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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 40



(a) In the context of Duchening, the Tzibur say the three Pesukim "Hinei Chi-Chein Yevorach Gaver Yerei Hashem"; "Yevarech'cha Hashem mi'Tziyon, u'Re'ei be'Tuv Yerushalayim Kol Yemei Chayecha"; "u'Re'ei Vanim le'Vanecha Shalom al Yisrael" - at Ne'ilah on Yom Kipur.

(b) According to Rav Yosef, the Tzibur recite one of the three Pesukim (in each of the above respective groups) after each B'rachah. Rav Sheishes says - that they mention it after the mention of Hashem's Name.

(c) In another Machlokes, Rav Mari or Rav Z'vid maintains that they recited one Pasuk after each B'rachah - according to the other one, they recited all three Pesukim each time.

(a) According to Rebbi Chiya bar Aba, the Tzibur only recite these Pesukim in the Beis-Hamikdash - in honor of Hashem's four-letter Name, which was only pronounced there (but not elsewhere).

(b) Rav Chanina bar Papa proves that it is wrong to recite them even in the Beis Hamikdash - because an Eved is expected to pay attention whilst he is being blessed.

(c) Whereas Rav Acha bar Chanina proves that one should even recite them outside the Beis-Hamikdash - because how can an Eved receive a blessing and not acknowledge it?

(d) Rebbi Avahu initially taught that one should not recite any of the above Pesukim - because he noticed that Rebbi Aba from Acco did not recite them (the word 'initially' is unclear however, since there is no indication that he retracted from this opinion).

(a) The wife of Rebbi Avahu's Meturgeman told Rebbi Avahu's wife - that her own husband was just as learned as Rebbi Avahu, and that he only honored him because he was close to the royal family.

(b) When his wife told him about it - he replied 'What's the difference to you? As long as Hashem's Name is praised between the two of us'?

(c) This led him to believe that he was humble, until he saw the humility of Rebbi Aba from Acco - who did not protest when he taught his Meturgeman one reason for something and the Meturgeman conveyed his own reason to the public.

(d) Rebbi Avahu declined to accept the post of Rosh Yeshivah - because Rebbi Aba from Acco owed a lot of money, and he wanted him to get the position, in order to become wealthy (since it is obligatory to enrich a Rosh Yeshivah, so that his Talmidim will treat him with respect) and pay off his creditor.

(a) When Rebbi Avahu and Rebbi Chiya bar Aba once arrived at a certain place - Rebbi Avahu Darshened Agadah, and Rebbi Chiya bar Aba, Halachah, and all the people came to listen to Rebbi Avahu.

(b) Attempting to raise a depressed Rebbi Chiya bar Aba's spirits - Rebbi Avahu compared the case to two salesmen who arrived in town. The one was selling precious stones, the other was peddling cheap goods, such as balls of wool and needles. To which one do you think all the customers came running? To the latter of course, because his goods were cheap!

(c) In an additional attempt to pacify Rebbi Chiya bar Aba - he accompanied him home at the end of the day, although it was Rebbi Chiya bar Aba who normally accompanied Rebbi Avahu, in honor of the king, with whom he was close (as we explained earlier).

(d) He did not fully succeed - because Rebbi Chiya bar Aba remained distressed.

(a) Whilst the Shatz is saying 'Modim', there are a host of opinions as to what the Tzibur say. According to Rav, they say 'Modim Anachnu Lach, Hashem Elokeinu ... ', Shmuel adds 'Elokei Chol Basar ... ', until Rav Acha bar Ya'akov, who adds 'Kein Techaneinu u'Sechaneinu ... '. What all the opinions have in common is - that they end with 'Al she'Anu Modim Lach' (See Tosfos DH 'Al').

(b) Rav Papa's final ruling is - that we recite them all.

(a) Rebbi Yitzchak extrapolates from the obligation of the Kohanim to face the people, even though it means turning their backs to the Shechinah - that one needs to have 'Eimas Tzibur' (awe of the community).

(b) Rav Nachman extrapolates the same thing from the Pasuk "va'Yakam ha'Melech David al Raglav, va'Yomer Shim'uni Achai ve'Ami". He interprets the strange phrase "Achai ve'Ami" to mean that if Yisrael obey him, then he considers them his brothers, but if not, then they are his people, and he will rule them with a heavy hand. The fact that he first referred to them as "Achai" indicates the esteem in which he held them.

(c) The Rabbanan thought to extrapolate the same from the Beraisa which forbids the Kohanim to wear shoes when going up to Duchen (one of the ten Takanos of Raban Yochanan ben Zakai). They ascribed the reason for this to the likelihood of the Kohen's clothes becoming slightly raised as he stretched out his hands to Duchen, revealing his muddy shoes.

(d) Rav Ashi refutes their proof, however. The real reason for the prohibition he explains is - because we are afraid that the Kohen's shoelace may break on his way up to Duchen, and in order to avoid being ridiculed for wearing untied shoes, he will descend from the Duchan to tie up his lace whilst the other Kohanim are Duchening. This will cause people to think that he is a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah (See Hagahos R'dal).




(a) The Kohanim did not pause between one B'rachah and the next during the three B'rachos of Birchas Kohanim - because it was not customary to respond with 'Amen' in the Beis-Hamikdash, so it resembled one B'rachah (they did however, respond with 'Baruch Sheim ... ' after the mention of Hashem's Name (see Tosfos DH 've'Kol Kach' and Tosfos Yom-Tov).

(b) The Tana of the Beraisa learns from the Pasuk ...

1. ... "Kumu u'Varchu es Hashem Elokeichem min ha'Olam ve'Ad ha'Olam" - that this was the text of each B'rachah that they recited in the Mikdash (e.g. 'Barush Hashem Elokei Yisrael min ha'Olam ve'Ad ha'Olam, Magen Avraham').
2. ... "vi'Yevarchu Sheim Kevodecha u'Meromam al Kol B'rachah u'Sehilah" - that the response to every B'rachah (and to each mention of Hashem's Name) was 'Baruch Sheim K'vod Malchuso le'Olam va'Ed' (and not just 'Amen').
(a) Before the Kohen Gadol Leined on Yom-Kipur, a small ceremony would take place. The Chazan ha'K'nesses would take the Seifer-Torah (that Ezra had written) and hand it to the Rosh ha'K'nesses.
1. The Chazan ha'K'nesses was - the Shammes, who saw to the needs of the Beis-Hamikdash, such as preparing the Sefer-Torah, placing a cloth on the Bimah.
2. The Rosh ha'K'nesses - was the Gabai, who was in charge of the Aliyos to the Torah and of appointing the Shatz for Davening.
(b) The Rosh ha'K'nesses did not hand it directly to the Kohen Gadol - but to the S'gan (the deputy Kohen Gadol), who would hand it to the Kohen Gadol.

(c) The Kohen Gadol would Lein - the first Parshah of Acharei-Mos and that of Yom Kipur in Emor.

(d) Then he would roll the Sefer closed and place it in his bosom.

(a) Before proceeding to Lein by heart, the Kohen Gadol would announce - that there was more written in the Sefer-Torah than what he had Leined.

(b) The reason for ...

1. ... the announcement was - to avoid suspicion that he was Leining the next section by heart, because the Sefer only contained what he had Leined, and was therefore Pasul.
2. ... Leining by heart was - because he would not have managed to finish scrolling from Emor to Pinchas before the Meturgeman had finished translating the last Pasuk, which would have constituted 'Tircha de'Tzibura'.
(c) The Parshah that he Leined by heart was - that of the Musaf of Yom Kipur in Pinchas.
(a) The Kohen Gadol recited - eight B'rachos after Leining.

(b) After the B'rachah following Leining ('Asher Nasan Lanu Toras Emes ... '), he would recite the B'rachah of Avodah and that of Hodayah. It was necessary to include the latter - because Hodayah always follows Avodah (like we find in the Amidah).

(c) And he added a B'rachah on the Mikdash and one on Yisrael - concluding with a B'rachah on the Kohanim and one on Yerushalayim.

11) There is no proof from the Tana of our Mishnah, who obligates the Chazan ha'K'nesses to hand the Sefer-Torah to the Rosh ha'K'nesses, who, in turn, hands it to the S'gan (in the presence of the Kohen Gadol), that one shows deference to one's superior in the presence of a common Rav - because in this case, the entire ceremony was meant to demonstrate the Kavod of the Kohen Gadol (to show how many dignified positions there were under his charge).


(a) The problem with the Mishnah, which states 've'Kohen Gadol Omed u'Mekabel ve'Korei', implying that he had been sitting is - that no-one with the sole exception of the King of Yehudah, was permitted to sit in the Chatzer of the Beis-Hamikdash.

(b) We learn from the Pasuk "va'Yavo ha'Melech David ve'Yeishev Lifnei Hashem" - that, although everyone else was forbidden to sit in the Azarah, the kings of Yehudah were permitted.

(c) The reason for this preferential treatment was - that Hashem wished to demonstrate that their sovereignty was complete ([and permanent] as opposed to that of the kings of Yisrael, which was only temporary).

(a) According to the Tana Kama of the Beraisa, the Kohen Gadol Leined in the Azarah. Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov learns from the Pasuk "va'Yikra Bo Lifnei ha'Rechov Asher Lifnei Sha'ar ha'Mayim" - that he Leined in the Har ha'Bayis.

(b) Rav Chisda interprets the Azarah of the Tana Kama - as the Ezras Nashim (which was merely an extension of the Har ha'Bayis, as we learned above), thereby answering our previous Kashya (with regard to Kohen Gadol sitting in the Azarah) at the same time.

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