהרי' הגדולים על הקטנים (ודוקא לטמאותן בידים אבל אם הקטנים מטמאין מעצמן עיין בא"ח סימן שמ"ג אי צריך להפרישן) (הרשב"א סימן קכ"ח ומהרי"ו וטור בשם הרמב"ם כתב כאן דאין צריך):

Even as the Kohen1 Glos. is cautioned not to defile himself, so too, are the older [Kohanim]2Or Israelites — Perisha, A.H. cautioned concerning the minor ones.3Yeb. 114a, for it is written: ‘Speak … and say’ (Lev. XXI, 1), where the verb אמר ‘to say or speak’ is repeated, whence the Rabbis derive that adults must not defile minors with their own hands. A minor Kohen who is asleep in the same tent wherein a corpse is present, need not be awakened and removed therefrom. However, in order to train the child in religious practices, it is advisable to awaken him (Agudah) — TaZ, ShaK. And [the warning applies] only with respect to defiling them with one's own hands,4Gemara ibid. but if the minors defile themselves, O.H. § 343, whether it is necessary to separate them.5RaShBA s. 128 and MaHaRIW; Tur, however, on the authority of Maim. (Yad, Ebel III, 12), writes that it is not necessary (to separate them) — G. ‘To separate them,’ means to take the uncleanness away from them. This refers to the Beth Din, but the minor’s father should separate him once he has reached the age for minors to be trained in religious practices (v. Yad ibid.).

2 ב

אפי' בעל מום מוזהר מליטמא אבל חלל וכהנת מותרים ליטמא:

Even [a Kohen]1 Glos. who has a blemish, is cautioned not to defile himself,6Sifra Emor beg. also Rashi on Torah ibid. but one of profaned [Priestly stock]7Heb. חלל i.e., one unfit for Priesthood on account of his father’s illegitimate marriage (Lev. XXI, 7; 14). Sifra ibid.; Yeb. 100b; San. 5b. The ruling here applies only to one who is regarded of profaned Priestly stock Biblically, e.g., one who was the issue of the illegitimate connection of a Kohen and a divorcee (v. Lev. ibid.), but if he is regarded so only Rabbinically, e.g., one who was the issue of a woman released from leviratical marriage by Ḥaliẓah (v. Glos.), he is forbidden to defile himself. Wherever it is doubtful if he is the issue of a divorcee etc., we adopt the stringent view and he is disqualified from the Priesthood (םפיקא דאורייתא לחומרא), but in a doubtful case which is only Rabbinical, he is considered a Kohen in all respects (םפיקא דרבנן לקולא). Thus BaH and ShaK. E.H. § 7. and a daughter of a Kohen,8Sifra ibid.; Kid. 35b; Sot. 23b. are permitted to defile themselves.

3 ג

כל המתים האמורים בפרשה שכהן מטמא להם מצוה שיטמא להם ואם לא רצה מטמאים אותו בעל כרחו אחד האיש ואחד האשה:

All the dead [near-of-kin] mentioned in the Scriptural section9Lev. XXI, 2- for whom a Kohen1 Glos. may defile himself, — [the law is that] it is a religious duty that he defile himself for them; and if he does not wish to [do so], he is defiled against his will.10Zeb. 100a. [This applies] both to the man and to the woman.11If she is the daughter of a Kohen, she too is religiously dutibound to defile herself. Thus N, Asheri, Tur and v. Ket. 53a, Rashi s.v. ולא מיטמאת. According to Maim. (Yad, Ebel II, 6) this refers only to males and not to females. however, A.H. who offers a logical explanation of Maim. point of view and removes the contradiction betwwen Maim. and the other codifiers.

4 ד

אלו הם הקרובים שמיטמא להם אשתו נשואה שהיא כשרה אבל פסולה או גרושה או ארוסה לא אונן ולא מיטמא לה וכן היא לא אוננת ולא מיטמאה לו ומיטמא לאמו אפילו נתחללה ולבנו ולבתו דקים ליה שכלו לו חדשיו או שהם משלשים יום ואילך אפילו הם פסולים חוץ מבנו ובתו משפחה או כותית ולאחיו ולאחותו מאביו אפי' הם פסולים אלא אם כן הם בני שפחה או כותית אבל לאחיו ולאחותו מאמו אינו מטמא [וכן אינו מטמא] לאחותו ארוסה אפילו היא ארוסה לכהן ולא לאנוסה ומפותה אבל מטמא לאחותו ארוסה שנתגרשה ובוגרת ומוכת עץ ומיטמא לשומרת יבם אפילו אם כתב בכתובתה אי מיתת בלא בנים תהדר כתובתך לבי נשא (פירוש לבית אביה):

The following are the near-of-kin for whom [a Kohen]1 Glos. defiles himself, [viz.,]12 Lev. XXI, 2-4 and Sifra a.l. his lawful married wife, but for his unlawful wife,13Yeb. 90b, 21b. or his divorced wife,14Even if he had children with her (Sem(H). IV, 3). or [his wife who was only] betrothed [to him],15Sifra ibid. he does not observe the laws of Onen,1 Glos. nor may he defile himself for her; and likewise, she [in the case of his death] does not observe the laws of Onen,1 Glos. nor may she defile herself for him.16Sifra ibid.; Yeb. 29b; Ket. 53a a.e. She does not have to defile herself for him, only if she so desires, she may do so — ShaK. He defiles himself for his mother, even if she became profaned,17Sifra ibid. This refers to a case where after this Kohen was born, his mother was unlawfully married to another Kohen after having been divorced from her previous marriage — ShaK. Tur includes his father for whom the Kohen defiles himself. It is not mentioned here because it is self evident from the Biblical text in Lev. ibid., and requires no further qualification. and for his son and daughter, where it is certain that its [the infant's] months [of pregnancy] were complete, or that they are over thirty days old,18Even if the months of pregnancy were not complete. Shab. 136a and Sifra ibid. For a doubtful non-viable birth he does not defile himself both in the case of a son, a daughter, a brother and a sister — Shak. even if they are illegitimate, excluding his son and daughter of a slave or a heathen.19Yeb. 22a a.e. [He defiles himself] for his paternal brother and sister,20Sifra ibid. even if they are illegitimate, unless they are the offspring of a slave or a heathen.19Yeb. 22a a.e. But for his maternal brother or sister he does not defile himself.21Sifra ibid.; M.K. 20b. And likewise he does not defile himself for his betrothed sister, even if she were betrothed to a Kohen,22 n. 1. Yeb. 60a in accord with R. Jose and R. Simeon. nor for [a sister] who was outraged or seduced,23Yeb. ibid. An adolescent, Heb. בוגרת (Bogereth) is a girl from the age of twelve years and a half plus one day and onwards. but he defiles himself for his betrothed sister who was divorced24After betrothal (Erusin), the preliminary act of marriage, distinguished from Nissu’in, marriage proper, consisting in conducting the bride to the groom’s permanent (or improvised) home, after which cohabitation is permitted. and [for] one who is adolescent23Yeb. ibid. An adolescent, Heb. בוגרת (Bogereth) is a girl from the age of twelve years and a half plus one day and onwards. and [for] one who was wounded.25One who lost her hymen through an accidental lesion. Yeb. ibid. in accord with R. Jose, R. Judah and R. Meir. He [likewise] defiles himself for a woman awaiting the [decision] of the levir,26Where the widow of a husband who has died childless (v. Deut. V, 5-9) waits for the brother-in-law to marry or to reject her. He defiles himself for her because legally he inherits her Kethubah (v. Glos.) and is considred as her husband. Ket. 81a. Cf. Yeb. 89b, Tosaf. s.v. כיון; RaShBA Resp. III, s. 252. even if [her deceased husband] wrote in her Kethubah,1 Glos. 'if you die childless, your Kethubah1 Glos. will return to the paternal house',27Because legally he inherits her estate (נכסי מלוג) of which a husband has the usufruct. Furthermore, no distinction was made by the Rabbis between this sister-in-law (יבמה) and other sisters-in-law (יבמות) — B.Yos. on the authority of RaShBA. i.e., her father's house.

5 ה

כל אלו שמיטמא להם אפי' שלא לצורך וי"א דדוקא לצורך: הגה ולסברא הראשונה אפילו מת לו מת בשבת שאי אפשר לקברו בו ביום שרי לטמאות לו ולשמרו כדי שלא יהא מוטל בבזיון (ת"ה סי' רפ"ג) ונכון להחמיר כסברא האחרונה שלא לטמאות רק לצורך קבורה ולהביא לו ארון ותכריכין (שם בשם תוספות שנ"ץ):

All those [near-of-kin] for whom he28The Kohen. defiles himself [applies] even [to a defilement] which is not for the requirements [of the corpse].29Sem(H). IV, 7 (according to the reading of N in T.H. cited by B.Yos.) where three opinions are mentioned with respect to how long he is permitted to defile himself for his near-of-kin: ‘How long is he permitted to defile himself for them? — R. Meir says, the entire day. R. Simeon says, three days. R. Judah says on the authority of R. Tarfon, until the closing of the tomb by the Golel.’ From an actual case reported ibid., the third view was accepted by the Rabbis (v. infra par. 6 and notes). Hence, we infer from this that he may defile himself for his near-of-kin even in the case where the defilement is not required for the corpse’s needs, e.g., preparation of shrouds etc. Accordingly, this defilement is considered obligatory — ShaK. And some say, only for the requirements [of the corpse].30E.g., all burial requirements, such as a coffin, shrouds etc. But if these are not required, the Kohen may not defile himself for them — ShaK. Pes. 8a, Tosaf. s.v. בשפחתו end; Nid. 15b, Tosaf. s.v. ובא end. Gloss: And according to the former opinion, even if he28The Kohen. suffered a bereavement on the Sabbath where it is impossible to bury him the same day [on account of the Sabbath], he28The Kohen. is permitted to defile himself for him and guard him so that he should not lie in disgrace.31Ter. ha-Deshen s. 283 — G. It is proper to adopt the stringent view according to the latter opinion [viz.,] that he28The Kohen. should defile himself only for the requirements of the burial32On a weekday the Kohen may be present in the house where his dead near-of-kin lies awaiting burial, even if there are others who attend to the burial needs, since there may be something with respect to the burial needs concerning which his presence is required. Hence, this is regarded as a defilement for the needs of the corpse — P.Tesh. ShaK in Nek. ha-Kesef states that the first opinion is the accepted custom. and [in order] to bring him a coffin and shrouds.33Ibid. on the authority of Tosaf. Sens.G.

6 ו

אינו מיטמא להם אלא עד שיסתום הגולל: (ואם דעתו לפנותו מותר לטמא לו לצורך עד שיסתום גולל שני) (תשובת הרשב"א סימן רצ"ב):

He28The Kohen. defiles himself for them34The near-of-kin. only until the closing of the Golel.35Sem. ibid. Regarding the meaning of the term Golel there is a difference of opinion between Rashi and R. Tam (v. Ket. 4b; supra § 369, n. 5). According to the former, it refers to the cover or lid of the coffin ; according to the latter, to the stone placed upon the grave (this should not be confused with the tombstone). From Rashi’s interpretation it might appear that once the coffin is covered in the house, the Kohen should not be permitted to defile himself for the corpse (since this would be regarded as the closing of the Golel), but in reality, Rashi too, it may be shown from Shab. 152a refers to the closing of the Golel when the coffin is placed in the grave. Hence, it follows that even in accordance with Rashi’s interpretation of Golel, the Kohen may defile himself for his near-of-kin while the coffin stands covered in the house — ShaK. And if his intention is to clear him away [therefrom], he is permitted to defile himself for him for the sake of [his] needs until the closing of the second Golel.36RaShBA Resp. s. 292 — G., as in the case of mourning rites (infra § 375, 3).

7 ז

אסור לכהן להתטמא למת אפילו בעת שמיטמא לקרוביו לפיכך כהן שמת לו מת צריך ליזהר ולקברו בסוף בית הקברות כדי שלא יכנס לבית הקברות ולא יתטמא בקברות אחרים כשיקבור מתו: הגה ודוקא לאחר שפירש ממתו אבל בעוד שהוא עוסק במתו מותר ליטמאות אף לאחרים (טור):

It is forbidden for a Kohen1 Glos. to defile himself for [another] corpse even while he defiles himself for his near-of-kin. Therefore, a Kohen1 Glos. who suffered a bereavement must be careful and bury him [the corpse] at the end of the cemetery, so that he should not [have] to enter the cemetery and will not [thereby] defile himself through other graves when he buries his dead.37 Yad, Ebel II, 15. Gloss: And [this applies] only after he departs from his dead, but while he attends to his dead, he is permitted to defile himself even for other [corpses].38Thus TurG. Derived from Sem(H). IV, 8-10; Naz. 42b in accord with R. Tarfon contra R. Akiba, although ordinarily we rule in accord with R. Akiba when he opposes R. Tarfon, but since the latter (in Sem.) agrees with R. Huna (Naz. ibid.) the law rests with R. Tarfon. Furthermore, when an anonymous opinion is recorded in the Mishna (as in Naz. ibid.) followed by a difference of opinion in a Baraitha, the ruling is in accordance with the anonymous opinion of the Mishna, which in our case is in agreement with R. Tarfon. Cf. also Nid. 57a, Tosaf. s.v. ודילמא for a similar view. However, Y.Naz. III, 5(52d) where R. Tarfon agrees with R. Akiba. W.G. a.l. There is no prohibition against the Kohen defiling himself for another corpse while on his way to attend to the burial rites. It is only on his return after having completed the burial of his near-of-kin, at which time he comes in contact with other graves, that the prohibition takes effect. BaḤ rules that the prohibition exists even when he is on his way to the cemetery, for he can bury his dead at the end of the cemetery grounds and not have to come within proximity of other graves. This seems to be the opinion of Caro here — ShaK.

8 ח

כהן שפירשו אבותיו מדרכי צבור כגון המסורות (*פי' מעלילי עלילות שקר) אינו מיטמא להם ולא להרוגי ב"ד ולא למי שמאבד עצמו לדעת ולא לספק כגון שנתערב ולדה בולד חברתה או ספק בן ט' לראשון או בן ז' לאחרון:

A Kohen1 Glos. whose parents dissociated themselves from the practices of the community, e.g., informers, — does not defile himself for them,39Sem(H). II, 8; Sifra Emor beg.; San. 47a, where the verse, ‘among his people’ (Lev. XXI, 1-2) is expounded to mean that a Kohen may defile himself for his parents, provided the latter followed the practices of his people, but not if they were informers or apostates. supra § 345, 5. nor for those executed by a Jewish Court, nor for one who commits suicide wilfully,40Yad, Ebel II, 8, derived from Mishna San. 46b, where it is stated that no mourning rites are observed for those executed by a Jewish Court, and since mourning rites are observed for those for whom a Kohen defiles himself (M.K. 20b), it follows conversely that a Kohen does not defile himself for those executed by a Jewish Court for whom no formal mourning is observed. The same reasoning applies in the case of a suicide (v. supra § 345). nor for one of uncertain [parentage], e.g., if her child became mixed up with her friend's child,41And one of the fathers was a Kohen and it is now doubtful whether he is the son of the Kohen in which case he must not defile himself for the Israelite father. or it is not known [whether] it is a nine months' child by the former [husband] or a sevenmonths' child by the latter [husband].42This refers to a case where a woman did not wait the required three months’ period after her first husband’s death or after she was divorced from him before remarrying, and one of the two husbands was an Israelite and one was a Kohen (Sifra ibid.; Mishna Yeb. 100). According to one opinion the father does not defile himself for the son, but the son defiles himself for both fathers — P.Tesh. This is refuted by Naḥ. Zebi and R. A. Eger.

9 ט

אין הכהן מיטמא לאבר מן החי מאביו ולא לעצם מעצמות אביו וכן המלקט עצמות אינו מיטמא להם אע"פ שהשדרה קיימת חסר ממנו כל שהוא אפי' הוא מונח אצלו אינו מיטמא לו שאינו מיטמא אלא לשלם ויש מי שאומר דהני מילי כשחסר לאחר מיתה אבל אם חסר ממנו אבר בחייו ומת מיטמא לו אע"פ שאינו שלם: (וי"א שאינו מטמא להרוג דמקרי חסר) (כל בו בשם ר"ש מאוירא) (ונכון להחמיר):

The Kohen1 Glos. does not defile himself for a limb [severed] from his father while [the latter] was still alive, nor for a bone of his father's bones.43Derived from the story of the father of R. Isaac (another reading has R. Ẓadok), the Kohen. Naz. 43b-44a; Yad, Ebel II, 14. And so too, he who collects bones,44Of the near-of-kin of the Kohen for whom he may defile himself. — [the law is that] he28The Kohen. does not defile himself for them, although the spinal column is intact.45Naz. ibid. in accord with Rab and the Elders. Thus also Maim., N, Asheri and Tur. [If] a small part is missing,46From the corpse. even if it lies beside him [the corpse], he does not defile himself for him, for he defiles himself only when he is whole.47Naz. ibid., “‘For his father,’ (Lev. XXI, 2) when he is whole but not when he is defective.” If the shrouds on a corpse are in perfect condition, but it is doubtful whether the corpse is whole or whether the limbs are disjoined, we adopt a lenient view and the Kohen may defile himself for him; but if it is known that the limbs are disjoined, although they are all contained in the coffin, he does not defile himself for him — P.Tesh. And there is one [authority] who says that this applies only if he [the corpse becomes] defective after death,48Or at the time of death, e.g., if he was decapitated and is now not as he was during lifetime. Hence, ‘For his father,’ when he is whole, does not apply — ShaK. Consequently, he may not defile himself for the corpse. supra n. 47. but if there is a limb missing from him during his lifetime, and [then] he died, — he28The Kohen. defiles himself for him [the corpse], although he is not whole.49N in T.H. writes that the matter is still undecided. Be’er ha-Golah. And some say that he28The Kohen. does not defile himself for a slain person, for he [the slain person] is designated defective.50Kol Bo on the authority of R. Samuel b. Shneor of EvreuxG. Thus also B.Yos. A.H. writes that to his knowledge there is no source for this ruling, and that this matter requires further elucidation. And it is proper to adopt the stringent view.