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Are there any sources that suggest that the incense used in the Bet HaMikdash were hallucinogens?

If this is true, how do we understand their practices back then?

(There are various related discussions, but I don't feel that the issue is covered fully e.g. here and here)

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Why do you think they might be hallucinogenic? –  Double AA Mar 3 at 22:36
    
@DoubleAA the links I have posted mention a couple of sources for them being hallucinogens (Aryeh Kaplan and a Rabbi Sokol). Also, in discussion with a friend... –  bondonk Mar 3 at 22:48
    
I don't see anything in the first answer you link to about the incense used in the mikdash. (The second page you link to is a long one. I don't see anything about it there, either, but I didn't read the it carefully.) –  msh210 Mar 4 at 1:53
    
The first one brings sources for incense as hallucinogens. The other sources is relevant to a question I just included in an edit. –  bondonk Mar 4 at 6:21
    
I don't see any such evidence anywhere in the first link. –  Double AA Mar 4 at 6:32
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2 Answers 2

Yosef Glassman offers an interpertation that the "kana bossem" (קנה בושם) mentioned in the book of numbers and in the song of songs as the good kane from the far country is marijuana you can read more about ot here and here

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Do not drink wine "v'shechar", neither you nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, so that you shall not die. [This is] an eternal statute for your generations. (Leviticus 10:9)

The word "shechar" can mean non-wine alcoholic beverage, or it can mean intoxication. Rashi says that, in this verse, "shechar" means intoxication.

Since wine was often imbibed in a diluted state as a common beverage, Rashi is saying that a sip of diluted wine doesn't prohibit a kohen from entering the mikdash, but drinking wine to the point of intoxication does.

According to this verse, as understood by Rashi, kohanim are forbidden to be inebriated in any way when performing their Holy Temple duties.

Therefore, it would be forbidden to burn incense that would cause any type of inebriation.

EDIT: DoubleAA points out that the topic of whether kohanim may enter the Temple while inebriated is displayed in the Babylonian Talmud, Nazir4a, as a dispute between Rav Yehudah and Rav Shimon. The issue is not resolved there, although the halacha typically sides with Rav Yehudah over Rav Shimon.

Rav Yehudah said that [a kohen] who eats preserved figs from Keilah, or drinks honey or milk, and then enters the Temple, is guilty (Babylonian Talmud Nazir4a)

That is to say, anything which would impair a kohen's ability to focus on his Holy work, is forbidden to consume before (and certainly during!) the Temple service.

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Rashi al hatorah is not the best halachik source. –  Double AA Mar 4 at 13:47
    
I'm referring to Nazir 4a where this issue is a Machloket Tannaim. The fact that Rashi explains the verse one way is a poor indication of what the Halacha is. Plus you have yet to show that olfactory intoxication is the same as food related intoxication. –  Double AA Mar 4 at 17:41
    
I didn't say the Gemara was conclusive, but showing me how Rishonim paskin it in a halachik context would be very informative. –  Double AA Mar 4 at 18:17
    
@DoubleAA Thank you very much. Answer has been edited. –  Oholiav Mar 4 at 18:52
    
You missed my point. Rashi does NOT side for the Halacha. Rashi is acting as a parshan not a posek. –  Double AA Mar 4 at 18:53
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