Is there a minimum shiur to be chayav (liable) for anointing on Yom Kippur, and, if so, what is it? The gemarah (Yoma 76b) seems to learn it out as a comparison to food consumption: would that mean it has the same shiurim?

  • Just to clarify, by m'chayav you mean obligated in Karet, not just Makkat Mardut or and issur aseh or something.
    – Double AA
    Sep 23, 2012 at 23:02
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    @DoubleAA - One cannot incur kareis for anointing on Yom Kippur, only for eating or drinking (or forbidden labor).
    – Fred
    Sep 23, 2012 at 23:06
  • Actually, @Fred, I think Melachah is also not liable for Kareith. I could be mistaken, though.
    – Seth J
    Sep 24, 2012 at 18:32
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    @SethJ he.wikisource.org/wiki/…
    – Double AA
    Sep 24, 2012 at 18:45
  • Oh, that's right. I was thinking no death penalty. Yes, there is an Isur Kareith for Melachah. My bad. thanks!
    – Seth J
    Sep 24, 2012 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The Mazal Sha'ah on the Rambam infers that the shi'ur l'chayyev for anointing with t'rumah oil is a k'zayis, based on R' Yehudah's opinion in the gemara (K'risus 6b) who holds that a person is liable for a k'zayis of prohibited anointing with the shemen hamishchah (Commentary to Mishneh Torah, Hil. T'rumos 10:2). (One should note that it is still Biblically forbidden to anoint with even less than a k'zayis, at least in the case of the shemen hamishchah).

Although in those cases the oil itself is a prohibited substance, one might consider further extrapolating the above standard to the prohibition against anointing on Yom Kippur. However, disagreement among the Rishonim about the Biblical or rabbinic status of the anointing prohibition on Yom Kippur suggests that there must at least be no Biblical penalty for anointing. Rashi and the Rambam both maintain that the punishment for violation is makas mardus (Rashi on the Rif, Shabbos, Chapter 9; Rambam's Peirush HaMishnayos, Shabbos 9:4, and Tosafos Yom Tov, ibid., who clarifies the Rambam's position). The lack of a Biblical penalty is confirmed by the Yerushalmi (Yoma 8:1; see also Korban HaEidah ibid., s.v. Aval lo l'onesh) Therefore, the issue of a liable quantity seems moot.

Furthermore, a lengthy halachic discussion by Dayan Y.Y. Fisher (Even Yisrael, Hil. Ma'achalos Asuros 17:27) yields the conclusion that, according to those Rishonim who view anointing as Biblically forbidden, the Biblical prohibition against consuming a chatzi shiur of nourishment on Yom Kippur may be derived from the prohibition against anointing (which is itself derived from Daniel, 10:3,12). This seems to be premised on the lack of a minimum shi'ur for anointing on Yom Kippur.

Notably, the Semag distinguishes between Biblically and rabbinically prohibited anointing, though not in terms of the quantity of ointment used. He maintains that a criterion for the Biblical prohibition against anointing on Yom Kippur is anointing the entire body, while anointing even part of the body is forbidden rabbinically (Tosafos Y'shanim, Yoma 77b). This view is echoed by the Mabit (Kiryas Sefer, Hil. Sh'visas Asor, 3).

See here and here for further halachic discussion on this topic.

  • do you perhaps mean revi'is and not kezayis? Sep 24, 2012 at 0:08
  • @vram - K'zayis is the measure used by the gemara, even though oil is liquid. I've seen this elsewhere in the Talmud, as well. I assume that this literally means the equivalent volume of a solid k'zaiyis, but you are welcome to research this.
    – Fred
    Sep 24, 2012 at 0:35
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    @vram Kezayis shows up as a liquid measurement also by eating blood and the after bracha on wine (accd to some rishonim) IIRC.
    – Double AA
    Sep 24, 2012 at 1:30
  • @vram is correct, since here oil is forbidden by comparison to drinking, and based on its quality to provide nourishment. Hence it should be reviis
    – user1668
    Sep 24, 2012 at 15:00
  • @PM It is, in fact, k'zayis. Are you arguing that the gemara actually meant "revi'is" (which is not a corresponding volume), or are you arguing "it is, but hadn't ought to be"?
    – Fred
    Sep 24, 2012 at 17:27

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