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My question might sound a little complicated, but it actually boils down to something very simple: does anybody know of any references to a kohen gadol (a high priest) performing the procedure of chalitzah on Yom Kippur itself? My reasons for thinking that such a thing might be thought to have occurred are as follows:

The Mishna (Yevamot 6:4) mentions that if a brother of the kohen gadol should die, leaving no offspring, the kohen gadol should submit to chalitzah rather than yibum. According to Tosafot (Yevamot 61a, s.v. kohen gadol shemet achiv), the reason that the Mishna tells us this is because we might otherwise have thought chalitzah an impermissible degradation of the kohen gadol, given that it necessitates a woman spitting at him. This is also the interpretation of Tosafot Yom-Tov and Tiferet Yisrael.

The Mishna (Yevamot 9:2) also mentions a variety of situations in which a woman is prohibited to both her husband and her husband's brother. One of those is when she is a widow, her husband is the kohen gadol and her husband's brother is also the kohel gadol. As Tosafot Yom-Tov points out, this must be referring to a situation in which the high priest's brother is appointed as his potential replacement in the week leading up to Yom Kippur (cf: Yoma 1:1, Megillah 1:9).

According to Rabbeinu Tam (Tosafot, Ketubot 58a, s.v. va'afilu kulan bifnei haba'al), a shomeret yavam is already like the deceased husband's brother's wife, and technically even allowed to consume terumah if he is a kohen. The Mishna forbids such consumption (Yevamot 7:4, Ketubot 5:3), but by rabbinic enactment only. Mid'orayta, she is like his wife until he either cements the relationship with yibum or terminates it with chalitzah. Since the gemara learns out from Leviticus 16:6 that a kohen gadol can only have one wife while he is fulfilling his duties on Yom Kippur, then Rabbeinu Tam's conception of yibum is such that if one of the two brothers dies on Yom Kippur itself, the only way that the other might officiate is if he first performs chalitzah.

I would like to know:

  1. Does anybody know of any sources that discuss the performance of chalitzah on Yom Kippur (the visual of a high priest on the holiest day being spat at is quite striking, and adds to other imagery relating to the decline of the priesthood);
  2. Does anybody know of any prohibition of performing chalitzah on Yom Kippur (or any Shabbat), and whether or not there was a problem with the high priest "technically" having more than one wife on the day?
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he.wikisource.org/wiki/… –  Double AA Mar 4 '13 at 6:44
    
Let me get this straight: if the original kohen gadol dies childless on Yom Kippur, then his brother who was separated as replacement kohen gadol can't perform the Avoda because he has two wives, one from before and one in potential? And he has to do Chalitza because Yibbum wouldn't solve the problem. –  Double AA Mar 4 '13 at 6:47
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He cannot do yibum, ever. As kohen gadol, he's forbidden from marrying a widow. –  Shimon bM Mar 4 '13 at 6:56
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related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/3741/759 (ping @CharlesKoppelman ) –  Double AA Mar 4 '13 at 7:04
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Just to set the record straight: Chalitza does NOT involve spitting in somebody's face. Chalitza involves spitting onto the floor in front of the Yovom: ואחר כך עומדת ויורקת בארץ כנגד פניו, רוק הנראה לדיינין. From הלכות ייבום וחליצה פרק ד –  Danny Schoemann Mar 4 '13 at 14:39

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Rabbeinu Tam (who technically allows her to eat Terumah) is talking about a Shomeres L'bias Heter (at least MedRabanan (see Rambam Hil. Terumah end of Chap. 7)), but in the case of the KG she is Shomeres L'bias Issur Shel Torah and does not eat Terumah (Rambam ibid 7:21). We do not find that RT holds that Zeikas Yovom that is Ossur Min Hatorah is considered his wife and eats Terumah. Also see Mishna and Rashi Yevomos 56b.

In general, Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 339:4 it says Chalitzah can not be done on Shabbos, and in 524:1 it says it can not be done on Yom Tov. Also keep in mind that he has to wear a shoe to do Chalitzah and the type of shoe for Chalitza is one that can not be worn on Yom Kippur (see Yevomos 202b).

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See the Rama there though who seems to permit kiddushin bemakom mitzva beshaat hadechak –  Double AA Mar 17 '13 at 5:21
    
That was because of a story in the Rama's city that the Mechutanim couldn't come to an agreement until very late Friday evening and it was all set up (basically, a very extenuating circumstance) and the Rama said that they could rely on Rabeinu Tam who permits Kedushin on Shabbos. So, 1) Would RT permit Chalitza too? 2) We still have the leather shoe issue which is unique to Yom Kippur. –  Meir Zirkind Mar 17 '13 at 19:45
    
Yes I know the story and it seems to me that the case of the OP is much more extenuating than that. We need a Kohein Gadol to do the Avoda! I'd have to look into it more, but Rabbeinu Tam might very well allow Chalitza here too since it is a makom mitzva, which is his main heter for kiddushin for as yet childless couples. –  Double AA Mar 17 '13 at 19:53
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I belive that this whole question is based on an error, because Rabbeinu Tam (who technically allows her to eat Terumah) is talking about a Shomeres L'bias Heter (at least MedRabanan (see Rambam Hil. Terumah end of Chap. 7)), but in the case of the KG she is Shomeres L'bias Issur Shel Torah and does not eat Terumah (Rambam ibid 7:21). We do not find that RT holds that Zeikas Yovom that is Ossur Min Hatorah is considered his wife and eats Terumah. Also see Mishna and Rashi Yevomos 56:2 –  Meir Zirkind Mar 18 '13 at 4:49
    
Thank you, @MeirZirkind - I hadn't actually considered that distinction here, but the Tosafot makes more sense to me now. Could I trouble you to please incorporate it into your answer, and to change the final reference from 56:2 to 56b? Thank you so much. –  Shimon bM Mar 19 '13 at 3:07

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