Yoma 39aיומא ל״ט א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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39aל״ט א

בא למדוד נפט אומר לו מדוד אתה לעצמך בא למדוד אפרסמון אומר לו המתן לי עד שאמדוד עמך כדי שנתבסם אני ואתה

In the case of one who comes to measure and purchase naphtha, the merchant says to him: Measure it for yourself, as I prefer to keep my distance from the foul odor. With regard to one who comes to measure and purchase balsam, the merchant says to him: Wait for me until I can measure it with you, so that you and I will both be perfumed. Similarly, with regard to sin God merely provides an opening, whereas with regard to mitzvot God assists the individual in their performance.

תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל עבירה מטמטמת לבו של אדם שנאמר (ויקרא יא, מג) ולא תטמאו בהם ונטמתם בם אל תקרי ונטמאתם אלא ונטמטם

In the school of Rabbi Yishmael it was taught: Sin stupefies the heart of a person who commits it, as it is stated: “And do not impurify yourselves with them, so that you should not be thereby impurified” (Leviticus 11:43) Do not read that term as: “And be impurified [venitmetem]”; rather, read it as: And your hearts will be stupefied [venitamtem].

תנו רבנן (אל) תטמאו בהם ונטמתם בם אדם מטמא עצמו מעט מטמאין אותו הרבה מלמטה מטמאין אותו מלמעלה בעולם הזה מטמאין אותו לעולם הבא

The Sages taught the following with regard to the verse: “And do not impurify yourselves with them, so that you should not be thereby impurified”; a person who impurifies himself a bit, they impurify him greatly. If a person impurifies himself of his own volition below, on earth, they impurify him even more so above, in Heaven. If a person impurifies himself in this world, they impurify him in the World-to-Come.

תנו רבנן (ויקרא יא, מד) והתקדשתם והייתם קדושים אדם מקדש עצמו מעט מקדשין אותו הרבה מלמטה מקדשין. אותו מלמעלה בעולם הזה מקדשין אותו לעולם הבא

Conversely, the Sages taught the following with regard to the verse: “Sanctify yourselves and you will be sanctified” (Leviticus 11:44); a person who sanctifies himself a bit, they sanctify him and assist him greatly. If a person sanctifies himself below, they sanctify him above. If a person sanctifies himself in this world, they sanctify him in the World-to-Come.
Panoramic view of Alexandria



הדרן עלך אמר להם הממונה

מתני׳ טרף בקלפי והעלה שני גורלות אחד כתוב עליו לשם ואחד כתוב עליו לעזאזל הסגן בימינו וראש בית אב משמאלו אם של שם עלה בימינו הסגן אומר לו אישי כהן גדול הגבה ימינך ואם של שם עלה בשמאלו ראש בית אב אומר לו אישי כ"ג הגבה שמאלך

MISHNA: The High Priest would mix the lots in the lottery receptacle used to hold them and draw the two lots from it, one in each hand. Upon one was written: For God. And upon the other one was written: For Azazel. The deputy High Priest would stand to the High Priest’s right, and the head of the patrilineal family would stand to his left. If the lot for the name of God came up in his right hand, the Deputy would say to him: My master, High Priest, raise your right hand so that all can see with which hand the lot for God was selected. And if the lot for the name of God came up in his left hand, the head of the patrilineal family would say to him: My master, High Priest, raise your left hand.

נתנן על שני השעירים ואומר לה' חטאת רבי ישמעאל אומר לא היה צריך לומר חטאת אלא לה' והן עונין אחריו ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד

Then he would place the two lots upon the two goats, the lot that arose in his right hand on the goat standing to his right side and the lot in his left hand on the goat to his left. And upon placing the lot for God upon the appropriate goat, he would say: For God, as a sin-offering. Rabbi Yishmael says: He need not say: As a sin-offering. Rather, it is sufficient to say: For God. And upon saying the name of God, the priests and the people respond after him: Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom forever and all time.

גמ׳ למה לי טרף בקלפי כי היכי דלא ניכוין ולישקול

GEMARA: Why do I need the High Priest to have mixed the lots in a receptacle before he draws the lots? In order that he not be able to intentionally take the lot for God specifically with his right hand. Since it is a fortuitous omen for the lot for God to arise in his right hand, there is a concern that he might force the result, in contravention of the requirement that the designation of the goats be made through a random lottery.

אמר רבא קלפי של עץ היתה ושל חול היתה ואינה מחזקת אלא שתי ידים

Rava said: The receptacle was made out of wood and did not have the status of a sacred vessel. Rather, it was unconsecrated, and it had enough space inside only for the High Priest’s two hands.

מתקיף לה רבינא בשלמא אינה מחזקת אלא שתי ידים כי היכי דלא ליכוין ולישקול אלא של חול נקדשה אם כן הוה לה כלי שרת של עץ וכלי שרת דעץ לא עבדינן ונעבדה דכסף ונעבדה דזהב התורה חסה על ממונן של ישראל

Ravina strongly objects to this: Granted, it was constructed so that it had enough space inside it only for the High Priest’s two hands. This was done so that he could not maneuver his hands inside the box to feel and examine the lots, in order that he not be able to intentionally take the lot for God specifically with his right hand. But why was the receptacle unconsecrated? Let it be consecrated as a sacred vessel. If so, if it were to be consecrated, it would be a sacred vessel made of wood, and the halakha is that we do not make a sacred vessel from wood. But if this is the only issue, let it be made out of silver or let it be made out of gold. However, the Torah spared the money of the Jewish people and did not want to burden them with the expense of having to make the receptacle from expensive materials. Therefore, it is made from wood, and as such it is precluded from being a sacred vessel.

מתניתין דלא כי האי תנא דתניא רבי יהודה אומר משום רבי אליעזר הסגן וכהן גדול מכניסין ידן בקלפי אם בימינו של כהן גדול עולה הסגן אומר לו אישי כהן גדול הגבה ימינך ואם בימינו של סגן עולה ראש בית אב אומר לו לכהן גדול דבר מילך

The Gemara comments: The mishna is not in accordance with the opinion of this tanna whose opinion was taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda says in the name of Rabbi Eliezer: The Deputy and the High Priest insert their hands into the receptacle. If the lot for God comes up in the High Priest’s right hand, the Deputy says to him: My master, High Priest, raise your right hand. And if the lot for God comes up in the right hand of the Deputy, the head of the patrilineal family says to the High Priest: Speak your word and declare the goat to your left side to be the sin-offering for God.

ונימא ליה סגן כיון דלא סליק בידיה חלשא דעתיה

The Gemara asks: Why should the head of the patrilineal family instruct the High Priest to speak? Let the Deputy say this to him. The Gemara answers: Since the lot for God did not come up in the High Priest’s hand, rather in the Deputy’s, he might be discouraged if the Deputy himself instructs him to speak, as it may appear that he is mocking him.

במאי קא מיפלגי מר סבר ימינא דסגן עדיף משמאליה דכהן גדול ומר סבר כי הדדי נינהו

With regard to what do the tanna’im of the mishna and baraita disagree? One Sage, the tanna of the baraita, holds that the Deputy’s right hand is preferable to the High Priest’s left hand. As such, the ideal way for the lots to be drawn is for both the Deputy and High Priest to use their right hands. And the other Sage, the tanna of the mishna, holds they are equivalent. Therefore, there is no reason for the Deputy to be involved, and the entire process is performed by the High Priest.

ומאן האי תנא דפליג עליה דרבי יהודה רבי חנינא סגן הכהנים הוא דתניא רבי חנינא סגן הכהנים אומר למה סגן מימינו שאם אירע בו פסול בכהן גדול נכנס סגן ומשמש תחתיו

And who is this tanna who argues with Rabbi Yehuda? It is Rabbi Ḥanina, the Deputy of the priests, as it was taught in a baraita: Rabbi Ḥanina, the Deputy of the priests, says: Why did the Deputy remain at the High Priest’s right side throughout the day’s service? Because if some disqualification befalls the High Priest, the Deputy can step in and serve in his stead. It is apparent from Rabbi Ḥanina’s statement that as long as the High Priest remains qualified, the Deputy has no role in the day’s service, which disputes Rabbi Yehuda’s opinion.

תנו רבנן ארבעים שנה ששמש שמעון הצדיק היה גורל עולה בימין מכאן ואילך פעמים עולה בימין פעמים עולה בשמאל והיה לשון של זהורית מלבין מכאן ואילך פעמים מלבין פעמים אינו מלבין והיה נר מערבי דולק מכאן ואילך פעמים דולק פעמים כבה

§ The Sages taught: During all forty years that Shimon HaTzaddik served as High Priest, the lot for God arose in the right hand. From then onward, sometimes it arose in the right hand and sometimes it arose in the left hand. Furthermore, during his tenure as High Priest, the strip of crimson wool that was tied to the head of the goat that was sent to Azazel turned white, indicating that the sins of the people had been forgiven, as it is written: “Though your sins be as crimson, they shall be white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). From then onward, it sometimes turned white and sometimes it did not turn white. Furthermore, the western lamp of the candelabrum would burn continuously as a sign that God’s presence rested upon the nation. From then onward, it sometimes burned and sometimes it went out.

והיה אש של מערכה מתגבר ולא היו כהנים צריכין להביא עצים למערכה חוץ משני גזירי עצים כדי לקיים מצות עצים מכאן ואילך פעמים מתגבר פעמים אין מתגבר ולא היו כהנים נמנעין מלהביא עצים למערכה כל היום כולו

And during the tenure of Shimon HaTzaddik, the fire on the arrangement of wood on the altar kept going strongly, perpetually by itself, such that the priests did not need to bring additional wood to the arrangement on a daily basis, except for the two logs that were brought in order to fulfill the mitzva of placing wood upon the arrangement. From then onward, the fire sometimes kept going strongly and sometimes it did not, and so the priests could not avoid bringing wood to the arrangement throughout the entire day.

ונשתלחה ברכה בעומר ובשתי הלחם ובלחם הפנים וכל כהן שמגיעו כזית יש אוכלו ושבע ויש אוכלו ומותיר מכאן ואילך נשתלחה מאירה בעומר ובשתי הלחם ובלחם הפנים וכל כהן מגיעו כפול הצנועין מושכין את ידיהן והגרגרנין נוטלין ואוכלין ומעשה באחד שנטל חלקו וחלק חבירו והיו קורין אותו בן

And a blessing was sent upon the offering of the omer; and to the offering of the two loaves from the new wheat, which was sacrificed on Shavuot; and to the shewbread, which was placed on the table in the Temple. And due to that blessing, each priest that received an olive-bulk of them, there were those who ate it and were satisfied, and there were those who ate only a part of it and left over the rest because they were already satisfied from such a small amount. From then onward, a curse was sent upon the omer, and to the two loaves, and to the shewbread, that there were not sufficient quantities to give each priest a full measure. Therefore, each priest received just an amount the size of a bean; the discreet, pious ones would withdraw their hands, a bean-bulk being less that the quantity needed to properly fulfill the mitzva, and only the voracious ones would take and eat it. And an incident occurred with one who took his portion and that of his fellow, and they called him: Son of